Officially recognised as one of the most beautiful villages in France, La Couvertoirade was an annexe of the commandery at Sainte Eulalie de Cernon. However, it is the most famous of the Templar cities, probably because of its exceptional state of preservation.
The magnificent defensive wall with circular towers, built in the 1440s during the Hundred Years' War, has kept it unchanged since the time of the Knights. You enter the village through the great fortified gate before climbing up to the parapet walk, from where you can look down on the village and surrounding countryside shaped by the Knights Templar, who turned the Larzac into a vast granary.
The keep of the castle in La Couvertoirade, built in 1249, keeps watch over the tight huddle of stone-slated roofs around it. You have to take your time if you want to see all the 15th, 16th and, above all, 17th century houses with their external staircases and vaulted ceilings of the village craft shops. Then, climbing the steps cut into the rock, you reach the Church of Saint Christophe and its little cemetery of discoidal stelae.
Another curious feature between the church and the village wall is the 'don de l’eau', a stone 'sink' used during times of war or epidemic to quench the thirst of travellers while keeping the village gates closed.