Lautrec, medieval town


Fouded in 940, the town of Lautrec grew up at the foot of a rocky outcrop now surmounted by its famous old windmill.

It occupies what was an ideal defensive location. The town became famous thanks to the noble families of Toulouse, Lautrec and Montfa. The important painter and artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a direct descendant of those noble families.

Like a veritable history book in stone, Lautrec reveals itself through its ancient walls and alleys lined with some remarkable buildings. No wonder that it is recognised as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France". Lautrec is also famous for the fabled pink garlic "L'Ail Rose de Lautrec" which is produced in the surrounding countryside. 

The village is therefore recognised as a garlic capitale "Place of Remarkable Taste" (Site Reamarquable du Goût) 

"The Pays de Cocagne" is the name given to the region from the cultivation of Pastel (woad), a dye plant, which brought great wealth to the region from 14th to the 16th centuries. Bundles of Pastel were traditionally traded at "the pastellerie" at the foot of the windmill.

The windmill

Dating from the 17th century. Restored in 1991, it is one of the uncommon windmills of the Occitanie to make flour.

It can be visited from april to octobre.

The gate of Caussade

This ancient gateway is the only survivor from de Middle Ages of the original 8 entrance gates to the town. It was built in the 13th century as a square tower protected by draw bridge and a portcullis. Lautrec was originally fortified with a surrounding wall 1200 metres long containing the 8 entrance gates. This wall can still be seen in several places.

The market square

"La Place des Couverts" or Market Square dates from the 17th century. As you walk through the little covered "ruelles" you can see many timber framed houses with cradle like doorways. The square has always been a place of important local and market activity.


The church of St Rémy

The ancient church of St Rémy has an extremely unusual history. Its construction began in about 1394 and it was then dedicated to "Notre Dame de la Paix". it became the collegiate church of St Rémy in 1615 with the installation therein of the college of canons from the monastery of St Pierre de Burlats. The monks brought with them when the fled from Burlats their original canon's stalls which can still be seen in the chancel of the church. The church is listed as an "Historic Monuments" in particular for its "trompe l'oeil", its lectern and its altar made of Caunes-Minervois marble.

The clog maker's workshop

The clog is a form of wooden shoe thought to have benn invented by the Gauls. This workshop contains all the equipment for the manufacture of clogs and was actually still in business making clogs until the 1960s. 

It can be visited from april to octobre.

Make sure to see both the showroom and the traditionnal tools.


For your visit

Télécharger
Tour in English
Lautrec medieval town.pdf
Document Adobe Acrobat 1.6 MB
Télécharger
The windmill of Lautrec
Explanations in english.pdf
Document Adobe Acrobat 183.9 KB