Peyre is a semi-troglodyte village perched on cliff overlooking the River Tarn, some 6kms downstream from Millau.
It is located in the commune of Compregnac in Aveyron.
This ancient village takes its name from the rock (pierre) against which it was built.
Many dwellings initially started from the rock shelters the river dug in the cliff over millennia, where men found refuge thousands of years ago.
Excavations indeed revealed extensive signs of occupation including weapons and tools!
However, Peyre’s elevated position is quite unusual on this section of the Tarn, where most villages indeed developed on the fertile banks of the river.
The theory is that the village was home to a Catholic community.
They would indeed have taken refuge on the cliff, during the Wars of Religion.
Millau, just up the river, was then a predominant Protestant bastion in Rouergue!
Due to its configuration, against the cliff, the village is essentially pedestrian.
Its picturesque limestone houses, many of which are built against the cliff, are accessible by the Chemin des Calades.
This string of pedestrian cobbled alleyways are in fact stairs.
They climb the cliff and serve the dwellings.
They also leads to the troglodyte Eglise Saint-Christophe.
The Romanesque church was built during the 11th century from rock shelter.
Viaduct of Millau seen from Peyre
Its square and crenellated bell tower dominates its facade and flanks the cliff.
Its portal was restored in 1609 – as the date engraved on the lintel shows!
The village fountain is an ancient source that was once a site of pagan worship.
Your climbing of the steep calades of Peyre will be rewarded when you reach the terrace of a small cafe.
From there, you’ll indeed be able to admire the Millau Viaduct and the river Tarn, while enjoying a nice cool drink under the shade of a parasol!
Peyre is ranked among the Plus Beaux Villages de France – Most Beautiful Villages in France.
Location: Department of Aveyron
Coordinates: Lat 44.092160 – Long 2.999246