Argences in Aubrac, Aveyron
> The Argence area
Situated to the south of the Massif Central, between the Aubrac and the River Truyere, some 25km from Laguiole and Mur de Barrez, Sainte-Geneviève-sur-Argence offers varied and magnificent landscapes. It reaches from the mountains of the Aubrac in Viadène and owes the “Argence” part of its name to the Live Argence river. This river has its source at Roc du Cayla (1298 m) and rejoints the Argence Dead river under the remarkable bridge in Orlhaguet before forming the gorges so appreciated by lovers of water sports.
With its orientation towards North Aveyron and its position as a key crossing point, between Cantal and Aveyron, Ste Geneviève sur Argence is an integral part of this north Aveyron area known as Haut Rouergue (High Rouergue – Rouergue is the old name for Aveyron).
A commune is a local authority centred on a village or small town.
Argences en Aubrac (commune nouvelle)
The etymology of Alpuech means “high mountain”. In fact, the village stands at an altitude of 1080 m. Situated at the gateway to extensive pastures, it is a welcoming and charming village.
Around 976, Alpuech was already in existence and from the 14th century its fairs were well-known in the country.
Graissac is built on volcanic rock and stands at an altitude of 915 m (area 26,42 km²) and has 236 inhabitants known as graissacois(es).
The Graissac commune includes the hamlets of Brénac, Le Quié, Banes, Englés, Mourmentres, Niergourg, La Borie, La Combrie, Le Batut, Rouchaudy.
Standing at the gateway to the Aubrac , Lacalm is the highest village in the area and in Aveyron with an altitude of 1128 m. The name of the village is pronounced La-con.
Lacalm has 208 inhabitants known as lacanais(es) and covers an area of 26,49 km².
The etymology given by the historian Bosc is as follows: “this name of lacalm, common to several villages in the Rouergue, comes from an old Celtic word meaning “high plain”.
The word Calm was used between the 15th and 17th centruy to indicate on the high grounds a certain kind of property.”
Ste Geneviève sur Argence
Sainte-Geneviève (at an altitude of about 800 m) is situated at the extreme north of the department of Aveyron, on the verdant plateau of the Viadène, facing the mountains of Cantal, on the buttresses of the Aubrac. The Truyère has very deep gorges which are also known as “the gorges of the devil”. Formerly very wild and hard to get to, the river contains a series of dams which make it the most important hydro-electric river in France. The closest dam to Sainte Geneviève is the Sarrans Dam which was for a long time the biggest in Europe. Its lake presents magnificent views which are very popular with tourists. Viadène is a first rate cattle rearing region and is proud to boast of its Aubrac breed of cattle. Sainte Geneviève owes the “Argence” in its name to the Live Argence river which rises at Roc du Cayla (1 298 m), and joins the Dead Argence river under the remarkable bridge at Orlhaguet before forming the gorges so appreciated by lovers of water sports. Sainte-Geneviève, headquarters of the local authority, with 996 inhabitants known as génovéfain(es) now concentrates on modern activities which are more likely to support households such as woodworking (staircase manufacture) and abattoirs.
A village (with an area of 27,6 km²) is situated on the gateway to the Aubrac, la Terrisse has an altitude of 918 m and is home to 170 inhabitants known as terrissien(nes).
Vitrac stands at an altitude of 1010 m and has an area of 16,99 km². It offers a beautiful panorama over the Mountains of Cantal. It has 99 inhabitants known as vitracien(nes).
The village stands at an altitude of 950 m on a high plateau dominating the valley.
Cantoin has a population of 312 inhabitants known as cantoinais(es). It has an area of 42,37 km².