Lac de Saint Andéol and its cross on the Aubrac.Lac de Saint Andéol and its cross on the Aubrac.
©Lac de Saint Andéol and its cross on the Aubrac.|© B. Colomb Lozère Sauvage Pour Pact Aubrac

Aubrac's small heritage

The small heritage of Aubrac, or vernacular heritage, is not to be underestimated… it’s small in name, but big in the past it bears witness to…. Find out more about this small heritage…

Building blocks

Aubrac's small heritage

Aren’t these roadside crosses, which once guided and reassured pilgrims and shepherds, so moving? Aren’t the charming bread ovens and chestnut driers we come across in the hamlets and villages of Aubrac a reminder of the past of the ancestors of these places?


The Bread Oven

In rural Lozère, where life was harsh and the shadow of famine constantly hung over the population, bread was indispensable. Before the development of bakeries, villagers regularly gathered around the communal bread oven, where bread was baked.

Most bread ovens were built along the same lines: they consisted of a shed with a frame or vaulted roof covered with lauze, and a heating chamber protected by masonry walls and always vaulted to conserve heat.


The shoeing loom

As its name suggests, the shoeing loom was used to shoe animals used for skidding and field work. Cows and oxen were mainly shod, as they were more placid than horses.

These ” ferradous“, as they’re known here, bear witness to Lozère’s agricultural past, and are becoming increasingly rare as most of them, made of wood, suffer from the wear and tear of time and need to be maintained.



The Lozère region, and in particular the Aubrac plateau, is home to a large number of crosses. They symbolize the religious fervor that once animated the Gévaudan region. Crosses along roadsides and bridges also reassured travelers in these remote and rugged regions, as they evoked the presence of God on dangerous paths that were the source of many evils.

Their sheer number should not blind you to the fact that each one you come across is there for a specific purpose.

They can be classified into several main groups:

  • Christianization crosses placed on pagan cult sites
  • Crosses for the cult of the dead
  • Pilgrimage crosses
  • Processional and mission crosses
  • Boundary crosses


The chestnut dryer

Chestnut dryers, or ” secadous ” in Occitan, can sometimes be found in the foothills of theAubrac. In this part of Aubrac, chestnut trees are widespread and provided the staple diet for men during the often harsh winters.

There are many chestnut drying sheds scattered across the region, where chestnuts were preserved, sometimes for several years. Chestnuts were collected in autumn, and some families could accumulate over 300 kg. They were then dried for 10 to 30 days on a grid placed in the sécadou, heated by hot air mixed with smoke, before being shelled by hand. Chestnuts prepared in this way could be kept for 3 or 4 years.

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