Snow and buron in Aubrac.Snow and buron in Aubrac.
©Snow and buron in Aubrac.|© B. Colomb Lozère Sauvage Pour Pact Aubrac

The Burons of Aubrac

Cottages on the vast expanses of Aubrac

What are the burons of Aubrac? Have you ever seen the curious little stone houses that stand here and there across the pastures of the Aubrac plateau?

All about

burons of Aubrac

These are the famous burons, once home to men and animals during the summer grazing season. Planted here centuries ago, they bear witness to a way of life that’s long gone.

Itwas here that fresh tome cheese was produced, and used to make aligot.

Buron architecture

Most buronsconsisted of three rooms.

The cellar for cheese storage and maturing

Partly buried and always located on the north side, the cellar was used for cheese storage and ripening. It was dark and did not exceed 12°C: essential conditions for good cheese preservation. The floor was covered with rammed earth, and the cheeses were laid out on wooden panels raised by stones.

First floor: cheese dairy and common room

On the first floor, the main room served both as a cheese dairy and as a common room for meals. Sober in appearance, it was poorly lit, with a dirt or stone floor and a fireplace attached to the gable. The room was usually furnished with a dining table with benches and a wooden stove. A wall niche, with or without a door, was used to store foodstuffs and a few bottles, and cold meats were hung in the room on hooks. All the items needed to make cheese were stored here.

Upstairs for hay storage and living space

The first burons were vaulted, but as time went by, timber-framed burons began to be built to store hay for the calves and provide living space for the men, who slept upstairs.

The men of the buron

The buron was inhabited during the estive period, from May 25, the traditional date of transhumance, to October 13.

The men who came to spend the summer on the Aubrac had to be courageous, hard-working and, above all, enjoy life on the plateau.

Each of the men in the buron had a very distinct function.

The Cantalès

The Cantalès is in charge of the buron. He manages the team and the cheese-making process.

The Pastre

The Pastre looks after the herd.

The Bédelier

The Bédelier looks after the calves: he takes them to their mother for milking in the morning and evening, and fetches the cows in the evening to lock them up in the pen.

The Roul

The Roul, the youngest member of the family (from the age of 8!) learns the ropes of the mountain: he helps the Pastre and takes care of the most menial tasks. He cleans the tools, sweeps the buron, fetches water and wood, and assists the Pastre.

All about

the burons

de l'Aubrac

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