Saint-Côme-d'Olt by the river
In the Lot river Valley, in Aveyron at the foot of the Aubrac plateau, lies Saint Côme d'Olt, labelled “Most Beautiful Villages in France”. The village owes its name to a hospice dedicated to Saints Cosmas and Damian located near the present penitents’ chapel. "Olt" corresponds to the occitan name of the Lot river, which borders the village.
The village of Saint Côme was at the time of the crusades only a small agglomeration in the district of Bouisse (boxwood) placed not far from the Gallo Roman road connecting Rodez to Javols. There was an infirmary near the chapel of La Bouisse. It welcomed travellers and tired pilgrims after the rough crossing of the Aubrac highland, Saint Côme being located on the Via Podiensis of the pilgrimage to Santiago of Compostela.
The village has renowned its character over the centuries. The heart of the village will carry you through time thanks to its rich heritage and picturesque streets ... In the 12th century, the lords of Calmont d'Olt, a site overlooking Espalion, built a castle around which the village developed. The old castle is nowadays the town hall, registered as Historical Monument. In order to foresee the invasion of enemies, the inhabitants of Saint Côme, under the orders of the lord, also built fortifications pierced only by three gates, which gave this medieval aspect to the village. The ramparts, today integrated into the dwellings, have kept two of their three fortified gates: the Barrieyre du Théron gate, and the Porte Neuve gate which allows you to access the village centre.
You can also discover the church, surmounted by an original twisted bell tower: the flamed bell tower classified as Historical Monument which rises 45 meters. The portal contains the sculptures of the master mason. They represent the apostle Peter and probably two evangelists. Inside the church, you can admire many paintings and sculptures.