1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers
> 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river
2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes
(e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Millau (French pronunciation: [mijo]; Occitan: Milhau
pronounced [miˈʎaw]) is a commune in the
Aveyron department in
Occitanie region in southern France. It is 70 kilometres
(43 mi) from the
Aveyron prefecture headquarters in Rodez. It is
located at the confluence of the rivers Tarn and Dourbie. It is
surrounded by the landscapes of Gorges du Tarn, Causse du
Causse Noir. It is part of the former province of Rouergue where they
also communicate through a form of Occitan language: the Rouergat
dialect. Its inhabitants are called Millavois and Millavoises. The
territory of the municipality is part of the Regional Natural Park of
7.1 Historical buildings
9 International relations
9.1 Twin towns – Sister cities
10 In fiction
11 See also
13 External links
Necklace from the
Bronze Age - Dolmens de Peyrolevado,
Muséum de Toulouse
View of the Beffroi
The town dates back nearly 3000 years when it was situated on the
hills above the Granède, before situating on the left bank of the
Tarn on the alluvial plain in the second or first century B.C. The
plain gave the town its Gallic name of Condatomagus (Contado meaning
confluence and magus for the market). The site of Condatomagus was
identified in the 19th century by Dieudonne du Rey and was close to
the major earthenware centre in the Roman Empire, La Graufesenque.
This is where luxury ceramics such as red terra sigillata were
made. Despite major new development in the late twentieth and early
twenty-first centuries, the centre of the old Roman and medieval town
on the opposite (left) bank of the Tarn remains poorly excavated, and
the newly renovated Maison du Peuple, almost on the site of the old
Roman forum, saw no archaeology before major mechanical excavation for
recent new very deep foundations. The local museum sits almost
adjacent to this site.
By the second century A.D. the trade had collapsed from competition
and subsequent invasions during the fourth and fifth centuries by
barbarians saw the town relocate and settle to the opposite bank,
changing its name to Amiliavum, then to Milhau en Rouergat (in the
Millhau language), then to the French Millhau.
By the ninth century the town has grown and is the seat of a viguerie,
a mediaeval administrative court, and a centre for the production of
lambskin gloves. At this time the town is surrounded by ramparts. The
tenth and eleventh centuries saw the creation of the Viscount of
Millau and subsequently passed to the Counts of Provence, the Counts
of Barcelona and eventually, in 1112, to the father of the future King
of Aragon, Béranger III following his marriage to the daughter of the
Viscount of Millau. In 1187, the King of Aragon grants him the seal
and communal freedom of Provence by Consular Charter. A consulate was
thus created, and was responsible for administering the city to raise
taxes and to apply justice. In 1271,
Millau passed to the crown of the
kings of France.
In 1361, during the Hundred Years War, the city came under English
rule. The return to peace in the fifteenth century gave the city a
boost. It is
Louis XI which connects
Millau to the crown in 1476 by
Middle Ages the town had one of the major mediaeval bridges
across the river Tarn. It had 17 spans, but after one poorly
maintained span fell in the 18th century, the bridge was mostly
demolished. Just one span remains, with a mill that is now an art
gallery, as testament to this significant trading route from north to
south across pre-
In 1999, José Bové, a local
Larzac anti-globalisation activist
McDonald's as it was being built, in symbolic
protest of the decision by the Court of the World Trade Organization
to allow the United States to overtax the import of the local cheese
called Roquefort, in retaliation for the European Union refusing the
import of US hormone treated meat. It was also an opportunity to
protest against the spread of fast food, Americanization, and the
spread of 'Genetically Modified Organisms/crops' (GMO). The McDonald's
was soon rebuilt, and Bové spent a few weeks in jail. He is now
representative at the European Parliament.
In the 21st century, clear of traffic jams, the town is a tourist
centre with one of the largest touring campsites in central France,
benefiting from the attraction of the landscapes all around, and the
architecturally acclaimed viaduct. It is also a major centre for
outdoor sporting activity.
Traditional arms of the city of Millau
"Gold with four pallets gules, a chief azure three gold fleurs-de-lis.
It has always been the arms of the
Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon since 1187, but
since 1271 surmounted with the leader of
France (Azure three fleurs de
lys) indicating that this is a good town, that is, i.e. a commune
reporting directly to the king. The city itself is administered
through elected consuls - like Toulouse and its sheriffs - while the
king was the sole and direct lord. Few cities in France, enjoyed such
a regime of autonomy.
The territory of this town lies across a southern portion of the
Massif Central. It covers a large area of some 16,823 hectares (41,570
acres), which makes it the 25th largest metropolitan town in France.
The municipality lies at the heart of the Grands Causses, a part of
the Causse Rouge (east of the plateau Lévézou), and part of Larzac
as well as part of the Black Causse. The city county seat is located
in the lower part of the town, in a large depression at the confluence
of the Tarn and
Dourbie about 340 m altitude.
The territory surrounding the town of
Millau is characterized by
livestock production and the maintaining of natural grasslands, fields
and temporary pastures. It also consists of a multitude of gorges,
ravines and defiles which are the defining characteristic of this
country. These predominantly agricultural rural areas like the rest of
this fragile region, are protected by the Regional Natural Park of
The flora in the area has more than 2000 species. There is a variety
of asparagus with triple leaves, Montpellier aphyllanthe, honeysuckle
from the Etruria region of Italy. During the summer, the highest land
of the municipality does not retain rain water and becomes arid. Some
game in the area is protected and regulated by the hunting missions
which gather quails, Hobby falcon, hawks, lizards, deer, wild boars,
deer and mountain sheep.
The expansion of the bed of the river Tarn in the city and the
creation of a raw discharge linked to its expansion has slowed and
lowered the level of the river that now sees the proliferation of
aquatic buttercup which is reveling in the stagnant water. This has
also led to a decline in wild populations of brown trout in this
sector. Also waterproofing concrete and paving large areas has
increased significantly water from rain discharged directly to the
river inducing a phenomenon called "flush" that is quite destructive
to aquatic fauna and the banks.
There are three distinct climatic effects felt in the region. In
spring and autumn, the westerly winds and southwest produce an oceanic
climate. In summer, winds from the southeast predominate and the
weather is more Mediterranean, but these winds can also disrupt the
normal course of the season at any time of the year. In winter,
northern winds submit this country to the rigors of continental
Climate data for
Millau (1981–2010 averages, sun 1991–2010)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days
Average snowy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Météo-France
Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity and snowy days, 1961–1990)
Millau is a sub-prefecture of the
Aveyron department in the Occitanie
The Community of Communes of
Millau Grands Causses was created on June
22, 1989 with Aguessac,
Millau Paulhe. Today the
community has 14 towns with Comprégnac,
Roque-Sainte-Marguerite, Saint-André-de-Vézines, Mostuéjouls,
Rivière-sur-Tarn and Veyreau.
The education establishments in the town of
Millau report to the
Academy of Toulouse. The Public school is the College Marcel Aymard, a
technological and professional General School. The Private school is
the College and Lycée Jeanne d'Arc. Vocational education can be found
at the 2iSA (Computer Institute South Aveyron). Higher Education
includes the Institute of Nursing Training (IFSI), BTS qualifications
can be done at Jean Vigo High School, and Higher Education at the
Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) of Millau.
Millau Viaduct, the tallest cable-stayed road bridge in the world,
which carries the
A75 autoroute across the valley of the Tarn near
Millau, relieves the town of much traffic, especially during the
The city is the seat of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of South
Aveyron Millau. The municipality operates the airfield of
Millau-Larzac. Having been recognized for over a century as the
"capital of leather and glove"
Millau is renowned for its activity
tannery (leather gloves). The town is best known for its sheepskin
gloves, for which it led the French fashion industry for two
centuries. It gained the title of "City and Art Professions" in 2000.
Agricultural production, including
Roquefort cheese made from raw
sheep's milk, is essential to the economic activity of the region are
43 farms in this town and their activities strongly shape the
landscape. Since 1993, a series of four major night markets, organized
by farmer-producers associated among Farmers of Aveyron, currently
take place in the evening from July to August on Mandarous Square, the
main square of the city center. Since that time, in November, the
autumn fair of farm products is organized by the same association of
farmers and runs for two days at Victory Park in Millau.
The glove museum
The Jardin botanique des Causses, a botanical garden
The Place du Maréchal Foch, a square with 12th century arcades, one
of which carries the inscription Gara qué faras or Watch what you are
Église Notre-Dame-de-l'Espinasse. This church allegedly once
possessed a part of the Crown of Thorns, making it an important
pilgrimage centre in the Middle Ages. The church was destroyed in 1582
but rebuilt in the 17th century. The frescoes from 1939 are by Jean
Bernard, the stained-glass windows from 1984 by Claude Baillon.
The Passage du Pozous is a 13th-century fortified gateway
The Belfry, a 12th-century square tower topped by an octagonal
17th-century tower on the place Emma Calvé
Millau is the main centre in
France for paragliding
Micropolis; the city of insects, is at nearby Saint-Léons
The medieval walled
Knights Templar town of
La Couvertoirade is nearby
The nearby underground caves for
Roquefort cheese production
There are 11 listed buildings are historical monuments in the town of
The archaeological site Graufesenque, two kilometers from Millau, is a
remnant of the Gallo -Roman city of Condatomagus which was a major
center of ceramic production in the Gallo- Roman era.
Notre- Dame de l' Espinasse built in the twelfth century . It takes
its name from a relic of the crown of thorns once kept in his
treasure. Destroyed in the sixteenth century, it was rebuilt a century
later through taking a toll on the river Tarn . Its bell tower is
Toulouse style .
Millau is composed of two parts corresponding to two
different eras. The square tower was built in the twelfth century on
the site of the original castle of the Counts of Millau. He assured
the safety of the fortifications in the southwest corner. At the
beginning of the seventeenth century the consuls of
Millau did build
above the octagonal tower. The square tower was used as a prison from
the seventeenth to the nineteenth century and especially during the
revolutionary period. The building was burned by lightning July 29,
1811. After climbing the 210 steps, it has a 360 ° view.
Washhouse of the Ayrolle. The roof dates from the eighteenth century.
Old Mill and Old Bridge (on the Tarn).
Hotel Sambucy de Sorgues also called Sambucy castle and its gardens.
Built between 1672 and 1674 Jacques Duchesne, advisor to the king,
especially master of waters and forests of Rouergue and receiver of
the election of Millau. After his marriage it becomes the home of Mark
Antony Sambucy, capitoul of Toulouse in 1745.
Hotel Sambucy de Miers, acquired in the seventeenth century by Antoine
The Halls (1899): metal construction of the Belle Epoque.
La rue Droit: Roman road.
The hotel Pégayrolles built in 1738, which now houses the museum. The
Millau Museum has a rich collection of pottery called Samian from the
Gallo-Roman as well as collections of tannery and glove on the history
of the glove time.
The Church of the Sacred Heart (the largest church in the city) dated
nineteenth century, neo-Byzantine style. The church has a carillon of
In 2012, the municipality had 22,013 inhabitants. The evolution of the
number of inhabitants is known throughout the population censuses
conducted in the town since 1793. From the twenty-first century,
censuses of municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants are held
each year as a result of a sample survey, unlike other towns that have
a real census every five years
In the early twenty-first century, the methods of identification were
amended by Act No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 [archive] called "law
of local democracy" on local democracy and in particular Title V
"operations census "to allow, after a transitional period running from
2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the
different French administrative districts. For municipalities with a
population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is
conducted annually, the entire territory of these municipalities is
taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first
after that in 1999 and enrolling in this new legal device population
came into force on 1 January 2009 and matches the census of 2006.
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France
Twin towns – Sister cities
Millau is twinned with:
Bridlington, UK (1992)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006)
Part of Ian McEwan's award-winning novel Atonement (2001) centers on
Briony Tallis, a nurse in a London hospital in June 1940, to which
wounded British and French soldiers evacuated from
brought. In a poignant passage, she is comforting Luc Cornet, a young
Millau who is dying of severe head wounds. In his
delirium he talks of the town, of his family and his father's
boulangerie where he worked, and mistakes Tallis for his own fiancée.
After he dies, Tallis for a moment imagines the life she might have
had if Luc had survived and if she had married him and come to live
with him in Millau:
"She imagined the unavailable future - the boulangerie in a narrow
shady street swarming with skinny cats, piano music from an upstairs
window, her giggling sisters-in-law teasing her about her accent, and
Luc Cornet loving her in his eager way. She wanted to cry for him, and
for his family in
Millau who would be waiting to hear news from him.
But she couldn't feel a thing. She was empty."
Millau countryside also played an important part in the French
film Total Western, by Eric Rochant.
Communes of the
List of medieval bridges in France
^ En Gaulle, en Italie, en Germanie (Allemagne), dans la Péninsule
Ibérique (Espagne, Portugal), etc; Voir Millau: Histoire et secrets
oubliés, Association des amis du musée de Millau
^ https://books.google.com/books?id=j3kUAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA181 Letters
of Louis XI, Cérilly the 1 in March 1476 (before Easter 1475)
^ "Données climatiques de la station de Millau" (in French). Meteo
France. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
^ "Climat Midi-Pyrénées" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved
January 8, 2016.
^ "Normes et records 1961-1990:
Millau (12) - altitude 715m" (in
French). Infoclimat. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
^ The act of twinning was signed in
Millau on 9 June 1962, by Charles
Dutheil, deputy mayor of Millau, and Andrew Guillabert, Mayor of Luga.
In 1989, the two cities decided to redefine their relations and
emphasize cooperation activities in the fields of medicine, education
and economic development.
Mostar Gradovi prijatelji" [
Mostar Twin Towns]. Grad
Official City Website] (in Macedonian). Archived from the original on
2013-10-30. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
Public Books :
Millau à travers les siècles, Millau, 1943,
AMIS DU MUSEE DE MILLAU, Millau. Histoire et secrets oubliés, Millau,
1996, p. 279
GIRARD, Georges, Des rues des hommes, Millau, 1987.
La Graufesenque (Millau, Aveyron). Vol. 1 : Condatomagos, une
agglomération de confluent en territoire rutène iie siècle aC -
iiie siècle pC par Daniel Schaad. Vol. 2 : Sigillées lisses et
autres productions par Martine Genin, Fédération Aquitania,
2007-2008. (ISBN 978-2-910763-09-1) (vol. 1) et 978-2-910763-10-7
Monique Fournier & Michel Delmouly : Paroles ouvrières,
paroles gantières. Amis du Musée de Millau. 1998.
Millau 1911 : Avec les gantiers en grève. Association pour la
promotion de l'histoire sociale millavoise. 2011.
University publications :
BERNAD, Louis, Une ville de consulat :
Millau en Rouergue.
Thèse: Droit, Montpellier, 1938.
CARBASSE, Jean-Marie, Notes sur l'administration municipale de Millau
de la fin du xviie s. au début du xviiie. Mémoire: Droit,
GARNIER, Florent, Un consulat et ses finances : Millau,
1187-1461. Paris : Comité pour l'histoire économique et
financière de la France, 2006. Texte remanié de sa thèse : Le
Millau au bas Moyen Âge : finances, pouvoir et
société. Thèse: Histoire du Droit, Paris, 2002.
LAUR, Frédéric, Le Consulat de
Millau sous la Monarchie Absolue,
Nîmes 1998, 395 p. Ce livre reprend sa thèse de Droit,
Montpellier, 1985 : Pouvoir et société à
Millau de 1632 à
LOURDOU, Magali. Les Protestants et le consulat millavois au temps des
premières guerres de religion (vers 1560 - vers 1574). In Revue du
Rouergue. 2003 (73) : p. 49 - 65.
Millau et la rupture du traité de Brétigny.
Thèse: Droit, Paris, 1952.
Millau pendant la seconde guerre mondiale : La vie
économique et sociale. In Revue du Rouergue. 2000 (64) :
p. 595 - 617.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Millau.
Millau city council website (in French)
Tourist office website
Communes of the