The art of dry stone construction

Walls, animal shelters, fence posts - everything that can be built with the ubiquitous shale has been built by local craftsmen through the ages

Landscape shaped by the people of the country

Imagine building stone-to-stone buildings without cement! It looks like it might be easy finding the right stone - until you try!

The soil of the Hérault is particularly rocky, and cultivating it is very hard work. Thankfully those very stones have permitted the generations of country people to contain the fertile soil with their magnificent dry stone walls, so characteristic of the region. Stone also serves as the basic building material for most buildings in the countryside.

Huts, walls and stony paths, cabins and shelters with the delightful local names of capitelles and carabelles, terraces called faïsses and bancels, constructions for containing water such as the pansières and béals. Dry stone is an ingenious art, requiring patience and skill.

A link between the natural world and the people who have helped to shape it, dry stone tells the story of the generations who built our Pays d'Art et d'Histoire

A precious heritage

In 2018, UNESCO added the art of dry stone construction to its non-tangible cultural heritage of humanity list.