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The Domain of cantobria

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The domain acquired for the project stretches over 22 hectares (56 acres), of continuous and non-contiguous parcels of land, including:

- 3 hectares of land for sustainable agriculture (as seen above)

- 300 meters of direct access to the river Dourbie, with irrigation rights

- 1km of access to the river Trèvezel

- 210m2 of buildings: a farmhouse, with three independent structures (two of which require renovation)

- direct access by foot trail to the adjoining village of Cantobre 

- approximately 18 hectares of nature preserve wooded terrain, mostly rugged hills and ravines

- the remains of an ancient troglodyte dwelling and several caverns

- a rock cliff used for climbing.

Be sure to check out the photo album

You can explore CANTOBRIA here on GoogleEarth. The actual privately-owned parcels enclosed by blue lines. The clickable markers open photos taken at the place of the marker.

CANTOBRIA is not meant to be limited to this domain; rather, it extends to all those who share and contribute to its vision, throughout the surrounding territory.

The Domain
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Welcome to Cantobria,
land of a larger heart.
The Village

the village

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At an altitude of 558m, the once "shining citadel" of Celtic origin offers exceptional views over the surrounding rivers and valleys.  The first written records of a village named Cantobre date back to 1135, the period of construction of its church, Saint-Etienne. Two successive châteaux were constructed, though none of them remain. The village was entirely abandoned in the 1920s and only resettled in the 1960s. 

Its fountain has never stopped flowing.

With a mere 15 inhabitants, mixing English, German, French, and Danish nationalities, Cantobre is now an off-the-beaten-path tourist attraction, one of the more than a hundred "most beautiful villages in France".  The streets are too narrow for cars, and there are no shops. Visitors come only to appreciate its peace and quiet, the charm of its unspoiled ancient stone houses, and its sweeping views. 

Several of the village inhabitants offer gîte or Bed & Breakfast.

 

Click on the above photo to access a gallery of village photos. 

"A place to change your outlook."
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The Town

the town of Nant

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Photo: Virginie Govignon (Flickr)

The town of Nant is the nearest town, a mere 6km away, offering several bakeries, shops with local produce, and an open-air market every morning. The town experienced several periods of prosperity, beginning inthe 10th century when its abby was founded. At that time, Nant was a wetland at the convergence of two rivers. The benedictine monks built a system of canals that remain to day, from which came its nickname "the garden of the Averyron". 

An emblematic natural monument--le roc Nantais--watches over the town from high above. Click on the featured photo above to open a gallery of photos of Nant. 

The Territory
Larzac, Cévennes, Gorges du tarn

In a France known best for its culture, the territory around CANTOBRIA is as close as one can get to pristine nature. Three nature preserves converge here (Parc national des Cévennes, Le parc naturel régional des Grands Causses, le parc régional du Haut Languedoc), together comprising one of the largest preserved areas in Europe. This includes the canyonlands of the Tarn and the Dourbie, and ski area of Mont Aigoual.

Even though the village of Cantobre is located in the administrative department of the Aveyron, its territory is not confined nor entirely defined by it. Other departments, in particular le Gard, la Lozzère, and l'Hérault, also share the territory within a 100km radius of Cantobre. There is a wealth of dramatic landscapes and fascinating geological formations, but culture and history, true to France, are never lacking. For an overview of all the sites to see in the territory around Cantobre, you'll find this GoogleEarth view helpful. You can click on the different place markers to access photos and information.

The territory is part of the French region historically referred to as Langue d'Oc, and now officially known as Occitania. Click on the photo below to open a gallery of photos of the land around Cantobria.

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Photo: Virginie Govignon (Flickr)

Photo: Virginie Govignon (Flickr)

Land of many Waters

Water is a vital resource - synonymous with life itself - yet polluted and progressively depleted by intensive agriculture and industry. CANTOBRIA is endowed with exceptional aquatic resources, and I chose this land in order to preserve them.

Many rivers run through CANTOBRIA, the largest one called La Dourbie. It finds its source at the Mont Aigual, and receives a plentiful supply of spring water downstream from the Le Durzon, near Nant. It is written in the town annals that the waters were once so abundant with trout as to supply surrounding villages by the barrel. 

The Dourbie remains to this day one of the most pristine rivers in France, thanks to the absence of nearby intensive agriculture, and therefore no pollution. It doesn't require advanced education to understand that chemical fertilizers pollute the groundwater and the rivers, but the abundance of common sense hasn't yet seeped into policy decisions. The "polluter's club" lobby is as powerful as ever.

 

Our aim in CANTOBRIA is to do everything within our power, locally, to preserve this precious resource. Click on the photo below to access more photos of the waters around Cantobria.  

Dourbie.jpeg
The Territory
Land of many waters
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