Bozouls is a small town in the south of France. It is located in the Aveyron region, which is the largest of five districts in the Midi-Pyrenees. This district spans about 28,000 square miles. The area is larger than Holland or Denmark, and there are over 2.5 million people who live there. The actual town of Bozolus is much smaller in size.
Location and Population
The population of Bozouls is about 2,700. It is about 30 minutes from Rodez, and two hours from Toulouse. If you live in the town and you want to visit Paris, the French capital, you will need to drive about six and a half hours.
Experts believe that the small town was populated during prehistoric times. Historians believe this because there are more prehistoric ruins in this area than any other parts of France. They have discovered over 1,000 single-chamber tombs known as dolmens, which are believed to date back to the early Neolithic era. The people in the area are known as Aveyron and are believed to have been part of the Rutenii tribe. In the town of Bozouls and the surrounding areas, prehistoric tools have been found.
The Aveyron Region and Bozouls
The Aveyron Region is a gorgeous area. It has a somewhat dark history; however, today, it is a popular vacation destination. The terrain is made up of hills, forests, grasslands, and lakes. In the area, people ride horses, bikes, play golf, and enjoy river sports. It is also a popular area for vacation homes. The small town of Bozouls is also part of this holiday trend. According to a 2008 census, there are over 1,400 residences in Bozouls. Of these houses, over 277 are people’s vacation homes. Vacation homes make up 16 percent of the total number of houses in the hamlet.
Many people visit this small town for sightseeing opportunities. The oldest and most famous building in the town is the St. Faustus Church, which is a red stone Romanesque building that was built around the 12th century. If you aren’t into architecture, there are other things to see in the town. It is home to a botanical trail, with over 100 different species of plants to see. There are also hiking trails and waterfalls for people who love the outdoors to enjoy. The town has gone unchanged for quite a while. The streets are still made of cobblestone, and the ruins of an ancient castle that has since crumbled are still visible.
The Major Draw
While all of these things make Bozouls a great place to visit, the primary draw is actually the geography. This is also the reason that so many settlers headed to the town in the first place. This French town perches precariously on the edge of a 300-foot-deep canyon. The 1,312-foot wide gorge that you can see when looking down from Bozouls is called the Trou de Bozouls, or the “Bozouls Hole.” The stunning gorge is in the shape of a horseshoe, and it is caved right into the landscape. From high above, it is absolutely remarkable.
Forming the Canyon
It is believed that the canyon was formed over two million years ago. The repeated ice ages that occurred at this time would cause glaciers to advance and retreat. This caused the river levels to rise and fall. Over time, the canyon was formed. Humans eventually settled the area of highland with a river running through it, and it later became known as Bozouls.
Front Row Seat
The canyon that took millions of years to form is absolutely beautiful, and it is the reason that many people flock to Bozouls to live and vacation. The people in the town have a front-row seat to this sight that almost defies logic. The town perches very close to the edge of the cliff, and it has been there for centuries, without spilling down into the gorge. The canyon has not put the town in danger; it actually has protected the town.
Tourists visiting the town can get a fantastic look at the canyon by traveling down the Rue de Trou, or Hole Street. The road takes you right to the edge of the gorge, which acts as a viewing platform, which allows you to stare right down into the pit. If you are afraid of heights, this is an excursion that you might want to skip. If you are not the faint of heart and you love to capture amazing photos, this is a great place to visit.
If you prefer life at ground level, the area around the gorge is a Classified Sensitive Natural Area. It is a walker’s paradise. Some paths and trails offer amazing views of the canyon without actually getting too close to the gorge. This place is like nowhere else in the world.