The Cirque de Mourèze

 

Not far from the lake Salagou, the Cirque de Mourèze has almost 900 acres of gigantic, picturesque, dolomite cliffs in strange shapes.

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The Cirque de Mourèze seen from the Courtinals park
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These calcareous cliffs which formed about 160 million years ago, in an era when the region was covered by a warm sea, have eroded over the thousands of years gone by following a succession of different climates. In our day, the Cirque still erodes with the wind, the rain and the cold, and the cliffs continue their transformation.

Up until the 1970s, the Cirque had a lunar landscape with low vegetation. With the end of the pastoral era (when many goats grazed in the Cirque) and with a change in human activities (such as coal making), nature has come into her own again and the Cirque as it is today, tends towards getting ‘closed in’ with the invasion of Aleppo Pines which have started hiding the dolomites little by little.

Wildlife has had to adapt so you can find animal species typical to the region, like the Montpellier grass-snake (couleuvre) and the Languedoc scorpion. And birds like the Bonelli eagle and the great duke owl.

File photo grandsitesalagoumoureze/lecirquedemoureze/ le cirque de moureze vu du parc des courtinals, crédit ot du clermontais

The Courtinals Park

 The Courtinals footbridge at Mourèze - JPEG - 18.4 kb
The Courtinals footbridge at Mourèze
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The Courtinals Park, a completely natural amphitheatre inhabited by man for 4000 years, will show you another part of the Cirque. After a few minutes of walking below gigantic calcareous cliff drops, you come to a belvedere from where you will get a spectacular view, not only over Mourèze but also over the whole Cirque and the Mont Liausson, a natural barrier between the valleys of the Salagou and Mourèze.

In the village there are hôtels and restaurants, and stalls and workshops to visit. Open all year round.

Attached files

The Cirque de Mourèze

Document PDF - 1.2 Mb - Updated on 22 June 2012

Pictures

The Cirque de Mourèze, view from the Courtinals park - JPEG - 167.9 kb
The Cirque de Mourèze, view from the Courtinals park

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The Cirque de Mourèze, view from the Courtinals park - JPEG - 152.9 kb
The Cirque de Mourèze, view from the Courtinals park

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The Cirque de Mourèze in the setting sun - JPEG - 121.2 kb
The Cirque de Mourèze in the setting sun

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The Cirque, lunar landscape - JPEG - 184.6 kb
The Cirque, lunar landscape

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The Cirque de Mourèze in the setting sun - JPEG - 106.1 kb
The Cirque de Mourèze in the setting sun

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The Cirque de Mourèze, desert - JPEG - 123.1 kb
The Cirque de Mourèze, desert

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The gardien of the Cirque, totemic rock of the Cirque - JPEG - 121.1 kb
The gardien of the Cirque, totemic rock of the Cirque

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The Courtinals park, the forum - JPEG - 131.8 kb
The Courtinals park, the forum

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The lovers, totemic rock of the Cirque - JPEG - 111.6 kb
The lovers, totemic rock of the Cirque

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Totemic statue of the Cirque - JPEG - 131.4 kb
Totemic statue of the Cirque

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View of the village of Mourèze - JPEG - 80.1 kb
View of the village of Mourèze

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The church Saint Marie of Mourèze - JPEG - 134.1 kb
The church Saint Marie of Mourèze

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The arch, dolomitic rock of the cirque de Mourèze - JPEG - 124.8 kb
The arch, dolomitic rock of the cirque de Mourèze

Crédit Philippe Martin

The Courtinals footbridge at Mourèze - JPEG - 145 kb
The Courtinals footbridge at Mourèze

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La Demoiselle, totemic rock of the Cirque de Mourèze - JPEG - 146.6 kb
La Demoiselle, totemic rock of the Cirque de Mourèze

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