Situated in the heart of the Larfeuille forest, the village of Clédat is in the heart of the Monédières massif on the edge of the Millevaches plateau. Never electrified and isolated in the middle of the forest, the village was abandoned in the 1960s.
As you wander around this magical and enchanting site, you'll come across a thatched cottage, a fountain, a chapel, granite sculptures and ancient trees, before arriving at the panoramic view from the rock.
A little history: from the origins of the village to the Resistance
The first traces of Clédat date back to the 12th century. For centuries, the village was a staging post for pilgrims between the heights of the Millevaches plateau and the Tulle region. The small Romanesque chapel of Sainte-Madeleine de Clédat was mentioned as early as 1164 in a bull issued by Pope Alexander III, confirming the possession of the St-Gérald hospital in Limoges. It was associated with a "House of the Poor".
During the Second World War, this isolated spot became a hideout for Resistance fighters.
At 4am on 04 May, the village of Les Bordes was attacked by the Germans. The 7 maquisards who were there were caught from the rear and surrounded, 2 were killed, 3 were taken prisoner and deported (1 of whom did not return), 2 others managed to escape. As for the other occupants of the mine, they were not discovered and withdrew as soon as they heard the shooting. It is possible to discover the mine during a visit to Clédat.
The last house in Clédat closed its doors for good in 1963, when René Laleu, from Bugeat, bought all the properties in order to undertake a major reforestation project. From then on, the village was only inhabited during the summer by the new owner, who had had a thatched cottage restored. For the rest of the year, Clédat remained deserted, with abandoned dwellings left to be pillaged. In 1990, René Laleu sold the entire village to the State, which placed it under the control and management of the Office National des Forêts.
Today, the Renaissance des Vieilles Pierres association is committed to preserving and bringing life to this unusual site. During the summer season, the association offers visitors a wide range of events. Every July, the village celebrates the Rose Festival.
Why is the festival of Clédat called the "Festival of the Roses"?
In the 19th century, Léonarde Vedrenne, nicknamed "La Bleuye", lived in Clédat simply because she had made a vow to always dress in blue. Very pious, Léonarde was responsible for the upkeep of the chapel.
On the day of the pilgrimage, every 22 July, the Bleuye decorated the walls of the chapel, which were blackened by mould, by hanging sheets into which she pricked roses to honour the saint and welcome pilgrims to the ceremony. The "Renaissance des Vieilles Pierres" association has taken up this tradition by organising a festive day on the Sunday close to 22 July, during which a rose is given to each participant.
The village is open all year round. An audio tour via the free app WivisitesYou'll be able to discover this mysterious place.
You'll discover the thatched cottage, the chapel and the Sainte-Madelaine fountain, as well as the sape des Maquisards. The Clédat rock, in the commune of Bonnefond, overlooks the Corrèze valley.
Hiking in Clédat
12 walks around Clédat and the surrounding area on the Old Stone TrailsA place to enjoy nature in all its glory.