The gite          
      Comfort   Serenity   History  

Gîte with character (4 épis)
in the Lacaune mountains,
between the departments of Tarn and Aveyron


Le Soulié's history dates back to the 11th century. In that time the monumental rock in the garden was first cut and fortified to serve as a foundation for a primitive castle. Small dwellings were carved into the sides of the rock. A few of them remain to this day, among which a large rock chair which locals call the "Throne of the Lord of Massuguiès".

In the 17th century Le Soulié was a small hamlet that revolved around a mansion and its outbuildings, which included a sheepfold, a stable and a bakery. Two houses remain from the old hamlet; the house furthest from the cottage is the only one that is currently inhabited, if only a few weeks a year.

Dominique, who is the current owner of the cottage, shares her story: “I inherited the property from my father who bought the house and its outbuildings in 1962, as well as some surrounding land that had been abandoned by local farmers. The mansion was in an advanced state of disrepair and had to be brought down, but my parents saved the beautiful stones surrounding the window & door. The remaining buildings were the sheepfold and the bakery with its bread oven, as well as part of the stable. I remember long summer vacations when my family and I would live in the bakery and a trailer parked next to it. We had electricity but no running water: we drank from the fountain and washed in the Dadou, which is a river that runs by the house. Those were somewhat rough living conditions but I remember those times as also being very poetic and full of freedom.
Years later I married Diégo, who is a Breton despite his Spanish sounding name, and we now live north of Vannes in Brittany. As luck would have it Diégo was very taken with Le Soulié, and rebuilding it became a shared endeavour. We aimed to rekindle its spirit by combining Diégo's love of old stone and my skills as an interior designer to make it into a holiday home where visitors could enjoy the peace & quiet of this beautiful country retreat. We created new doors and windows in the sheepfold using the stones we saved from the old mansion, and we rebuilt the bread oven. We then added a small extension to the bakery in the local style, and made what was left of the stable into a woodshed. Diégo focused on the garden and the surrounding land; he is now working on progressively turning approx. 40 acres of evergreen forest into an environment that is both a haven of biodiversity and a place for visitors to take walks or bike rides.

Nathalie & Joseph live close to Le Soulié and take care of it when we are away, they will be your hosts in our name.

classified « Art de vivre en Midi-Pyrénées », « Gîte de Charme » and « Balades et Randonnées »