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Sidobre

Mysterious

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The story started around 300 millions years ago when liquid magma was buried under a huge mountain chain. In time the mountains have been eroded by wind and water and what remains of them is the central France mountainous structure called Massif Central. The lava has cooled down during millions of years and gave birth to a granite block - around 15 km long, 7 km wide and 10 km deep, one of the biggest in Europe - that forms now the Sidobre region, part of the Natural Park of Haut Languedoc.
Situated between the towns of Castre at west and Brassac at east, Sidobre offers extraordinary, unique in Europe, landscapes with huge masses of granite, sometimes strangely carved by nature and other less identified means (yes!), emerging from luxuriant vegetation.
Some of these strange monoliths, brought to the daylight by a planet in formation, are still guardians of geological and archaeological mysteries and have inspired not only beautiful legends but also the curiosity of scientific world.
The latter is exactly the case of the rock now placed next to the town hall of Burlats and given the name of "Le grain de Campsoleil".
This egg shaped rock: 1.57 tall, 1.18 the maximum diameter, and weighting 3 tons - presents 25 human carved little cavities - 1.5 to 4.5 centimeters in diameter and 1.5 centimeters deep, all situated around the vertical axe of the stone and at different distances from one another: 16, 21, 45 centimeters.
Most probably the cavities were created with an iron tool some 3000 years ago. Their arrangement made scientists think that they represent a stellar composition or have geographical or even an esoteric meaning.
An intriguing stone formation that is now recognized as the symbol of Sidobre region is the so called "La Peyro Clabado". As its name - that comes from the old local Occitan language "Pèira Clavada" and translates as "nailed stone" - suggests, this gigantic 780 tons rock rests, defying gravity, on a much smaller, 1 square meter, stone. When approaching it one can see that between the two rocks the nature placed a stone wedge that assures the balance.
The legend says that if a bachelor or bachelorette throws a stone on the top of the rock and the little stone remains there then he/she will marry within a year.
"La Roc de l'Oie" - or "The Rock of the Goose" is yet another interesting rock formation that has the shape of a …goose. The legend goes that it was a gigantic goose that was transformed in a stone by a sorcerer when it failed to return home to lay its egg. Some say that during windy nights at full moon you can hear petrified bird moaning... .
Other interesting rock formations are "Les trois fromages", "Riviere de rochers", etc.
Nowadays Sidobre is one of the largest granite mining centers of Europe. The quality of the Sidobre granite is such that it was selected for the Champs Elysees sidewalks and "Grey Sidobre" is even the name of a color used by Peugeot car manufacturer.

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Latitude:43.6333
Longitude:2.3867
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