2000 years of history
2000 years of history

2000 years of history

Heritage site and architecture
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When local heritage meets important Gallo-Roman history...
Come and explore one of the most important Gallo-Roman sites in the region. Let the archaeological remains tell you the story of these temples dedicated to the ancient gods. To get there, you will meander along old paths lined with dry stone walls and century-old trees. You will also follow the path of the dead, used by the inhabitants of the northern part of the commune of Saint-Julien-Près-Bort to take their dead to the church and then to the cemetery.

4 points of interest

  • Heritage site


    The church of Saint-Martin de Margerides dates from the 12th century, like most rural churches in Limousin. However, its architecture differs from the regional norm: the quadrangular bell tower rests on the choir and not above the entrance portal.
  • Source

    St-Martin’s spring

    Its name suggests that it was once considered a sacred spring, and it must have been the site of a procession from the nearby church with the statue of the saint. It is said that the parish priest blessed the water in the spring, which was then used to fill the stoup. No memory of any healing virtue seems to have been preserved.
  • Panorama

    Massif du Sancy

    This trail offers a remarkable view of the highest volcano in metropolitan France, the Puy de Sancy. At 1885 metres above sea level, this summit is the highest point of the Massif Central. The two streams, the Dore and the Dogne, originate there, and their confluence forms the Dordogne.
  • Heritage site

    Archaeological site

    The Margerides archaeological site, discovered in 1965, consists of three fana (from the singular fanum), Gallo-Roman temples housing a deity. They consist of two interlocking squares. The first is the cella (housing the deity), off-limits to the public, and the second is a wide circulation gallery.


Depart from Margerides church. Take the road alongside the church to the village of Vigouroux. 
  1. In this village, at the crossroads, bear left and then turn right at the junction. The road becomes a path, which goes through the pastureland, a wood and reach the village of Combret.
  2. Follow the path on the left to the departmental road, leaving on your right several pathes.
  3. Cross opposite this main road into the wood, then continue straight ahead.
  4. 700 m further on, after a house, turn left to go to the archaeological site (500 m return) to explore the remains of a Gallo-Roman temple. Return to point 4 and continue straight on. At the intersection, follow the road on the left for 100 m and then turn left. This road leads to the village of "Chez Bailly" and « Marcy ».
  5. At the village « Le Fraysse », take the little road called « Chemin aux Coustaux » which becomes a path and after a house goes across the pastureland. At the road, turn left.
  6. Cross the road departmental and take the path opposite. This short path leads to the road; turn right and reach the starting point again.
  • Departure : Place de l’église, Margerides
  • Arrival : Place de l’église, Margerides
  • Towns crossed : Margerides and Sarroux - Saint Julien


Altimetric profile

Information desks

287 Place Marmontel, 19110 Bort-les-Orgues

05 19 60 00 30

Access and parking

From Bort-les-Orgues, take the D 979 towards Ussel for 11 km. At the Margerides roundabout, turn left and go down to the church.

Parking :

Place de l’église, Margerides

More information

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