The Roman bridge (shortcut)

The Roman bridge (shortcut)

Heritage site and architecture
Embed this item to access it offline
Stories of bridges, and therefore of rivers, and therefore of links between people…
From the starting point, you can see the magnificent Chavanon motorway viaduct. Much more modest, the so-called "Roman" bridge allows you to cross the Barricade stream. Although the exact date of its construction is not known, a crossing structure already existed in 1818. Its recent restoration (2019) has enhanced this bridge. Shortly afterwards, a short return trip reveals the remains of a mill.

4 points of interest

  • Site

    The A89

    Between Auvergne and Limousin, the suspension bridge over the Chavanon crosses this eponymous river and offers a magnificent view over the Massif du Sancy.Nicknamed the "presidents' motorway", it crosses the political strongholds of Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Jacques Chirac and François Hollande, the A 89 links Bordeaux to Lyon by crossing the Massif Central. It is 550 km long and was put into service along its entire route in 2018.
  • Panorama

    Le Sancy

    This hike will offer you several viewpoints overlooking the highest volcano in mainland France, the Puy de Sancy. At 1,885 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

    The Roman bridge

    Thanks to help from the Departmental Council, a subscription, and help from the Bern mission as part of the heritage lottery fund, via the Heritage Foundation, the Roman bridge at La Veyssade, in Merlines, was saved in 2018.Even though it is said to be "Roman", the exact date is not known; The only certainty is that a structure appears at this location on a cadastre (land registry document) of 1818. It crosses the Barricade stream.
  • River

    The Barricade stream

    The Barricade, 12 km long, has its source on the Plateau de Millevaches among the peat bogs. Once past the Roman bridge, it abruptly drops away to join the Chavanon. Crossing this rocky barrier gives birth to a small waterfall. You can see the remains of the mill at Faux, a village located on the plateau, where the power of water was used to turn the millstones...


Retrace your steps. Leave the Lagarde road on the right and turn left.

  1. Follow this road for 1.5 km, ignoring several paths on your left.
  2. When you see Les Bourrandes, take a path to the left. Turn left at the next crossroads; The path gradually becomes a trail (follow the markings carefully) and then forks to the right: it is not very clear to see in the woodland undergrowth. It joins a path, which you take to the right. Turn right onto the road.
  3. At the crossroads, turn left towards "Aire du Chavanon" for 200 m, then take the path on the right. Turn left at the Y-junction: continue on the main path; turn right at the crossroads when you reach the meadow; ignore a path on your right a little further on.
  4. Take the road to the left; go over the railway bridge. Continue. Turn left at the next crossroads and cross the railway line again.After the bridge, follow the track to the right. Turn left at the next crossroads.
  5. At the pond, take the track on the right. This becomes a path. Go straight down to the Roman bridge.
  6. Go up for 100 m and take a trail (difficult to spot) on the right that crosses a small stream. Continue through the woodland undergrowth. Turn left at the next crossroads. At the end, turn right and go back to the Barricade stream. Go up to a point where the tracks cross.
  7. Turn right: stay on this gravelled track leaving several paths on your right. Take the road on the right for 200 m. then follow the tarmac track on the left towards Lespinat. Go through the village; 400 m further on, take the path on the right. Follow the trails to the left and then the path to the right, and the route you took at the start.
  8. Follow the road straight ahead to reach the starting point.
  • Departure : Belvedere of Chavanon, Merlines
  • Arrival : Belvedere of Chavanon, Merlines
  • Towns crossed : Merlines and Aix


Altimetric profile


Please note, the circuit does not start from the village of Merlines but from the belvedere of Chavanon. This circuit is a shorter version of a longer circuit (21 km) which is the subject of a special description sheet.

Information desks

Place Voltaire, 19200 Ussel

05 19 60 00 30

Access and parking

Coming from Ussel, follow the RD 1089 towards Clermont-Ferrand; in Merlines, turn right and follow the signs for "belvédère du Chavanon".

Parking :

Belvedere of Chavanon, Merlines

More information

Report a problem or an error

If you have found an error on this page or if you have noticed any problems during your hike, please report them to us here: