Marcolès is a village of Cantal, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, 24 km south of Aurillac.
Located in the southwestern part of the Massif Central, the municipality belongs to the natural region of the Chestnut Grove, between 427 and 828 m above sea level.
First equipped with a priory dependent on the abbey of Aurillac, the village becomes a highly disputed stronghold during the Hundred Years War. At the end of the Middle Ages, the locality benefits from its strategic position at the crossroads of Auvergne and Quercy, and the town acquires a certain commercial prosperity.
Built of granite, Marcolès has preserved a rich heritage of medieval origin, now restored and valued. Its authentic and picturesque "face" has allowed the village of about 600 inhabitants to be labeled "Small City of Character".
In a hilly landscape and green, it is an ideal stop for lovers of tourism... green.
The historic heart of the village has lost nothing of its medieval appearance, within a circular enclosure (the old ramparts).
The remains of the old gates of the inventory, the "gate-high" and the "low-gate" (with hinges, harrows, archers and coat of arms) give access to the main artery, Long Street, staked Renaissance-style dwellings (with mullioned windows and vaulted cellars), and the narrower, narrower alleys, called "carrieroux", offer a striking contrast.
In detail, to discover this heritage, we will linger at the Saint-Martin church, which dates from the thirteenth and fifteenth century. The building also inscribed houses a remarkable statuary (statues and chairs polychrome sixteenth, statue and relic of St. Martin).
See also, the House of the Tower, erected on the bases of the keep of the thirteenth century, and many granite houses along the walls, covered with tiles or slate, and old castle remodeled over the centuries and transformed into opulent homes (that of Faulat, the Mértie or finally that of Poux).
Really deserving of its label of "Small city of character", Marcolès can be visited freely according to the information panels. In July and August, free guided tours are offered every Monday at 14:30 (information +33 6 43 97 55 84) and for families with children, this discovery of a town with a rich history and heritage can be made during an entertaining but informative treasure hunt. Information on +33 4 71 46 98 98.
Another animation mixing history and entertainment, the visit of a mechanical sabotage dating from 1925 and still in working order. A craftsman works in front of the public according to the techniques in force a century ago, using a forge from the 1930s... Open every day except Saturday in July and August or by appointment the rest of the year. Entry: 2 euros. Information on +33 6 09 98 01 50.
In terms of leisure and sport "nature", visitors and tourists enjoy in July and August the municipal outdoor pool with a swimming pool, a beach and lawns for lazing. Price: 1 and 2 euros. Information on +33 4 71 46 98 98 or +33 4 71 63 09 98.
Outside the village, many hiking trails are marked on the town, and wider circuits can discover the rich environment of the Châtaigneraie Cantal. Maps and information on +33 4 71 46 94 82.
On the occasion precisely of a hike or more simply of a family walk, a detour imposes itself by the site of the rocks of Faulat, on the road leading from Marcolès to Boisset. In the middle of the forest, there is a singular megalith of natural origin, formed over millennia by the erosion of volcanic rock. A show as such!
During the third week of July, over four days, Nuits de Marcolès offers its strolling shows in the heart of the medieval village with stories, plays of light and music.
The first or second Wednesday of August, international cycling criterium in the presence of many champions who have been illustrated during the Tour de France, the previous month.
On August 15, the festival Léz'arts program shows related to street arts in the "carriéroux" medieval village.
The third weekend of November, art and craft market.