Moulin de Cougnaguet – Cales

A fortified mill in an enchanting settingAn exceptional place

The Moulin de Cougnaguet is definitely worth a visit. People come here for the exceptional location, for the mill and for Hubert. 3 good reasons to discover this slightly secret, slightly hidden place at the end of the road.

Come and visit the Moulin de Cougnaguet, where the incredible force of water drives an enormous millstone that crushes grain and transforms it into flour.

To get to the mill, leave the departmental road not far from Rocamadour in the direction of Calès and turn off onto the path that leads to this little corner of paradise.

There it stands, proudly planted on the banks of the Ouysse. This beautiful stone building is an impressive sight, and the setting is enchanting: the beauty of the Ouysse river all around you. The color of the water, with its emerald reflections, and the gentle sound it makes, make this place quite exceptional. Here, time stands still, with a feeling of being at the end of the world.

Hubert is the master of the house. They’ve been looking after the place since 1984, and Hubert is, to say the least, inexhaustible on the history and workings of the mill.
Passionate and fascinating, it’s with eyes full of mischief and a pronounced accent that he’ll tell you the secrets of this place. You may need a few minutes to get used to the way he speaks before you’ll be captivated by his explanations!

This mill, listed as a Historic Monument, is certainly the best known in the Quercy region, not only because it has long been open to the public, but also because of its magnificent landscaped setting and beautiful fortified buildings.

Built in the 14th century by monks from the Cistercian abbey of Les Alix, two kilometers from Rocamadour, it took over fifty years to complete.

Construction began in 1292, but was not completed until 1350.

On July 19, 1778, the monks sold the building to a private individual, and it was classified as a historic monument in 1925, remaining in use until 1959.

The mill is built on the “Ouysse” river, which runs underground for just 11 kilometers before emptying into the Dorgogne.

The reservoir is 1.600 km long, thanks to a 6 m thick dam.

In those troubled times of famine and pillage, the monks had a good means of defense: by closing the gate and opening the four sluice gates inside the mill, they created a strong current of water, drowning any would-be attackers.

The mill is equipped with four pairs of millstones weighing around 1.5 tonnes, enclosed in a wooden casing, which could grind up to three tonnes of grain a day.

One of them still works, and Hubert is happy to prove it to you.

Located above the mill, the apartment has been transformed into a museum, and it’s impossible to leave without taking a look. The space is fitted out with antique furniture and could be used as a permanent home. The stone sink remains the same, and when you open the window, the view is magnificent.

By the fireplace, a table awaits you with nuts ready to be eaten.

You won’t leave here without a glass of friendship, a very local drink that Hubert knows all about. We won’t tell you any more, as the surprise is all part of the visit!

Tours are available from April to All Saints’ Day, Monday to Sunday, 10.30am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm, for €5 (don’t forget to get a ticket stamped at the campsite reception for a discount!).