Aubrac or "Alto braco"
Aubrac ("alto braco", high place) has existed since the 12th century and its history is inseparable from the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
"In loco horris et vastae solitudinis"
Legend has it that a count called Adalard, of Flemish descent, made a vow to God during his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, that if he emerged unscathed form the numerous dangers found in the Aubrac in the 12th century (brigands, bad weather and very few markers), he would build a pilgrimage centre in these high lands.
He kept his word as the first buildings of the monastery-hospital serving the poor were built in 1120.
The scale of the hospitality was such that up to five thousand bread loaves could be given out in a day whilst accommodating five hundred people at the same time. The Domerie administered all this through a multitude of barns and sharecropping farms around Aubrac supplying this house, according to the charter of the foundation. Along with Roncevalles in the Pyrénées, Aubrac is one of the rate examples of this type of hospitality. Chateaubriand called it the "Saint Bernard of France" at the start of the 19th century.
The Domerie of Aubrac was the most powerful seigneury in the region up to the Revolution, at which time the monastery was partially destroyed.