Vieux Mirandol, Vieux Tanus and Vieux Jouqueviel

Tour du château de Tanus le Vieux (Tarn)

What if we recount you the story of these forgotten villages which were for a long time populated, then, suddenly deserted. This is the story of the Vieux Mirandol, the Vieux Tanus and the Vieux Jouqueviel.


Mirandol is the diminutive of the occitan Miranda : « watch tower ».


It is said that the bells of the Vieux Mirandol fell in the Viaur during a war; since then, they would keep on chiming on St Jean of winter’s day.


The vieux Tanus was a village nestled on the Viaur’s valley bottom. At the limits of the Tarn and the Aveyron, not far from the abandoned village of Las Planques. The castle already existed in XIIIth century, held by soldiers, vassals of the Count of Toulouse for “wartimes”. His strategic positioning allowed to control the passing on the river and on the road Toulouse-Rodez. But it mainly served as a refuge to the neighbouring population during lootings and wars. Overtime, the population left this steep-sided village to go up on the plateau and to cultivate it. The village’s namecame along with the inhabitants; the hamlet of the Hut became the village of Tanus.


As for Jouqueviel…what is its history? Jouqueviel’s etymology is coming from the occitan “jocal vielh”, roost old. Indeed, Jouqueviel was formerly built on the top of a summit of small height, on steep slopes. The castle had nothing majestic because all of the buildings’ extension was prevented by the lack of space. The platform of Jouqueviel, as a matter of fact only allowed the presence of a tower (of which we can still, these days, distinguish the ruins), isolated by a pit and surrounded by few modest constructions, nowadays vanished. It seems, according to late mentions, that it would date from the XIIIth century even if the presence of a fortified site could be widely predated.

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