They are a mountain range in the South-East of the Massif Central of France (les Cévennes are part of the Languedoc-Roussillon administrative region). Their highest peaks are Mont Lozère and Mont Aigoual, respectively 1699 and 1657m high. This remote area has a special geography and an even more special history.
Here rivers separate between those flowing west to the Atlantic (Loire, Allier) and those flowing east and south to the Rhône and the Mediterranean (Ardèche and tributaries). The water dividing line follows the highest ridges of the area from Mont Lozère down South-East.
In the seventeenth century, during France’s long religious civil wars, les Cévennes were the theater of the protestant Camisards’s resistance to royal and catholic power. The war was atrocious with the King’s dragons persecuting the huguenot population, torturing men, molesting women and destroying crops and cattle. In the eighteenth century the Bête du Gévaudan terrorised farmers and their families.
Today the mountain is the site of a national park, and a welcoming haven of peace and beauty.
Book: Robert Louis Stevenson ~ Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes
- The Beast of Gévaudan (danakrehn.com)