Historic Sites of the Grimaldis of Monaco: the Rock of Carlat

The Rock of Carlat, atop which once sat a vast fortress said to be "the most formidable citadel of all southern France", can be found in Carlat, a village of nearly 400 inhabitants in the Cantal, in the old county of Carladès.

On her birth, Princess Gabriella, the daughter of H.S.H. Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, became Countess of Carladès, an area that today includes 18 villages and towns in two départements of France: Aveyron (using the Carladez spelling) and Cantal.

The Rock of Carlat is a basalt plateau that spans 2 hectares. It was once the site of a fortress said to be "unassailable",  the seat of the Vicomté of Carlat. In 1643, the Vicomté became the Comté of Carladès. Then King of France, Louis XIII, gave it to Prince Honoré II of Monaco, but with the French Revolution, the Principality lost its claim to Carladès. The Rock of Carlat was bought in 1911 by the Société de la Haute-Auvergne, to protect the historic monument from those who might seek to exploit it as a quarry. The Rock of Carlat was finally handed back to the Grimaldi family in 1914.