Along the Arcueil and the gold mines

Bonnac is a charming village bursting with character. Its main assets: a well-preserved vast local heritage and a privileged natural setting where Arcueil exudes a gentle way of life. 

Templars and lords

A glorious past

The commune has a deep historical past, from the priory that belonged to the Abbey of Cluny to the passage of the Templars, who left their mark on the village of Tempel and a Templar cross in the village of Bonnac.

The château, which stands on the western slopes of the village, has changed ownership several times over the years! Although the precise date when it was built is not known, we do know that it was occupied by noble families from the 16th to the 19th century.

A square house with two corner towers, featuring Limousin-influenced architecture. Anecdote? the lords of Bonnac were often also the Priors of Bonnac. The aptly named Rue du Château leads you there, but it is a private residence.

Templar cross in Bonnac

A rural heritage...

... Extensive and restored

Bread ovens, cattle crush, dovecotes and fountains are also reminders of the rural activities of bygone days and are sometimes the focus of restoration work. Discover this vast local heritage throughout the villages of the commune, where the locals still light the oven to share a meal.

Bread oven in Bonnac

The gold mines in Cantal

Gold? Even today, gold mines are still the stuff of dreams, with visions of hard work and wealth gleaming in the reflections of the gold veins…

Several prospecting operations have uncovered veins of gold-bearing arsenopyrite, leading investors and shareholders from all over the world to exploit the ravines around Bonnac. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Scoufour mines in particular were exploited: this booming activity proved to be barely profitable. But this doesn’t detract from the thrill of finding gold-bearing arsenopyrite quartz whilst out on a stroll…

Two reminders of this period can be found in the hamlet of Croûte: two sculpted heads embedded in the walls of the houses. These heads, representing Garibaldi, were sculpted by Italian miners working for a Franco-Italian company that exploited the Ouche mines (near Massiac).

Mines d'or de Bonnac

Gold mines in Bonnac

Two hiking trails starting from Bonnac

  • The Suc de Védrines hiking trail takes you to the highest point of Bonnac with a 360° view, past a gold mine exploration drilling site near Scoufour and through the village of Tempel. The panoramic view will be your reward before you return to the village.
  • From the Moulin de la Borie windmill, you can follow the Arcueil and stop off at the Ruisseau du Pontet stream. Ideal in the hot weather!