Col de Mouzoules

Col de Mouzoules

Architecture and village
History and culture
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A pretty circuit on small paths exploring the villages and valley around Mars.

4 points of interest

  • Fauna

    Eurasian blackcap

    Oak forest predominates on this slope but as you get closer to the pass, the trees become rarer. With a bit of luck, you may see a Eurasian blackcap. Its feathers are inconspicuous but the male can easily be identified by its shiny black cap, which stops abruptly just above the eyes. The blackcap particularly likes shrubs and dense thickets, where it builds its nest out of grasses. It sings vigorously in spring, but stops in mid-July.
  • History

    Memorial stone for the Camisards and the Gathering in the Wilderness

    The stone commemorates the arrest of a gathering of Camisards on 17 April 1742. After Luther’s Reformation in 1521, the Cévenols had converted en masse. By 1560, there were already numerous Protestant communities in the region. The 1598 Edict of Nantes accorded Protestants the freedom of conscience and the freedom to worship. And yet, from 1660 onwards, harassment began with the prohibition of certain positions for Huguenots. The King’s soldiers (the Dragoons) were billeted in locals’ houses and given the right to do anything short of killing them. Brutality, bullying, pillaging of food, destruction of possessions and forced baptisms incited locals to convert to Catholicism. This regime of terror was so effective that just the threat of such a dragonnade sufficed to convert entire villages. (...) A gathering in the Wilderness [secret Protestant service in an isolated outdoors location] was held at Mouzoules. It was denounced by a traitor who, after the tragedy, was forced by the Huguenots to dig his own tomb at the bottom of the Mouzoules meadow. Eleven people were arrested. The men were sent to the galleys, the women locked up in the Tour de Constance tower in Aigues-Mortes. Not one of the women recanted; most died there.
  • Architecture

    The village of Bréau

    The origin of the name is uncertain. For some, Breono is the Latin form of the Gaulish brogilos, which became brueilh in Occitan. Brueilh means copse, wood. For others, Breono comes from Brannus, an alternative name for Bellenus, a Celtic god. The temple (Protestant church) of Bréau dates from 1845. (...) It has the unusual characteristic of being octagonal; its steps were carved by local craftsmen. The first temple had been destroyed in 1664 by the King’s soldiers, assisted by requisitioned locals.
  • History

    The village of Mars

    The village of Mars takes its name from the Latin name Marcius or, according to some, from the God of iron because there used to be iron mining near the village. The forged-iron guardrail at the Mairie (town hall) shows three wild boars and symbolises the interest of a part of the population in hunting.
    On the return leg, before entering the village, you will see granite rocks of an astonishing size. On 14 September 1843, torrents of rain fell on Quier mountain, which Mars backs onto.
    The rocks were allegedly transported here by the water that day.


Signposts will guide you all along this route. In the description below, the signposted place names and/or directions are given in bold italics between quotation marks:

Starting at “MARS ", walk towards "COL DE MOUZOULES" via "Le Truel" and "Cougnéral".
At the signpost "Cougnéral", walk to the Col de Mouzoules pass, then retrace your steps.
Back at the signpost "Cougnéral", head towards "BRÉAU" via "La Bernadelle - Ouest".
At “Bréau”, walk towards "MARS" via "Fontaine de La Surle" and "La Bernadelle - Est".

This walk is taken from the guidebook Les Vallées Cévenoles - En Pays Viganais, published by the Communauté de communes Pays Viganais-Cévennes as part of the collection Espaces Naturels Gardois and the label Gard Pleine Nature.
  • Departure : Mars: Mairie (town hall)
  • Arrival : Mars: Mairie (town hall)
  • Towns crossed : Bréau-Mars


Altimetric profile


Make sure your equipment is appropriate for the day’s weather conditions. Take enough water, wear sturdy shoes and put on a hat. Please close all gates and barriers behind you.

Information desks

Tourism office Cévennes and Navacelles, Le Vigan

Maison de pays, place du Marché, BP 21, 30120 Le Vigan 67 81 01 72

This office is part of the National Park's associated tourist-information network, whose mission is to provide information on, and raise awareness of, the sites and events as well as the rules that must be observed in the National Park's central zone.
Open year-round

Find out more

Access and parking

From Le Vigan toward Cavaillac on the D999, then towards Aulas on the D190, then to Mars on the D272.

Parking :

Limited parking at the mairie (town hall).


Parc national des Cévennes

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