The Community of Communes of Millau Grands Causses was created on June 22, 1989 with Aguessac, Compeyre Creissels Millau Paulhe. Today the community has 14 towns with Comprégnac, Saint-Georges-de-Luzençon La Roque-Sainte-Marguerite, Saint-André-de-Vézines, Mostuéjouls, Peyreleau, Rivière-sur-Tarn and Veyreau.
The Millau countryside also played an important part in the French film Total Western, by Eric Rochant.
Millau (Milhau ) is a commune in the Aveyron department in the French Occitanie region in southern France. It is 70 km from the Aveyron prefecture headquarters in Rodez. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Tarn and Dourbie. It is surrounded by the landscapes of Gorges du Tarn, Causse du Larzac and Causse Noir. It is part of the former province of Rouergue where they also communicate through a form of Occitan language: the Rouergat dialect. Its inhabitants are called Millavois and Millavoises. The territory of the municipality is part of the Regional Natural Park of Grands Causses.
In 1361, during the Hundred Years War, the city came under English rule. The return to peace in the fifteenth century gave the city a boost. It is Louis XI which connects Millau to the crown in 1476 by letters patent.
After he dies, Tallis for a moment imagines the life she might have had if Luc had survived and if she had married him and come to live with him in Millau: "She imagined the unavailable future – the boulangerie in a narrow shady street swarming with skinny cats, piano music from an upstairs window, her giggling sisters-in-law teasing her about her accent, and Luc Cornet loving her in his eager way. She wanted to cry for him, and for his family in Millau who would be waiting to hear news from him. But she couldn't feel a thing. She was empty.""
In 1999, José Bové, a local Larzac anti-globalisation activist demolished the Millau McDonald's as it was being built, in symbolic protest of the decision by the Court of the World Trade Organization to allow the United States to overtax the import of the local cheese called Roquefort, in retaliation for the European Union refusing the import of US hormone treated meat. It was also an opportunity to protest against the spread of fast food, Americanization, and the spread of 'Genetically Modified Organisms/crops' (GMO). The McDonald's was soon rebuilt, and Bové spent a few weeks in jail. He is now representative at the European Parliament.
By the ninth century the town has grown and is the seat of a viguerie, a mediaeval administrative court, and a centre for the production of lambskin gloves. At this time the town is surrounded by ramparts. The tenth and eleventh centuries saw the creation of the Viscount of Millau and subsequently passed to the Counts of Provence, the Counts of Barcelona and eventually, in 1112, to the father of the future King of Aragon, Béranger III following his marriage to the daughter of the Viscount of Millau. In 1187, the King of Aragon grants him the seal and communal freedom of Provence by Consular Charter. A consulate was thus created, and was responsible for administering the city to raise taxes and to apply justice. In 1271, Millau passed to the crown of the kings of France.
The Millau Viaduct was completed in 2004, eliminating traffic jams in the town centre. The town is now a tourist centre with one of the largest touring campsites in central France, benefiting from the attraction of the landscapes all around, and the architecturally acclaimed Millau viaduct. It is also a major centre for outdoor sporting activity.
The territory surrounding the town of Millau is characterized by livestock production and the maintaining of natural grasslands, fields and temporary pastures. It also consists of a multitude of gorges, ravines and defiles which are the defining characteristic of this country. These predominantly agricultural rural areas like the rest of this fragile region, are protected by the Regional Natural Park of Grands Causses.
Piers were built with Lafarge high performance cement. The pylons of the Millau Viaduct, which are the tallest elements (the tallest pylon – 244.96 m) were produced and mounted by PAECH Construction Enterprise from Poland.
In July 1996 the jury decided in favour of a cable-stayed design with multiple spans, as proposed by the Sogelerg consortium led by Michel Virlogeux and Norman Foster. The decision to proceed by grant of contract was made in May 1998; then in June 2000, the contest for the construction contract was launched, open to four consortia. In March 2001, Eiffage established the subsidiary Compagnie Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau (CEVM), and was declared winner of the contest and awarded the prime contract in August.
Christian Dubois-Millot, pen name Christian Millau (30 December 1928 – 5 August 2017), was a French food critic and author.
Part of Ian McEwan's award-winning novel Atonement (2001) centers on Briony Tallis, a nurse in a London hospital in June 1940, to which wounded British and French soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk were brought. In a poignant passage, she is comforting Luc Cornet, a young soldier from Millau who is dying of severe head wounds. In his delirium he talks of the town, of his family and his father's boulangerie where he worked, and mistakes Tallis for his own fiancée.
Traditional arms of the city of Millau
Millau is a sub-prefecture of the Aveyron department in the Occitanie region.
The education establishments in the town of Millau report to the Academy of Toulouse. The Public school is the College Marcel Aymard, a technological and professional General School. The Private school is the College and Lycée Jeanne d'Arc. Vocational education can be found at the 2iSA (Computer Institute South Aveyron). Higher Education includes the Institute of Nursing Training (IFSI), BTS qualifications can be done at Jean Vigo High School, and Higher Education at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) of Millau.
The Millau Viaduct, the tallest cable-stayed road bridge in the world, which carries the A75 autoroute across the valley of the Tarn near Millau, relieves the town of much traffic, especially during the summer months.
The city is the seat of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of South Aveyron Millau. The municipality operates the airfield of Millau-Larzac. Having been recognized for over a century as the "capital of leather and glove" Millau is renowned for its activity tannery (leather gloves). The town is best known for its sheepskin gloves, for which it led the French fashion industry for two centuries. It gained the title of "City and Art Professions" in 2000.
Under its original authors and for many years after they left, Gault Millau never awarded a score of 20 points, under the argument that perfection is beyond the limitations of a normal human being. In 2004, two restaurants, both of chef Marc Veyrat, the Maison de Marc Veyrat (or L'Auberge de l'Eridan) in Veyrier-du-Lac near Annecy and La Ferme de Mon Père ("My Father's Farm") in Megève, received this score. To some, this reflects a fall of standards in the guide after it changed from employing a permanent editorial and tasting staff to using local agents.
The Millau Viaduct is part of the A75 –A71 autoroute axis from Paris to Béziers and Montpellier. The cost of construction was approximately € 394 million. It was built over three years, formally inaugurated on 14 December 2004, and opened to traffic two days later on 16 December. The bridge has been consistently ranked as one of the great engineering achievements of all time, and received the 2006 Outstanding Structure Award from the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering.