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The "Fesses de Madame"

Discover the legend of the source of the river Avy, a place with a rather bizarre nickname: the ‘Fesses de Madame’ or ‘Madame’s Buttocks’!

The Avy is a tributary of the river Mosson. Although it’s only around 200 metres long, the Avy’s waters can be impressively fast-flowing after heavy rain. But its nickname causes even greater astonishment.

The source of the Avy

Les Fesses de Madame © Photothèque Hérault Tourisme

At Grabels, on the outskirts of Montpellier and just below the plateaux of Naussargues and Bel Air, the reappearance of the River Avy is a rather strange place. To start with, there is its nickname: ‘Madame’s Buttocks’, derived from the suggestive shape of the two blocks of stone that overhang the spring. But its long history is also unusual. Traces of Neolithic pottery have been found there; Hannibal is said to have stopped there on his way towards Rome in 219 BC, as did Bertrand Du Guesclin in 1365 on his way to Spain. But like many other places, it has its own legend too. From the earliest times, it has been thought to be a dragon’s cave…

It offers a very nice walk for all the family; and they can take advantage of the facilities in the picnic area.

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