Languedoc Roussillon Mas / Magnanerie

One of the most iconic types of stone houses found in the Languedoc Roussillon region is the Mas. It is also sometimes called a Magnanerie, referring to the Mas properties where silkworms were bred.

A Mas is a type of traditional Languedoc Roussillon farmhouse, a medium-to-large rural property. A Mas can also be a Bastide-style French house, a farm or part of a wine domaine.

This traditional house found in the south of France, was originally a farm producing fruit, vegetables, grain, milk, meat and even silkworms. These traditional properties are made of local stone.

Not every farmhouse in Languedoc Roussillon can be described as a Mas, that has distinctive features:

  • The house is built to have its rear facing the dominant wind direction.
  • On this side of the house, windows are of very small in order to insulate the house against the summer heat or the cold in winter.
  • Languedoc Roussillon mas are generally rectangular-shaped houses with gently sloping roofs. Occasionally they are L or U shape.
  • A small Mas is called Mazet or Petit Mas.

The size of a Mas property depends on the wealth of its original occupants. The Mas was always built of inexpensive local stones or wood. Stones were generally taken from nearby river bassins (the Durance River for example).

Some Mas properties were built using red stones and clay (foremost in the Roussillon area of France). Some others were built with stone from Spain, as a result of the strong Spanish/Catalan influence on the regions culture and architecture.

The traditional Languedoc Roussillon Mas is nowadays a very sought-after type of properties.

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