Arts and crafts
The village of Durfort nestles in a steep-sided valley on the banks of the Sor. Even today, craftsmanship is its main activity.
Durfort and its craftsmen
Copper and other materials
Durfort has long been famous throughout the region as the city of copper. This is where an economic transformation took place in the 15th century: the inhabitants began to work with copper. With the addition of heavy hydraulic hammers powered by the Sor, the village watermills switched from clothmaking to working with copper.
Other craftsmen were drawn to the valley where they wove baskets and worked with materials such as glass, leather, iron, wood and down. Despite this diversification, Durfort remains one of the last centres of copper working in France.
Durfort used to boast eighteen hydraulic hammers. Waste copper was melted down to make disks which were then worked into the shape of rough cauldrons by hydraulic hammers. These were then hand-finished by coppersmiths and cauldron-makers to produce a variety of objects including pots, pans, skillets and cauldrons. To see what these hammers looked like and how did they work, watch our video.
I adore the pretty streets of this village where water from the mountain flows down the middle of the road past half-timbered houses. I feel I am in the Middle Ages!
Durfort and the art of working with copper
The Copper Museum
Discover the ancient skills of working with copper by visiting Durfort and its Copper Museum.
The Castlar of Durfort
A wonderful hike
Climb up the steep slopes of the Montagne Noire and visit Castlar, a fortified site that was the original village of Durfort.
Keeping the traditions alive
Durfort is the only village in Occitanie that has conserved the traditional knowledge of working with copper. Monsieur Bonnefous is the one of the last coppersmith in the village, and his shop, Cuivres d’Elodie, is filled with all sorts of objects made from copper including culinary moulds, saucepans and cauldrons.
From glass fusing to a machine from another age that sorts goose down, there are as many different crafts as craftsmen in Durfort, as you will discover if you visit their workshops.
Durfort cured meats
On the edge of Durfort is a company called Montagne Noire which produces cured meats including cured hams and different styles of sausage. Don’t forget to call in at the factory shop to buy some of their tasty products.