Mende gives the impression of a large rural town hidden behind a ring of boulevards and watched over by its impressive cathedral, which seems to have eluded time. It holds the record as the least populated département of France. It is true to say that serenity is a byword here, far from the hustle and bustle of the contemporary world. As you wander along the winding streets, lined with austere façades, you may catch the occasional glimpse of a decorated doorway or a small shrine.
©Graeme Churchard/Flickr-CC BY (detail)Mende