The Département de l’Aveyron (12) lies in the southwest of the Massif Central in south central France. The River Aveyron flows westwards through the middle of the department; the River Lot is in the north, the River Tarn in the south.
The Aveyron was formed in 1790 from an area which had once been the medieval County of Rouergue but which then formed the easternmost area of the gouvernement of Guyenne & Gascony. Its westernmost districts were transferred to the new Department of Tarn-et-Garonne in 1808.
In the Second World War the department was in unoccupied France 1040-2, and thereafter under German occupation. In 1941 the Vichy government placed it under the Regional Prefect at Montpellier for police and economic matters.
Since 1960 it has been in the Midi-Pyrénées region.
Rodez is its capital and the seat of its Bishop. The sub-prefectures of the other arrondissements are or have been Millau (in the southeast) and Villefranche-de-Rouergue (in the west). Espalion (in the northeast) and Saint-Affrique (south) were also sub-prefectures until 1926.