By the 1st century AD there was a settlement on the spot, identified by Dieudonne du Rey late in the 19th century as Condatomagus, which was the major earthenware centre in the Roman Empire, La Graufesenque. This major Roman site supplied most of the best pottery right across the Roman Empire for 150 years. It was not in the centre of the town but sat on the right bank of the River Tarn 800 metres (2,600 ft) away. Yet even today, with much major new development, the centre of the old Roman and medieval town on the opposite (left) bank of the Tarn remains poorly excavated, and the newly renovated Maison du Peuple, almost on the site of the old Roman forum, saw no archaeology before major mechanical excavation for recent new very deep foundations. Surprisingly, the local museum sits almost adjacent to this site.
In the Middle Ages the town had one of the major mediaeval bridges across the River Tarn. With 17 spans, if it were still standing it would be a major monument; but one poorly maintained span fell in the 18th century, and so the bridge was mostly demolished. Just one span remains, with a mill, now an art gallery, as testament to this significant trading route from north to south across pre-Renaissance France.
In 1999, José Bové, a local Larzac anti-globalisation activist demolished the Millau McDonalds as it was being built, in symbolic protest of the spread of fast food, Americanization, and the spread of ‘Genetically Modified Organisms/crops’ (GMO). The McDonalds was later rebuilt, and Bové received a Presidential pardon from then French President Jacques Chirac.
In the 21st century, clear of traffic jams, the town is a tourist centre with one of the largest touring campsites in central France, and it is a major centre for sporting activity.