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On the road to the castles

The trace of history

Cathar castles, bastides, fortresses, fortified villages… wars and religion have left their mark on our landscape. The imposing silhouettes of medieval citadels stand guard atop vertiginous cliffs. Veritable sentinels, they bear witness to a tumultuous and sometimes painful history… Yet their battered walls speak to us of the past, taking us on a journey where imagination vies withFrench history.


Montségur, the Cathar

To come to Montségur is to make a pilgrimage to the sources of the history of the Cathar rebellion. It became the seat and head of the Cathar Church, where the reprobates of the new religion took refuge. It witnessed the crushing of the last lights of the new faith. At the end of the siege of 1244, when they surrendered, the Perfect Ones who refused to renounce their faith were burnt alive at the stake. Although the Cathar village and outer fortifications were razed to the ground, the myth and legends surrounding the Cathar treasure remain… At the foot of the emblematic pog, the village of Montségur has been awarded the ” Grand site Occitanie” label and is currently part of the “Opération Grand Site de France” program.

Lagarde, from Aragon to France

Château de Lagarde is another impressive historic site in the Cathar Pyrenees.

Built in the 12th century on a hill overlooking the Ariège valley, it has been the scene of numerous battles throughout its history.

Château de Lagarde was built to protect the lands of the Counts of Foix from enemy invaders. Over the centuries, it was enlarged and fortified, becoming an important bastion in the defense of the region.

Roquefixade, a living castle

Built in the 11th century, the castle is perched on a rocky hillside at an altitude of around 700 metres, offering a breathtaking view of the surrounding valleys. Although the 11th-century watchtower was built in 1063 by Ramire I, King of Aragon, it was the King of France, Philippe II Auguste, who donated it to Guy I de Levis in 1212.

Whether you want to discover the history, culture and natural beauty of the Ariège region, whether you’re a history buff, a keen hiker or a lover of culture, you’ll find something to suit your aspirations when you visit Roquefixade.

Camon, with a hundred rosebushes

Nestled in the beautiful Ariège countryside, Camon is THE medieval gem of the Cathar Pyrenees. Its narrow streets still resonate with the activity that reigned around its abbey. The houses, with their arcades and red-tiled roofs, are typical ofAriege architecture. The rosebushes in bloom lining the streets make it a romantic and picturesque place to stroll, even if the ramparts are a reminder of its vocation as a military stronghold.


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