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On the road to the castles

The trace of history

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


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. This place 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 the outer fortified wall 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 is labeled Grand site Occitanie and currently in Opération Grand Site de France.

Lagarde, from Aragon to France

Le 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.

Le 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 and became an important bastion for the defense of the region.

Roquefixade, a living castle

Built in the 11th century, the chateau is perched on a rocky hill at around 700 meters above sea level, offering uninterrupted views of the surrounding valleys. While the 11th century watchtower was built in 1063 by Ramire I, King of Aragon, it was indeed 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 wonderful Ariège countryside, Camon is The medieval gem of the Cathar Pyrenees. Its narrow streets still resonate with the activity that reigned around its abbey. These houses with their arcades and red-tiled roofs are typical of the architecture ariègeoise. The rosebushes in bloom lining the streets make it a romantic and picturesque place to stroll, even if the ramparts are sure to remind you of its vocation as a military bastion.


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