Ariege historic attractions
Ariege historic attractions are plentiful within easy reach of the Moulin.
For anyone who hasn’t read the books by Kate Moss – Labrynth, Sepulchre, Citadel, then we certainly can recommend them. They all capture the history of this area. From the early Cathar history 13 & 14 century to the more recent atrocities inflicted on the local population by the Nazi occupation.
There is of course Historic Carcassonne and Toulouse within 90 minutes. Then closer to home, the medieval town of Mirepoix with its timbered market place and its church with the largest arched roof span in the south of France. Le Chateau de Foix possibly the only Cathar castle still intact, is particularly good to visit to learn about the Cathar history.
Montsegur, the last castle where the Cathars holed up and 600 were burned alive for not recanting their faith. It is worth a visit if only to absorb the atmosphere, and admire the fantastic view it offers, though there is little left of the Castle. On the way to Montsegur you could pass the Roquefixade another old cathar castle. Further afield are Peyrepetuse and Queribus and others.
Cave Drawings :- The caves and cave drawings produced by prehistoric man are well worth visiting. There is more cave art in the Tarascon area than anywhere in Europe. 4 are in the Tarascon area. In particular Niaux, Lombrives, Bedeilhac & La Vache. Not only that but the caves are still totally natural. You do not visit a replica. The Prehistoric Parc museum near Tarascon is also well worth a visit.
La Grotte de Mas d’Azil :- located 8 kms from the Moulin. A natural cave which prehistoric man inhabited for 600 years. There is an excellent guided visit to the Grotte de Mas d’Azil that includes entrance to the museum in Mas d’Azil.
St Girons & St Lizier :- Just the other side and overlooking St Girons, is the wonderful, historic Cite of St Lizier. A UNESCO World Heritage site unusual in that it has two cathedrals. Well known for the Bishops Palace, The Cathedral and the ancient Apothecary’s Shop. Is was a stop over for Pilgrims on the route to Santiago di Compostela. One of the prettiest villages in France. It has 2 inexpensive Cafes in the square and a fine dining restaurant, Le Carre d l’Ange, at the Bishops Palace, with spectacular views of the Pyrenean chain.