In Ariège blows the wind of history from the Middle Ages to the present day. Witness of an exceptional past, the castle of Foix, with its three towers, is one of the great sites of Occitanie.
On its rocky peak, the castle of Foix and its imposing stature, dominates the medieval town. With a strategic position at the confluence of the Arget and Ariège rivers, the Ariège castle had a strategic role: controlling access to the Haute Ariège valley, monitoring the lowland and protecting the counts behind its impregnable high walls.
Witness to a tumultuous past
Built in the year XNUMX, the Foix castle is the symbol of the power of a fiercely independent county committed to the defense of the Cathar cause. Resisting many assaults, the castle of Foix has never been defeated. During the Catholic Church's crusade against the Cathar heresy, the Counts of Foix, souls of the Occitan resistance, welcomed and protected the persecuted by refusing to submit to the authority of the King of France.
It is the cradle of the famous Counts of Foix: Gaston Fébus (1331-1391) and Henri III, king of Navarre, future king of France Henri IV.
In the Middle Ages, the castle had the reputation of being impregnable:
"El castels es both fortz that el mezis is defent"
“The castle is so strong that it defends itself”.
The museum space, an immersion in the heart of medieval times
After having crossed the cobbled streets of the city, discovered the half-timbered houses, the gargoyles at the corners of the streets or the secret passages, the fortress and its 3 towers stand in the sky.
Combining the real with the virtual, a visit to the castle and its interactive museum space is a real time machine.
Former Palace of the Governors, this museum tour modern and fun is an immersive invitation to the heart of the Middle Ages, to meet the counts.
Discover the history of the city and its castle, Catharism, bewitching projection of daily life, its legends or even the splendor of the court of the counts in the Middle Ages, the visit of this interpretation space is rich and exciting, for young and old alike.
The castle, a fortress against time
Leaving the museum space, head for the castle. After having trodden the cobblestones which lead to the terraces of this mastodon classified as historical monuments, one reaches a breathtaking view, a extraordinary panoramic view of the Pyrenees and the medieval city.
Inside the castle and its 3 towers where time seems to have stood still: we discover the large banquet hall, Count's room, la weapons room, the dungeon, the scriptorium. All the rooms are arranged and furnished as if Gaston Fébus and his court still occupied the premises.
Outside, spectacular war machines proudly enthroned on the terraces: trebuchet, stone quarry, drum winch… Thus all around the castle still reigns an atmosphere of a medieval fortress.
Many participatory workshops allows everyone to immerse themselves a little more in this atmosphere alongside characters straight from the Middle Ages, such as La Chignole, Cordilh, Brunissende ...
Crossbow shooting, stone cutting, forging, demonstrations of war machines and operation of construction machines ... informative and fun workshops which certainly promise an unforgettable visit to the castle of Foix.
Good to know
It is time for lunch ?
Do not forget that you can go down to eat in the town of Foix and return to the castle of Foix to continue your visit after the meal!
Find your restaurant in Foix