Rich in a glorious industrial past around textile production, Lavelanet, is the most important town in the Pays d'Olmes. Ideally located at the crossroads of extraordinary natural sites that are unique in the world, such as the Fontestorbes fountain, it is a city where the sweetness of life allows all travelers to spend different holidays, summer and winter.
A glorious industrial past
In Lavelanet, it is all the glorious past of the industrial period that transpires from the walls of houses and factories. This past is that of glory, but also of decline. From the Middle Ages, Lavelanet was the flagship of the textile industry Ariège. At the beginning rudimentary, the main operations being carried out at home and by hand, the practice becomes more professional over the centuries.
The know-how linked to technical progress and the specialization of the profession brings, in particular to Lavelanet, its title of the Ariege textile capital and, in general in the Pays d'Olmes, a national influence of a qualified workforce. Many companies settle there, the city thrives.
Sadly, in 1980, many textile companies closed due to foreign competition, especially Asian. Restructuring and staff reductions are not enough to stem the phenomenon ... Today, only a pinch of them continue their activity.
A little tour of the museum!
Even today, you can see traces of Lavelanet's glorious past by visiting the textile and horn comb museum ! This museum is a little gem in the heart of the Land of Olmes, which plunges the visitor into the heart of the textile era, from the Middle Ages to the 21strd century.
During the visit, we discover the fabric manufacturing process in a special atmosphere in the heart of the first textile factory in Lavelanet, perfectly well preserved. How the mechanical spinning works, weaving process, dyeing… everything is there at the Museum of Textile and the Horn Comb.
Close to extraordinary natural and cultural spots
Lavelanet is located in an incomparable green setting, between forests, large plateaus, gorges and lakes of incredible beauty.
The forest of Belesta, the most famous of Ariège, extends over more than 1000ha and has been famous since the 16th century for its pine groves exploited for shipbuilding purposes under Colbert, whose transport was carried out by water to Toulon . She is exceptional and promises to beautiful family walks, to the sound of silence, and the discovery of magical places like the Crows Chasm, impressive hole over 200m deep.
Close to the forest and Lavelanet, the Fontestorbes intermittent fountain is a unique phenomenon in the world! In summer, it cascades for 30 minutes, then suddenly stops for the next 30 minutes! A mysterious and bewitching place ❤️
Very close to Lavelanet, you can visit major unmissable sites: Mirepoix, medieval country house with hundreds of pastel colors, Montsegur et Roquefixade Cathar castles, witnesses of a troubled period of history in Languedoc.
Lavelanet, close to the Monts d'Olmes
In winter, staying at Lavelanet is ideal for going skiing in the Monts d'Olmes! In the heart of the Massif de Tabe, the Monts d'Olmes ski resort welcomes families and nature lovers on a ski area spreading from 1400 m to 2000 m altitude.
30 minutes from Lavenalet, 1 hour from Carcassonne and 1h30 from Toulouse, the Monts d'Olmes resort, in the heart of a pine forest, delights all skiers, beginners, experienced from the youngest to the oldest with its 20 km of slopes!