A weekend in Foix: the essentials!

Foix
A weekend in Foix: th ...

Prefecture of Ariège, Foix is a charming medieval town nestled at the crossroads of two rivers, the Ariège and the Arget. Overlooked by its imposing castle perched on a rocky peak, the old town of Foix invites you to travel back in time. To smell its atmosphere with its strong character, we invite you to discover its essential points of interest and its hidden haunts!


Faith
Faith

Once upon a time in the city of Foix...

An impressive medieval castle

Faith
Faith
Faith


How to start a visit to Foix other than by the fortress which sits at the top? Perched on a rocky promontory at the foot of the Ariège Pyrenees, the Château de Foix has dominated the town since the Middle Ages. It has never been conquered despite the many sieges to which it has been subjected. Historic residence of the Counts of Foix, the most famous of whom is Gaston Fébus nicknamed the "Prince of the Pyrenees", it was also a garrison stronghold in the 14th century and then a prison in the 18th. After treading the cobblestones that lead to the terraces of this architectural jewel classified as a Historic Monument, we enter its enclosure. During the visit, we stroll through the banquet hall, the stewardship where the food is stored, the guard room, the count's bedroom, the dungeon, the scriptorium and even in the latrines! All the rooms are superbly fitted out and furnished as if Gaston Fébus and his court still occupied the premises.


Faith
Faith
Faith
Faith


A captivating museum

At the foot of the castle, the former governors' palace has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind museum trail . In the different rooms, this interactive and fun museum invites visitors to go back in time by discovering the history of the castle, the counts of Foix, its legends, the splendours of the court of the counts in the Middle Ages, or even the crusades . through models, videos, games, interactive content... An immersive projection around the Book of the Hunt by Gaston Fébus written in 1387 immerses young and old in the art of the illuminators who adorned ancient manuscripts and religious books. Allow a few hours if you are a history buff, as the museography is rich and fascinating!


Foix Museum
Foix Museum
Foix Museum
Foix Museum
Foix in the Middle Ages
Foix in the Middle Ages

Foix in the Middle Ages!

Stunning views of the old town

A visit to the castle offers magnificent views of the town of Foix, the medieval architecture and the mountain landscapes all around. From the top of the towers, the view is breathtaking!

The good idea: 5 km from Foix, visit Les Forges de Pyrène in season, for a journey through time to discover old trades.


Viewpoint Foix

A medieval garden with a thousand scents

On one of the castle's terraces, the senses are awakened in an authentic Medieval Garden which once healed body and soul. Sage, hyssop, mint, thyme… These plants with medicinal properties were widely used in the Middle Ages, a sort of natural pharmacy. This oasis of greenery and scents offers a breathtaking view of the city!


Foix Medieval Garden
Foix Medieval Garden


A medieval circuit through the alleys: an incentive to stroll!

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To take full advantage of the charms of Foix, leave your car outside the old town: it is easily explored on foot. Through its narrow streets steeped in history, an interpretive trail reveals the rich heritage and medieval heritage of the historic center of this merchant town. Various panels tell the story of the streets and the old trades. There is no shortage of curiosities: the Maison des Cariatides adorned with columns and statues of women supporting a cornice on their heads, listed as a Historic Monument, Place Duthil with its fountain, the goose fountain in rue Labistour, the half-timbered houses of wood in rue de la Faurie and place Parmentier, the narrow rue des Grands Ducs, rue du Rocher and rue des Marchands. But tell me, it's teeming with pretty shops, galleries and craftsmen's shops, bars and restaurants here! Beneath its air of a peaceful medieval quarter, Foix throbs.

The good idea: Amateurs of extraordinary visits, discover the underground river of Labouiche, in Baulou. Read our report!


A joyful troop of characters in costumes to discover ancestral trades

Within the walls of the fortress, medieval immersion is complete! At the foot of the three towers, various workshops are offered to discover the trades and know-how essential to daily life in the time of the Counts of Foix. Young and old have the opportunity to learn how to shoot a crossbow, cut stone, forge or even handle war machines! An interactive, fun and instructive visit that brings a fascinating era to life.


Faith
Faith
Faith


The great Friday morning fair

A place of conviviality and sharing, this market is the weekly meeting place for Fuxéens and the inhabitants of the neighboring valleys. In a lively and relaxed atmosphere, farmers and craftsmen join the regulars to present their best products to gourmets from 8 am to 1 pm every Friday morning. The fair is spread throughout the city, from the alleys of Villote to the historic center. Find fresh produce in the halle aux grains and seasonal fruits and vegetables in the halle Saint-Volusien . An explosion of colors and local flavors!

The good idea: Prepare a picnic and go to meet the Petrifying Waterfalls of Roquefort-les-Cascades 13 km from Foix!


Saint-Volusien Abbey

Saint-Volusien Abbey
Saint-Volusien Abbey
Saint-Volusien Abbey
Saint-Volusien Abbey


Here is a building with a tumultuous past! Saint Volusien Abbey is the oldest medieval settlement at the foot of the Rock. Its history is intimately linked to the city of Foix. Partly built in the 12th century, remodeled in the Gothic period, destroyed during the Wars of Religion then rebuilt in the 17th. Note the transept from the Romanesque period, the bell tower which was never completed, the 19th century organ, the heart formed by 9 chapels and the superb polychrome terracotta molding of the entombment dating from the 19th century.

The good idea: A nice hike 6km from Foix? Go and discover the mysterious Devil's Bridge...


The Pech terraces

The Pech terraces


To take a little height and contemplate the city surrounded by the chain of the Pyrenees, nothing like a beautiful walk of a few hours off the beaten track. This walk, indicated by a large sign “Sentier Découverte – Les Terrasses du Pech de Foix” begins in the town centre, at n°6 Cours Bouychères, opposite the Pont-Vieux. Take the Chemin des Asperges, marked in yellow, and start the ascent, which is a bit steep but accessible to all. The trail has information boards. As you climb (850 m), vertiginous panoramas of the medieval town are revealed, as well as the remains and ruins of houses scattered in the undergrowth. An orientation table allows a reading of the landscape framed by the Prat d'Albis (1200 m altitude), the Saint-Sauveur (700 m) and the Ariège Pyrenees in the background. A breath of fresh air for hiking enthusiasts!

Enjoy your stay in Foix!



Article and photos prepared by Lesley Williamson for the Guide Toulouse Pyrénées


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