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Catching Up

October 7, 2014

On Saturday I visited another Cathar Country site, the Abbey of Lagrasse, which sits on a perfect spot on the banks of the Orbieu river. The medieval town grew up along the opposite bank, and is designated one of the most beautiful villages in France. The abbey and its monks were instrumental in the fall of Carcassonne to the king’s crusaders; it’s not clear to me whether any Cathars took refuge there.


The town is more interesting. It took me longer to get there than I had planned, so I missed the small morning market, which is held in a 1000 year-old halle, pictured below.

Le Halle

This entryway leads into the vilAlong the Orbieulage.  Archway

It’s easy to get lost amid the narrow, winding streets, especially if, like me, you’re always looking up. It’s a charming place to spend a few hours.

Les Trois Graces Windows and Ivy

Outside what’s left of the ramparts, stately plane trees line the main street, with a half-dozen or more cafés offering lunch, and ateliers beckoning you to come in and look around. Remains of the fortifications include La Tour de Plaisance, which keeps watch across the river to the abbey.

Tour de Plaisance

The best views of the village are from the windy road leading into town, but there are few spots to stop and enjoy the view.  View of Lagrasse

En route home, I passed by the aerodrome in the town of Lézignan just in time to see the end of this:


From → Solo travel

  1. That view of the village from the windy road looks like a Maxfield Parrish painting, Diana.

  2. Thanks, John. I barely processed it, so it’s not fake!

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