The Ariège departement is in the Occitaine region
Click on a map to zoom
The Pyrenees mountains climb high to the south to reach the Spanish border
There are traces of early civilization 15,000 years ago in caves. Cathar castles are perched on steep rocky hills and resisted against the attacks of the Pope's armies, to finally find exile in the South. Fortified castles and towns continued to be used for many more mores, the only defense against invaders from the south and North.