The Montagne Noire
La Montagne Noire, en français

High up on the northern face of the Montagne Noire, one finds a group of villages of real charm and distinction...

DOURGNE with its wild countryside and ancient sites, has a long history (Gallo-Roman remains) and an eventful past. Established during medieval times in the Taurou valley, Dourgne was utterly devastated during the Albigensian crusade (11th century) by Simon de Montfort and reconstructed in its present location in the 14th century by King Philippe le Bel. The new "bastide" (town fortified against the perfidious English) subsequently became an important manufacturing centre.
The abbeys of "En Calcat" and «Sainte Scholastique".

: Tel: 05 63 74 27 19

: Nineteenth-century church. Frescoes by Dom Robert. Ruins of Contrast dominating the village.

: Château de Touscayrats (15th century), Château de Verdalle (16th/17th centuries), church of St Jean (13th century) on the pilgrim route to St Jacques de Compostelle.

: Fourteenth-century chateau.

: Church of St Jean (17th century). The maison Trilhe. The Chapelle des Escudiés.

: La Halle (16th century). Gothic church. Valley of the Bernazobre (Forest, caves of the Plo del May), Château Fontbruno, Monument to the Resistance.

SAINT-AVIT: Houses with half-timbering and corbel-work. Twelfth-century church, the oldest in the region.

: Chateau and church.

DURFORT: Quaintly poised amongst picturesque rocks, Durfort is a small commune in the hollow of the valley of the Sor at the foot of the Montagne Noire. Its speciality is copperware, formerly the traditional manufacture of utilitarian articles such as pots and pan but now increasingly engaged in more artisanal production.

: Its history is closely intertwined with that of the Benedictine abbey founded by Pépin le Bref during the eighth century. The medieval village built on the Oppidum de Berniquaut was destroyed in 1212 by Simon de Montfort. The Abbaye Notre-Dame de la Sagne was razed to the ground and rebuilt several times. Sorèze was also a target for the Protestants during the seventeenth-century religious wars, the bell-tower of St Martin being the sole remnant of the abbey left standing. The Benedictines rebuilt the abbey in the course of the 17th and opened a school there in 1682. The college, elevated to the rank of Ecole Royale Militaire by King Louis XVI, took students from all round the world. A private establishment after the Revolution, the school was given a new lease of life in 1854 by the Dominican Père Lacordaire and the Dominicans continued to teach there until 1978, when the task passed to laymen until its closure in 1991.
OFFICE DU TOURISME: Telephone 05 63 74 27 19
Website: www.paysdedourgne-tourisme.com

ABBAYE-ECOLE: Telephone 05 63 50 86 38
1 The Natural Regional Park of Upper Languedoc
2 The Sidobre
3 The Montagne Noire (Dourgne, Sorèze...)
4 Mazamet and region
5 The Monts de Lacaune - Brassac du Tarn
6 The Lakes and the Salvetois
7 The Valley of the Thoré
8 The Montredonnais

  9 The Valleys of the Orb and the Jaur
10 The Saint-Ponais
11 The Monts d'Orb

Following the wine trail:
12 The Faugérois
13 The Minervois
14 The Saint-Chiniannais
© Photography, Thomas Hallbert
© English translation, David Bond.
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