Foix

n 1200 the area controlled by the Comte de Foix extended throughout the whole of Arriage and also to the south covering what is now Andorra. This eastern portion of Foix included both Mirepoix, Montsegur and the Pays du Salt but these were then ripped away and given to Jean de Levis during the Albigensian Crusade.

The western portion under the control of the Comte de Foix was the  completely separate Comte de Bearn. In the aftermath of the crusade the Compte had been forced to swear allegiance to the Franks for Foix itself. Bearn and Andorra however, had been virtually untouched by the crusade because of the fact that they were in different realms

For Andorra the Compte swore allegiance to Aragon. For Bearn the Comte swore allegiance to the English Kings. The result was  that the Compte de Foix was almost independent.  Even the Black Prince had serious doubts about entering Foix without a substantial army.

147/Foix/the Valley/1441Foix and it’s Chateau are almost another character in the story. The Chateau’s position on a rock in the middle of the town surrounded by the foothills of the Pyrenees is, to say the least, eye catching.

In 1355 there were only two towers ( the round tower was added later). The accommodation in the upper fortress was far from luxurious and the spiral staircases claustrophobic.

There were apartments built around the lower rock offering higher quality accommodation. This accommodation was obviously less robust than the upper chateau as this is the area which has fallen into decay. There was a separate access to these apartments from the south east but with the decay of the apartments it has been closed off.

The main entrance to the chateau was and still is to the north.

The ancient town of Foix clusters around the base of the rock.

The view from the battlements towards the Pyrenees is always spectacular, and the eagles still soar above and around the valley.

147/Foix/The Compte de Foix/1920

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