Montolieu, Aude: tourism & sightseeing
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When you have tired of the medieval magnificence of Carcassonne, you might like to head west for a bit of tranquility and a change of scenery. The towns of Montolieu, Saissac and Revel all deserve a visit and are along the same road.
Montolieu and Saissac are in western Languedoc, and Revel is slightly further west, across the border into the Haute-Garonne Department (Midi-Pyrenees region)
Montolieu is a small, pretty village, which prides itself as being a 'village of books and graphic arts', and is a good place to browse through old books - there are perhaps 15 bokshops in the village, as well as a museum on the subject, and the possibility to learn about bookbinding.
Stop here in Montolieu anyway, even if you aren't interested in books, just for an amble around the village, in an attractive setting on a rocky outcrop between two rivers. The village is spread out along a low ridge with gorges either side and centred around the church that dominates the centre of the village and there is also on old stone bridge across the river.
At Saissac the highlight is undoubtedly the chateau, in its fine wooded setting on a raised rock spur to one end of the village. The Chateau de Saissac is a cathar castle with good views across the Carcassone plains and dating from the 10th century. A significant part of the ruined chateau has been restored in recent years and is now open to the public.
Saissac also contains a part of the original ramparts including two towers and a gateway, a good number of medieval houses to see in the village streets, and a church with origins in the 12th century (although much of the current building is a 17th century reconstruction after fire damage destroyed much of the original building. The Hotel des Saptes is the most impressive medieval house in the village, and the Maison Soldano one of the oldest, dating from the 13th century.
Moving on next to Revel, a 14th century bastide town, the original central market hall is still intact (most aren't - see Villereal in Lot et Garonne for another good example), and with a belfry on top. There are also a good number of medieval houses in Revel, some half-timbered, which is seen at its best on market day, Saturday.
Close to Revel you can also visit Saint-Ferréol - the main reservoir of the Canal du Midi (a UNESCO world heritage site)
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Map of Montolieu and places nearby
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Address: Montolieu, Alzonne, Carcassonne, Languedoc-Roussillon, 11170, France || GPS: latitude 43.31, longitude 2.2158
Plan your visit to Montolieu, Aude
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Carcassonne: heritage site (16 km)
- Cité de Carcassonne: site of natural beauty (17 km)
- Carcassonne City: grand site of france (17 km)
- Gouffre de Cabrespine: site of natural beauty (20 km)
- Revel: recommended detour (24 km)
- Limoux: recommended detour (28 km)
The French version of this page is at Montolieu (Francais)