Foix

Foix (French pronunciation: [fwa] ; Occitan: Fois [ˈfujs, ˈfujʃ]; Catalan: Foix [ˈfoʃ]) is a commune, the former capital of the County of Foix. It is the capital of the department of Ariège as it is the seat of the prefecture of that department. Foix is located in the Occitanie region of southwestern France. It is the second least populous French departmental capital, the least populous being Privas. Foix lies south of Toulouse, close to the borders with Spain and Andorra.

It is only the second biggest town in Ariège, the biggest being Pamiers, which is one of the two sub-prefectures, the other being St Girons. Foix is twinned with the English cathedral city of Ripon, with the Spanish towns of Sarroca de Lleida and Lerida and the Andorran capital Andorre-la-Vieille...Read more

Foix (French pronunciation: [fwa] ; Occitan: Fois [ˈfujs, ˈfujʃ]; Catalan: Foix [ˈfoʃ]) is a commune, the former capital of the County of Foix. It is the capital of the department of Ariège as it is the seat of the prefecture of that department. Foix is located in the Occitanie region of southwestern France. It is the second least populous French departmental capital, the least populous being Privas. Foix lies south of Toulouse, close to the borders with Spain and Andorra.

It is only the second biggest town in Ariège, the biggest being Pamiers, which is one of the two sub-prefectures, the other being St Girons. Foix is twinned with the English cathedral city of Ripon, with the Spanish towns of Sarroca de Lleida and Lerida and the Andorran capital Andorre-la-Vieille.

 Château des Comtes de Foix

The Romans built a fort on the steep rock from which Foix castle now dominates the town. The town of Foix probably owes its origin to an oratory founded by Charlemagne, which afterwards became the Abbey of Saint Volusianus in 849.

The founding, in 849, of the Abbey Saint-Volusien allowed the development of urban living in the tenth century to the twelfth century. The city reached its peak in the fourteenth century.

The castle, whose foundations date back to the early tenth century, was a strong fortress that withstood the repeated attacks of Simon de Montfort IV between 1211 and 1217, during the Albigensian Crusade. In 1272, when the Count of Foix refused to recognize the sovereignty of the king of France, Philip the Bold personally took the leadership of an expedition against the city, subsequently the count surrendered. In 1290, at a meeting of the Béarn region and the county of Foix, the city was practically abandoned by the Counts. Gaston Phoebus was the last to have lived in the castle, and by the sixteenth century the castle had lost its military purpose. The castle was then used as a prison until 1864.

In 1536 began the first Reformation preaching in Foix, and in 1579 the church of Montgauzy was destroyed. The same fate awaited the abbey and its church in 1581. The following year, Foix was retaken by Catholics, and in 1589 the Count of Foix, Henry of Navarre, was crowned King of France and became Henry IV.

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