Coat of arms of Saissac   Saissac
The Château de Saissac is a ruined Cathar castle in the southernmost tip of the commune of Saissac in the Aude département in the north-west of Carcassonne, France. It was once the residence of the powerful vassal family of Trencavel. Today the ruins are protected as official historical monuments of France. 
  Saissac is mentioned in a legal document (an Acte) from the Abbey of Montolieu in 958, and again in a text of 960. The village is typical of the Black Mountains and is built between the ravines of the rivers Aiguebelle and Vernassonne, just above their confluence. Things to see in the village include the porte d'Autan, a lavoire built in granite, a second covered lavoire and a fine echauguette. Vestiges of the city walls (enceinte) are still visible around the ancient village. These walls date from the Fourteenth century, the same period that the castle of Saissac was restored.  
Based on historical texts, the castle can be dated back to at least 960. At the time of the Albigensian Crusade in 1229, the lord of Saissac, Bertrand de Saissac, himself a Cathar, was the tutor of Raymond Roger de Trencavel.
  From 1995, the castle has been in the possession of the municipality, which began a programme of restoration in order to make the castle available to visitors. As of 2007 two rooms of the main building (the Aldonce residence, constructed in the 16th century) have been rebuilt in the 16th century style, together with the framework resembling the hull of a ship. Many locked cellars under the keep have now been made accessible.

  • Les Tours
  • La Porte d'Autan et La Porte de Cers et Echaugettes
  • L'Hôtel des Saptes
  • La Maison Soldano
  • L'église et l'école
  • Histoire d'eau
  • Lavoir et fontaine couverts de la Porte d’Autan
  • Le « Beal » des treizes meuniers
  • Espace de Liberté Arboretum
  • Le lac du Lampy
  • La Rigole de la Montagne

Les Tours

To the north of the old village are two towers which would have been built into the city walls. The one to the west has a rectangular plan and is built in large dressed stone blocks. On three sides it has imprressive encorbellements supporting Machicolations (machicoulis).

The tower to the east is of similar construction but of square plan. The stuctures high on the north side of the eastern face are not Machicolations but latrines. This tower, shown here on the right) is now the Musée des Vieux Métiers (Museum of of Old Trades).

Picture right - This building, in the town, has an impressive echaugette similar in design to those on the castle. The nearest point of the walls also shows evidence that there was another town gate here - you can see where the arch sprang and also a groove for the portcullis and gonds (pintels) for the wooden gate.

La Porte d'Autan et La Porte de Cers et Echaugettes

In the Middle Ages the village is thought to have had three entry gates: called Cers, Autan and Vairière. The area between the two towers described above is called the "New Gate" (porte neuve). There is no longer a gate here, but the name suggests that there once was, possibly built in the late Middle Ages. Of all of the gates at Saissac, only the porte d'Autan remains. It stands on the east side and is also known as the porte de Montolieu - the next significant village in that direction. Above it are three coats of arms, the top-most of which is easily recognisable as the cross of Toulouse. The others are thought to be those of Thury and of the village of Saissac. The gate also probably dates from the Fourteenth century. The walls were once defended by a series of towers of which one, la tour Rossignole, still stands. Two echauguettes dating from the Wars of Religion defended the western walls (near to the old porte de Cers, and opposite the present school). The name of this gate is presumably taken from the name of a west wind that blows in the Languedoc, also known as Cers.
  L'Hôtel des Saptes L'Hôtel des Saptes

In the early sixteenth century, four brothers from Tuchan, had settled near Conques with the installation of the first factory that they could convert into linen wool, linen and towels etc. .. and thus product quality made​.
For a century, enjoyed the family of great wealth.
The left the industry for what it was and focused judiciary. Francis Sapte was Count of Pujet Alzonne and had a castle built in 1620. It is possibly one of the relatives of Saptes "Drapiers Saissagais, who had built this beautiful hotel in Saissac, so this street was later named" Rue des Saptes.

La Maison Soldano

The town conserves many Medieval houses like " Soldano" house;, of Century XIII.

La Maison Soldano et L'Echoppe

A store was opened on the gable wall and contains a low bow. The amounts to be tightened in the lower 80 cm, so a narrow central corridor. Three degrees to reach the threshold.

On the facade, one on the right side of a sandstone arch is inscribed: 1750. Granite stones well cut to the arch and support.

L'église et l'école

The hotel became a wealthy bourgeois current school Saissac.

Picture right - This building, in the town, has an impressive echaugette similar in design to those on the castle. The nearest point of the walls also shows evidence that there was another town gate here - you can see where the arch sprang and also a groove for the portcullis and gonds (pintels) for the wooden gate.

Hystory of water
  The village Saissac retains many laundries of different eras, whose architecture has evolved in practice. They are covered and have two bottom tanks, where washerwomen knelt to rub their clothes, always in cold water! Used in the first rinsing basin and the second is used for the soaping machine. So that animals do not contaminate water, the trough is placed outside. Construction of washing-troughs, which is frequently found on the township, meets both domestic and agricultural needs. Stained glass windows in the choir

Lavoir et fontaine couverts de la Porte d’Autan

Built between 1889 and 1890, this set is unique in the township by the quality of its architecture. The pool is oval shaped, covered with a structure based on two granite columns themselves with capitals. The cross besides the Lavoir marks the location of a missing chapel, dedicated to St. Ignatius and cited in 1641.

It is from the 1950's that became widespread destruction or abandonment of washing. While these buildings do not always have a remarkable architecture, but they are the last memories of popular traditions now lost.

This covered wash is located under the road and has two upper basins. The height of the basin greatly facilitated the work of the washerwoman, who traditionally knelt on the ground, simply protected by a rustic wooden crate. The upper basins appear from the twentieth century and their realization is more expensive because it requires an elevated pipe, therefore more complex...

Located on the Place aux Herbes which took place in the market, the fountain is dated 1722. It is the oldest known fountain on the canton. Surmounted by a marble ball Caunes-Minervois, it is decorated with a coat of arms of the community Saissac: a brick tower. The Fountain 1851 Saissac floor calade avoided the mud.

Until the mid-twentieth century, this fountain was a very lively place that served both water supply point for men and trough for animals. It was very cool quicklime ... Women are also made ​​to wash their clothes as a washhouse was leaning against the fountain. They used the granite wall to ask baskets, beaters, soap ... Place aux Herbes and the fountain was restored in 2003.

The water in the fountain on which is carved the date 1851 came from the source of Terroun del Jump. She took the place of the cross of cancers, moved at this time and installed in front. Many fountains were walled in the middle of the twentieth century, to encourage people to use the drinking water network paying newly installed.
Lavoir et fontaine couverts de la Porte d’Autan

Lavoir et fontaine couverts de la Porte d’Autan

Le « Beal » des treizes meuniers
  This penstock captures and diverts waters Vernassonne Aiguebelle and to direct them to Saissac. Mentioned in a document in 1658, the béal was used to supply water mill, workshops, factories and mills. Its existence was a key factor in the economic development of the village, especially in the eighteenth century. Today, its use is limited to the irrigation of private gardens. Unusually, it passes through the village on a length of nearly two kilometers. Le « Beal » des treizes meuniers

Espace de Liberté Arboretum

The Arboretum du Lampy, also known as the Arboretum du Domaine du Lampy-Neuf, is a private arboretum located in Le Lampy-Neuf, Saissac, Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, France.
It is open daily.

The arboretum was first established in the 19th century as the Canal du Midi administration's experimental site for exotic trees. After forty years of neglect, restoration began in 1995. Older trees include araucarias, Lawson cypresses, sequoiadendrons, thujas, and Virginia tulip trees; these have been augmented with new plantings of cedar of Lebanon, Gingko biloba, liquidambar, Negundo maple, olive, etc.

Espace de Liberté Arboretum

Le lac du Lampy

The Bassin de Lampy was created during 1777 and 1781 when a dam was placed on the Lampy Valley in the Aude department in south-central France. The reservoir provides a source of water for the Canal du Midi. It was originally proposed in 1665 by the commission created by Louis XIV of France to evaluate Pierre-Paul Riquet's plan for the canal enterprise.

The original reservoir in support of the canal was at Bassin de St. Ferréol. In 1776 a link was provided between the canal and the Aude and the Canal de la Robine at Narbonne. This connection and an increase in barge traffic led to a requirement for more water.

A short time after the dam was complete, leaks were found. They were stopped by pouring a large quantity of quick lime into the reservoir. The particles of lime thus suspended and were carried into the leaking areas and filled all the openings in the joints of masonry and even into the stone.

The feeder canal from the basin to the canal is 52,552m. The basin covers some 24 hectares and contains some 1,600,000 cubic metres of water. It flows into the Bassin de St. Ferréol.

Le lac du Lampy

La Rigole de la Montagne

The rigole de la montagne was an important facet of the Canal du Midi, engineered by Pierre-Paul Riquet in southern France. The canal itself was built during 1666-1681. A critical aspect of the Canal du Midi was the supply of sufficient water to feed the canal. Each boat traversing its length would require a large quantity of water in the locks in order to climb or descend. The original plan was to take water from the Sor River at Revel via the rigole de la plaine and transport it to the Bassin de Naurouze to provide a source of water for the canal. In order to placate mill owners fearful that they would lose too much water from the Sor, the rigole de la montagne would supplement the Sor upstream from the rigole de la plaine at Conquet. It was to collect water from the Alzau stream, as well as others, and divert them to the River Sor at Conquet. In 1664, Louis Nicolas de Clerville had the idea for a single large dam of the Laudot valley near Saint Ferreol, which became the Bassin de Saint-Ferréol. He also had the idea of digging a tunnel through the Cammazes ridge to connect the rigole de la montagne to the reservoir in the valley without utilizing the Sor river at all. In 1686, the engineer, Marshal Sebastien Vauban, extended the rigole de la montagne 4.5 miles from Conquet to connect it to the Bassin de St. Ferréol. The path included a 132-yard, tunnel at the village of Les Cammazes...

La Rigole de la Montagne
Le Bout du Monde

Restaurant Campsite Le Bout du Monde - VERDUN-EN-LAURAGAIS

Right at the heart of the Montagne Noire, the Le Bout du Monde Yelloh! Village is a paradise for children. Lying in a 200-hectare estate, flanked by the Haut-Languedoc regional nature reserve, our farm-auberge offers you all the delights of farm life, with a renowned hostelry for food lovers. With the "nature" activities and first-rate facilities and services, we offer you with a veritable breath of fresh air for a superb holiday with family or friends. As for the accommodation, it's a total change of scenery: fully-equipped bungalows and yurts await you. Swimming pool, tennis, volleyball, hiking, rambling... there really is something to suit all tastes. This is, perhaps, the recipe for a superb holiday....

Hotel Restaurant Montagne Noire - Saissac

Hotel Restaurant Montagne Noire - Saissac

Hotel, bar, restaurant located in the center of Saissac. A welcoming restaurant just across from the car park. Friendly, family-style welcome. Traditional cuisine and regional specialties, all in a family atmosphere and friendly...

Restaurant Lafage

Restaurant Lafage - Saissac

Located 20 km from Carcassonne in the heart of the Montagne Noire, in a unique panorama, you will discover our renowned gastronomy. We aim to create a cosy, welcoming atmosphere to enable you to enjoy traditional cooking based on local quality products simply prepared, but not excluding a little sophistication and elegance. Our restaurant has a beautiful view of the chateau saisssac...

La Porte d'Autan

Campsite La Porte d'Autan - Saissac

Located on the heights of the Montagne Noir at 504 m altitude, the campsite "La Porte d'Autan" welcomes you in a shaded area of 2.5 ha. Consists of a temperate climate you can recharge yourselves in a friendly, family atmosphere... The village of Saissac and its castle (or château fort) dominates the rocky headland and the ravine of the river Vernassonne, overlooking the plain of Carcassonne at an important strategic position at the entry of the Black Mountains (Montagnes Noires)....

Elevage des biches
de Picarel

Elevage des biches de Picarel - Saissac
A farm containing 350 head of deer, does and fawns in semi-liberty over an area of 50 ha. The tamed animals can be easily approached throughout the year: mating, births. A stag and deer farm in the heart of the Montagne Noir....

Hostellerie du Château
de la Pomarède

Hostellerie du Château de la Pomarède - Pomarède

Nathalie and Gérald Garcia invite you to their table in a superb 11th century Cathar castle and offer you a chance to taste their special dishes, compositions with heady flavours, subtly seasoned with spices and condiments, and using fresh, seasonal products from the region. You may also stay in one of the seven bedrooms in the hotel upstairs, reached along narrow corridors in which the subdued lighting is reminiscent of the magical atmosphere of medieval châteaux....

Club 620

Club 620 - Fontiers-Cabardès

A small village bar-restaurant where you eat well, without fuss. Traditional dishes and a varied menu. Yvan Marié, the owner, likes to work stews. Diners are treated to a good stew, a Burgundian, a coq au vin or a good onion soup in the winter, grilled over a wood fire as the breast and large salad as 620 with the gizzards, sliced foie gras and pork summer, all in a festive atmosphere. All year held musical evenings. Saturdays in winter and twice a week in summer, music lovers and players of cards or billiards seasoned mix musicians, sometimes known names of French and international scene. All this small world alongside in the right mood at the counter or on the terrace, shaded groves. Sires sad, so go your way....

Abbaye de Saint-Papoul

Abbaye de Saint-Papoul - Saint-Papoul
Located in the foothills of the Montagne Noire, in Lauragais, between Toulouse and Carcassonne, the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Papoul is a jewel of the Cathar Country classified under the Historic Monuments. Founded in the eighth century, it became the seat of a bishop from 1317 to the French Revolution. Discover the living quarters of monks and preserved medieval village that will transport you in time. The site has a cultural shop where you will be warmly welcomed. The visit, free, is using a document shown. It can be guided by reservation from 10 people. Discover the cloister and the church, and the sculptures of the famous Master of Cabestany through a permanent display in the refectory of the monks....

Musée & Jardins du Canal du Midi

Musée & Jardins du Canal du Midi - Lac de Saint-Ferréol/Revel
Located in the heart of the Montagne Noir, at the junction of three departments (Haute-Garonne, Tarn and Aude), the basin of St. Ferreol is for generations, one of the favorite rendezvous of Recreational enthusiasts and outdoor. Its beach, its supervised swimming, water sports, fishing preserve its and its picnic areas are forgetting that Lake St. Ferreol is primarily a retention pond, the centerpiece of the supply network of channel noon! It is in this natural setting that from the early 19th century, romantic gardens were gradually developed. In 1855, the installation of the water jet endowed them with a refreshing atmosphere for strolling and loitering. Instead of approval, the gardens of the museum can also discover the hydraulic principles that govern the supply of canal water. The "ps" (available to groups by reservation), lets get to the heart of the dam and reach the control system and valves installed in 1829. They top a second gallery, "the vault drain", inaccessible to the public and which is currently the main flow of water in the basin....


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