Barbarian Gold in southern France

Barbarian Gold in southern France

Vals Rupestre

Vals, Ariège
Find Vals a little to the west of Mirepoix.
  At the remarkable site of Vals, in the Ariège, you can distinguish in the church, among other things, the “use of arches exceeding those of the Arabs, that is to say Visigothic”, in the architecture of the church and in the presence of the stele bearing the Occitan cross.  No one knows the origin of this church, which is half underground, but the Visigoths were Christian, although Arian, and I believe they founded the church on a much older pagan site. The family who owned the church in the 11th century later became Cathars, and one of them served at Montségur.  There is a Visigothic graveyard 2km to the east; the Visigoths liked to bury people a little bit away from their village centres, as they did at La Palme.
    There is a museum at Vals, which has a most attractive bar, but they insist that neither Visigoths or Cathars ever existed at Vals!

For more about Vals, click here.  Be prepared for a long read and a wild ride!

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