Enjoy special offers, discounts and promotions in the Aude
Land of Meetings
Celts, Iberians, Greeks, Volsci, Romans, Visigoths, Sarracens or Franks, they came here from the north, south and east to fight for territory and in the end to construct a unique society, rich in its plurality of sources.
This Occitanie, indeed, had something particular, something different in this obscure medieval period. Roman law, which was still applied, gave rights to women, shared inheritances among all the children. Here they adored the prose of the troubadours and their love of ladies as much as the evangelism of the Cathars.
The Cathars found here a society which allowed them to freely practice their religion. And the area was criticized, for this, this tolerance, this entrenched diversity of culture. Crusades and inquisitions still echo today as events that transformed the destiny of an entire region.
The reconstruction was no less remarkable: Walled towns and royal manufacturers, prosperous industries and commerce extending to the limits of the orient, the region experienced a number of booms in the course of the centuries, gaining influence beyond its orders, opening out to the world and rediscovering its taste for trade.
The grand project of the Canal du Midi and the rise of wine growing offered the Aude yet another long period of dynamism and prosperity until the rise of the railway, industrialization, competition and phylloxera got the better of these two activities, sole resources of an entire region.
Mobilisation was replaced by revolt, violent, massive and wide-spread, caused by famine. Only the foundation of cooperatives permitted creating a united front to face an overly competitive market. But the troubles continued even if the know-how recognized throughout the world revived some towns and villages.
It is still though meeting that the Aude is bringing about its revival today, a meeting through tourism, through sharing its natural patrimony and unique culture. The present, and the future, have turned to quality, that of its wines and its products of an exceptionally well-preserved region, that of its new image which conquers, little by little, an entire village here, a beautiful building, a witness of the past there, the quality of all the treasures that the Aude can offer the 21st century.