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History

Alet-les-Bains is a spa town located on the banks fo the river Aude.  It nestles in a valley with mountains on either side that rise to 750m and can trace it's history back as far as the Visigoths and Romans.

The origins of the abbey of Alet-les-Bains are unknown other than that of a priory in the eighth century. It was likely founded by Béra, viscount of Razés. By the twelfth century, it had much influence and a large number of pilgrims. In 1318, the abbey became a bishopric in order to continue the fight against the cathars; as it stayed until the French Revolution. The diocese had eighty Parishes and spanned from Formigueres to Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet. A city wall, with 4 gates, built in the twelfth century to protect the abbey can still be seen today.

In the 16 C, during the wars of religion, the Huguenots burnt and destroyed the abbey. In the seventeenth century, Nicolas Pavillon, bishop of Alet who stood up against the government ofLouisXIV; could have found the means to repair the abbey, but did not feel that given the poverty of the people in his diocese, it would be acceptable. He did however build a bridge that spans the river Aude, in 1662 and gave an improved system of irrigation, as well as a seminar.



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