Alet-les-bains

The old thermal baths - now closed
The old thermal baths – now closed

Situated in the Aude valley and surrounded by mountains is the lovely town of Alet-les-Bains. It is approximately thirty kilometers south of Carcassonne and an hour  east of the Mediterranean Sea and well into the “Pays Cathare”.

Once, Alet-les-Bains was a walled city. It had its own abbey, bishop and cathedral. All of this was fortified by ramparts and a moat in 1197. Today, it is a quiet village of five hundred but the remnants of its glorious past remain. You can still walk among the ruins of a medieval Jewish ghetto.

The natural springs remain and water from the springs is bottled and sold commercially. Yet, if you know and plan ahead, there is a spring fed fountain near the old spa where you can fill up any bottles you might have and there is no charge. The town has been famous for its thermal waters since Roman times. Today, the spas are closed. A victim to these hard financial times, the funds for badly needed restoration and changes that would bring it up to date are not available.

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Don't forget an empty bottle of two...
Don’t forget an empty bottle of two…

Despite closure of the spa, there are well preserved ruins that are well worth a visit. Many “belles demeures à colombages” or half-timbered houses, grace the steets. The medieval square features traditional medieval houses and one of these in which it is believed that Nostradamus had lived. Also among the ruins are a 12th century cathedral, the Episcopal Palace, the 14th century Chapter House, the Medieval town and more.

Le rivère
Le rivère

The natural springs were well known in ancient times attracting the Romans who had seized much of the lands. It is reported that Nostradamus and Charlemagne took the waters here. One of the oldest of bottled waters in France, it has been available for purchase for over 120 years. Furthermore, The French Ministry of Health recognized its intrinsic worth bestowing offical authorization to bottle the spring water back in 1886.

Bonne année, bonne santé et bisous!

Léa

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Through the cathedral window, you might catch a glimpse of the Star of David from the old ghetto.

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Wrapped in history!
Wrapped in history!
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Living with history

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17 thoughts on “Alet-les-bains

  1. So wonderful to actually be LIVING there instead of just visiting. You have found the Golden Ticket my dear. Which is just to really appreciate wherever you are. Happy for you.

  2. that is beautiful, when did you go.  I can not believe that is real.  You are living in a dream and i am here in a nightmare.  shawn has been having an afair for 4 months now  Cyndee is in shock, angery and i feel so bad for her.  He moved back home for the kids.  Told cyndee he does not love her anymore.  She is hoping he can fall back in love with her.  The kids are so happy he is home but you and i know how things go and the things she is going thru.  This all happened 2 days before xmas,,,,,,,,,,,he never thought of the kids.  She is trying so hard for the kids.  The girl works in his office and he is at work and told cyndee she is not allowed to come in.   I wish i was there with you but my commitment is to help manuel get better.  I live thru you alot and thank you so much for sharing all this with me.  When i saw  these pictures i wanted to go home, i felt so much in them.  weird i never feel that way.  The history is so healing for me.  Happy New Year keep living for all of us here in hell…love you

    Love, Joy & Magic always Su   Woman are Angels ! if someone breaks our wings, we simply   continue to fly …. on our broomsticks

    ________________________________

  3. How beautiful and how heartbreaking … such a pity that the baths cannot be repaired so they can be used again 😦 Thanks for the journey and the amazing pictures! Oh, to be in France! xoxo

    1. It is sad that they are not being used. However, Rennes-les-Bains is nearby and there are many others all around the country. I believe that eventually it will be restored. Things just happen a bit slower here and that is not always a bad thing. I shall be saving a room for you when you are ready to travel! For me, there is no place quite like France! May this year be one of happiness and health! xxxXXX

    1. Thank you Polly. It is all so beautiful and wonderful here that it makes my job easy. I am glad you stopped by. The Reader feature on my blogs has not worked for some time and I cannot access the blogs I enjoy following such as yours. A few go directly into my email so i still can read them. Efforts to restore Reader have been in vain.

      1. So sorry to see that you’re having problems with Reader. WordPress have made changes recently, so maybe it will come back to you ~ I hope so 🙂

      2. Thank you. I do hope so. Being in a small rural village comes into play here. After yahoo upgraded more than a year ago, I could no longer access my inbox without freezing my computer. We just don’t get a strong enough signal to support some of these upgrades…

    1. Thank you Cynthia. Actually, I have not returned to this blog yet. I had emergency surgery nearly two months ago and have been very ill. Recovery is going so slow that this blog has sat quietly waiting for me to be able to get about and take some photos. Perhaps it won’t be much longer?

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