Lauragais

The Lauragais is an area of southwestern France, south-east of Toulouse.

Coordinates: 43°15′N 01°55′E / 43.250°N 1.917°E / 43.250; 1.917

OverviewEdit

The Lauragais is a former county in the south-west of France. It covers a large area, on both sides of the Canal du Midi, between the cities of Toulouse in the north-west and Carcassonne in the south-east, and between Castres in the north-east and Pamiers in the south-west.

Known in the sources since the 11th Century, the Lauragais has been alternately an archdeaconry, diocese, county, then sénéchaussée (bailiwick). It has been divided up with the French Revolution into 4 départements: Haute-Garonne, Aude, Ariège and Tarn.

The Lauragais is a rural area, known for its abundant agricultural production. The fact was evidenced in the past by its nicknames as "Pays de Cocagne" ("Cockaigne"), related to the growing of woad and "grenier à blé du Languedoc" ("Languedoc's granary"), which refers to the specialization of its economy in wheat export since the 17th Century (thanks to the Canal du Midi). It is also famous for its dried haricot beans, the lingots de Lauragais, used in cassoulet.

This region is also famous for its history, especially the role it played during religious conflicts (Albigensian Crusade, French Wars of Religion) and for its interesting local heritage: Canal du Midi and its springs, abbeys and churches, castles, disk-shaped steles, dovecotes, windmills, bastides, etc.

The local poet Auguste Fourès [fr] and painter Paul Sibra both immortalized the Lauragais in their respective work.

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