Alone or TogetherDiscover the local heritage

Discover the local heritage

To explore the Vallespir is to discover an area full of important historical, cultural, and natural heritage.

Historical Heritage

The Vallespir has indeed inherited an important historical heritage. Here are some of the sites not to be missed !

le Pont du Diable of Céret

The Devil’ s Bridge, a true masterpiece of medieval architecture, built in 1321,   is located at the entrance to the town of Céret.  This legendary stone bridge with a single arch from the 14th century spans the Tech at a height of 25 meters. Restored over time and throughout the centuries and listed as an historic monument since 1840, this bridge is worth a visit!

According to legend, in 1321 the inhabitants of Ceret, the Céretans, witnessed for the umpteenth time the destruction of their footbridge swept away by the Tech floods. They decided to appeal to the many architects of the department who refused to take on the project. Only one accepted the challenge ! After several construction attempts failed, a pact between the devil and the architect was made: in one night, the bridge would be built by the fallen angel in exchange for the first soul to cross it. The architect, full of remorse, decided to make a cat cross it instead! In shock the Devil forgot to put in the last stone which is still missing from the bridge today !

Fort de Bellegarde

Currently accessible on the outskirts

The Fort de Bellegarde, located in Perthus, is a XVII th century fortification which was built over earlier fortifications. It was not until 1659 that this fort became French, with the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees attaching Roussillon, Conflent and Cerdagne to France. This date underlines the real strategic importance of this building. During the period of interrupted war between France and Spain, the French embarked on the construction of a modern citadel, powerful enough to keep away a possible army. While the work was in progress, in 1674, the Spanish troops seized the fort with a plan to take over work themselves. However, as the French were eventually able to force them out a few months later, this work would never see fruition. Instead, the fort as it currently is was designed by Vauban.

Bellegarde would then be used by Napoleon during the campaigns of Catalonia, and be transformed into a Gestapo prison during the Second World War for the smugglers and Spanish Republican, Franco having joined forces with Hitler. Today, the fort of Bellegarde is closed to visitors, though the drawbridge and the remains of Panissar, a small ancient village, remain accessible.

Le site des Cluses

Les Cluses: Passionate about history ? Then Les Cluses is for you !

Les Cluses is a place on the border which bears the traces of its passage from Antiquity to the present day. Along the De Rome river, the Via Domitia is overlooked on one side by a Roman fort dating from the 2nd century. Here it passed through a narrow passage that was easy to defend. The strategic location of the place did not escape the Romans who made it into a living space. In Cluses, many items dating from 350 AD were found, less than 60 years before the fall of the empire. On the other side of the Via Domitia, the Castell dels moros , dating from the 4th century, could accommodate a garrison. A third vestige was then added : the portorium which allowed cross-border goods to be checked. Since 2010, these remains have been classified as Historical Monuments. The Church of Saint Nazaire in Cluses Hautes is a unique building with three aisles and semi-circular apses inscribed into a fortified wall. Its 12th century frescoes are very similar to that of the chapel of Saint Martin de Fenollar, in Maureillas -Las Illas .

Cultural / Religious

Vallespir is also recognized for its cultural and religious heritage . Indeed, the area is full of remarkable churches and chapels.
A listed cultural and religious heritage

L'église Notre-Dame-del-Roure of Taillet

The Chapel of Notre Dame del Roure is located in the hamlet of Roure leading to the village of Taillet. Small, but graceful in appearance, the exterior consists of a rectangular building, topped by a small bell tower. This small building also has its own legend : A woman looking after her herd was intrigued by the behaviour of her oxen who were inspecting something in the branches of an oak tree. Nestled in the foliage she discovered an image of the Virgin Mary. Fragments of this sacred tree were kept in a cupboard and a few shards distributed to the pilgrims to bring them luck on their travels. The small Romanesque building has overlooked the plain since the 12th century. Its chapel is full of treasures : a very colourful 17th century Baroque altarpiece, medieval frescoes depicting narrative scenes, and Sant-Galdric and Sant Isidro, protectors of the crops, its two 18th century Virgins dressed in traditional Catalan attire.

Restored in 2000, the chapel was classified as an historical monument in 2006.

It is open to the public on request at the Mairie of Taillet (04 68 39 42 65).

Guided tours of the Notre-Dame-del-Roure chapel are organized by the Pays d’Art et d’Histoire Transfrontalier des Vallées Catalanes.

La Fontaine des 9 Jets de Céret

Constructed in 1313 in the reign of King Sanç I of Majorca, the history of the Fontaine des Neuf Jets is one of rebellion and revolution. In the 15th century, King Ferdinand II of Aragon crowned the fountain with a lion, symbol of Castille.

When this area of Catalonia was annexed by Northern France, an inscription in Latin was added to the plinth: ‘Venite Ceretens, leo factus est gallus’. This can be translated more fully as ‘Come, people of Céret, the (Spanish) lion has now become a (French) cockerel.’ The lion itself had been turned to face the North to reinforce this change of power.

However, it was not long before the lion once again found itself in its original position, facing South. This has been put down to the livelier moments of the town celebrations.

The terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees were debated here in Céret in 1659.

La Fontaine has been classified as a Historic Monument since 1910.

The church of Saint-Michel de Vivès

The village of Vivès was built around the church of Saint-Michel based on the celleres model found throughout Roussillon. The church, likely erected during the 12th century, houses many objects protected as Historical Monuments , including an 11th century lipsanoteca (a small box containing the actual relics inside a reliquary), as well as two altarpieces dedicated to Saint-Michel, one from the 16th century, the other from the 18th century.

An exceptional natural heritage

The Baoussous waterfall

In a naturally paradisiacal corner of Céret, a path will guide you to the exceptional Baoussous waterfall ! Discover this jewel of Vallespir hidden under the shade of its foliage. During the hottest hours of the summer season, it is the ideal place to cool off and enjoy nature.

This shaded trail is not very long. However, we advise you to wear shoes suitable for hiking in the mountains.

Located half an hour’s walk from the historic centre of Céret, from here you can also follow the yellow signposts and hike “Les balcons de Céret”: a 2-hour walk in the heart of nature.

The lakes of Saint Jean Pla de Corts

Do you love the great outdoors, nature, and dipping your feet in the water? The lakes of Saint Jean Pla de Corts are made for you !

A truly peaceful haven with the Canigou in the background, the lakes will please every member of the family.

For the adventurers, many providers offer various activities. From the zip line, to Aquajump, paddleboards, the water ramp jump, the ski lift and of course pedal boats and kayaks, you are guaranteed to find what you’re looking for!

Prefer to sit back and relax? Picnic tables, a swimming lake, and many restaurants where you can eat should do the trick.

For the more athletic, the natural leisure centre proposes the fitness trail departing from the lake, a space dedicated to walking or running.

A day spent at the lakes of Saint Jean Pla de Corts is sure to be an enjoyable day!

The Col de l'Ullat in l'Albère

Located at an altitude of 936 meters, the Col de l’Ouillat is an exceptional site in Vallespir, located in the municipality of l’Albère. A magnificent panorama is offered to you with views of the Canigou, the sacred mountain of the Catalans, and a breath-taking view of the valley. The pine and beech forests guarantee a total change of scenery. The Col de l’Ouillat is a rich and diverse environment, where flora and fauna reign supreme.

For the more athletic, let yourself be tempted by one of the many hikes that will allow you to discover this rich and diverse environment and landscapes that change with the seasons.

For the less athletic, shaded picnic tables, wild landscapes and a real breath of fresh air await you!