Limoux

The longest carnival in the world

In the 21st century like in 1604, Limoux lives for three months to the rhythm of the longest carnival in the world. Dancing the traditional fecos, groups go from café to café, from square to square, covering the locals with confetti. From January to March, the carnival takes place every weekend. The arcades on the Place de la Republique resound with the sound of traditional music and the screams of the crowd.
During the Folkloric Week, the times are different and weekdays are also involved. A Sunday is devoted to the march of all the bands and one musician and his instrument stars the show. Yet the Limoux carnival is not just a march or a parade, it s also living folklore which belongs to Limoux cultural heritage. On the first Sunday, His Majesty Carnival is introduced to the millers, who are dressed in white and equipped with a whip. The straw dummy is judged on the last Sunday and burnt during the Night of the Blanquette.

Limoux carnival : three months of festivities - © Ville de LimouxLimoux carnival : three months of festivities - © Ville de Limoux
One previous stage
Subprefecture of l’Aude (11)
Population: 10,365 (Limouxins, Limouxines)Economy : viticulture, tourism.
Specialties : pebradou (aperitive cake), artichokes with salted liver, Duck a la Limouxine (saffron sauce and garlic), Limos (stuffed bun), tap (chocolate), white wines (Blanquette de Limoux, Cremant de Limoux).
Celebrities : Dom Perignon, Aude Bourrel known as Jacoba (the last Cathar), Philippe Fabre d’Eglantine (8th century poet and politician), Marie Petiet (painter), Jules Vedrines (airman), Henri Duclos (writer).
Sport : XIII Limousin.
Festival : Limoux carnival (ten weeks with a Tour de France them this year), Toques et Clochers (April), Cuivrée spéciale (brass festival),Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc (July), Festival NAVA (Nouveaux Auteurs en Vallée d’Aude, theatre), Nuit de la Fricassée (August), Fête de la Grand’Ville (September), Foire au Gras (November).

Timeline

  • 844

    A Charles the Bald charter awards Limoux to the St Hilaire abbey.
  • 10th century

    Limoux becomes the capital of the Razes county.
  • 1226

    Start of the War of Limoux, staged by the Cathars against King Louis IX.
  • 1296

    Limoux is annexed by the crown of France until 1376.
  • 1348

    Limoux is ravaged by the Black Plague and seven years later by the Black Prince.
  • 1531

    The effervescent qualities of blanquette are discovered by chance.
  • 1562

    Marred by the Wars of Religion for 30 years, Limoux is destroyed by the Catholics led by Jean de Levis.
  • 1642

    Louis XII installs a seneschal in Limoux.
  • 1854

    A cholera epidemic claims 151 lives.
  • 1891

    A flood leaves seven dead.
  • 1907

    Winemakers revolt.
  • 1960

    General de Gaulle proclaims his Algerian policy in Limoux.
Cathar castle - © Ville de Limoux
One previous stage
Subprefecture of l’Aude (11)
Population: 10,365 (Limouxins, Limouxines)Economy : viticulture, tourism.
Specialties : pebradou (aperitive cake), artichokes with salted liver, Duck a la Limouxine (saffron sauce and garlic), Limos (stuffed bun), tap (chocolate), white wines (Blanquette de Limoux, Cremant de Limoux).
Celebrities : Dom Perignon, Aude Bourrel known as Jacoba (the last Cathar), Philippe Fabre d’Eglantine (8th century poet and politician), Marie Petiet (painter), Jules Vedrines (airman), Henri Duclos (writer).
Sport : XIII Limousin.
Festival : Limoux carnival (ten weeks with a Tour de France them this year), Toques et Clochers (April), Cuivrée spéciale (brass festival),Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc (July), Festival NAVA (Nouveaux Auteurs en Vallée d’Aude, theatre), Nuit de la Fricassée (August), Fête de la Grand’Ville (September), Foire au Gras (November).

Limoux and cycling

The town is very renowned for its “blanquette”. As far as cycling is concerned, the town will be hosting a start stage of the Tour de France for the second time in a row. Last year, the peloton travelled to Montpellier where Mark Cavendish notched up his fourth victory in the 2011 edition. Previously, in a stage of the 1976 Grand Prix du Midi Libre, Lucien Van Impe, the future winner of the Tour, finished first in Limoux, ahead of Bernard Hinault and Raymond Poulidor. Limoux also allowed women’s cycling to sparkle by holding several stage finishes in the Tour de l’Aude. Multiple world champion Marianne Vos won one of those in 2010.

Limoux-Montpellier stage in the 2011 Tour : victory by Mark Cavendish - © Presse Sports
One previous stage
Subprefecture of l’Aude (11)
Population: 10,365 (Limouxins, Limouxines)Economy : viticulture, tourism.
Specialties : pebradou (aperitive cake), artichokes with salted liver, Duck a la Limouxine (saffron sauce and garlic), Limos (stuffed bun), tap (chocolate), white wines (Blanquette de Limoux, Cremant de Limoux).
Celebrities : Dom Perignon, Aude Bourrel known as Jacoba (the last Cathar), Philippe Fabre d’Eglantine (8th century poet and politician), Marie Petiet (painter), Jules Vedrines (airman), Henri Duclos (writer).
Sport : XIII Limousin.
Festival : Limoux carnival (ten weeks with a Tour de France them this year), Toques et Clochers (April), Cuivrée spéciale (brass festival),Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc (July), Festival NAVA (Nouveaux Auteurs en Vallée d’Aude, theatre), Nuit de la Fricassée (August), Fête de la Grand’Ville (September), Foire au Gras (November).

What to see

Petiet Museum

In a 19th century atmosphere, the museum is located in the artist’s studio of the Petiet family. A great diversity of works are on display, exploring the main currents of modern painting: orientalism, academism, impressionism or pointillism.

Piano museum

The St Jacques church houses the only public museum in France devoted to the piano and its making. The chronological exhibition recounts the history of the great French piano makers like Pleyel or Erard. The museum boasts some 100 pianos, some of them unique in the world. The site also hosts quality concerts.

Printing museum

Based in the old court house, the museum displays a permanent exhibition of printing equipment and material.

Automatons museum

In an old factory from the 1930s, the museum is home to more than 100 automatons in a baroque and flamboyant setting.

St Hilaire abbey

Its origins are uncertain. The first mention dates from 825. Until the start of the 13th century, the monastery was under the protection of the Counts of Carcassonne. But during the Cathar period, monks were accused of heresy and lost their independence and most of their good. Today, houses were built inside the premises and the cloister became a square. The church houses the sarcophagus of St Sernin, first bishop of Toulouse.

Automatons museum - © Ville de LimouxPrinting museum - © Ville de LimouxPetiet museum - © Ville de Limoux
One previous stage
Subprefecture of l’Aude (11)
Population: 10,365 (Limouxins, Limouxines)Economy : viticulture, tourism.
Specialties : pebradou (aperitive cake), artichokes with salted liver, Duck a la Limouxine (saffron sauce and garlic), Limos (stuffed bun), tap (chocolate), white wines (Blanquette de Limoux, Cremant de Limoux).
Celebrities : Dom Perignon, Aude Bourrel known as Jacoba (the last Cathar), Philippe Fabre d’Eglantine (8th century poet and politician), Marie Petiet (painter), Jules Vedrines (airman), Henri Duclos (writer).
Sport : XIII Limousin.
Festival : Limoux carnival (ten weeks with a Tour de France them this year), Toques et Clochers (April), Cuivrée spéciale (brass festival),Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc (July), Festival NAVA (Nouveaux Auteurs en Vallée d’Aude, theatre), Nuit de la Fricassée (August), Fête de la Grand’Ville (September), Foire au Gras (November).

The first sparkling wine in the world

Is vineyards made and still make Limoux’s wealth and reputation and 95% of the wine production is Blanquette, an appellation since 1938 and the world’s first sparkling wine.
Blanquette de Limoux probably influenced the creation of champagne. The effervescent properties of the wine were discovered by chance by St Hilaire monks in 1531. And the famous Dom Perignon, who stayed at the abbey on return from a pilgrimage in Spain, brought the recipe back to Champagne. Back in his own Hautvillers abbey, Dom Perignon tried the same method for his own wines, which became the most famous in the world. Other sources say that Blanquette appeared as early as the 14th century. The most famous cellar producing Blanquette is the cave des Vignerons du Sieur d’Arques, which regroups 330 wine growers over 6,000 ha.
Blanquette is produced with three main grape varieties, mauzac, chardonnay and chenin.

Blanquette de Limoux - © Pinpin
One previous stage
Subprefecture of l’Aude (11)
Population: 10,365 (Limouxins, Limouxines)Economy : viticulture, tourism.
Specialties : pebradou (aperitive cake), artichokes with salted liver, Duck a la Limouxine (saffron sauce and garlic), Limos (stuffed bun), tap (chocolate), white wines (Blanquette de Limoux, Cremant de Limoux).
Celebrities : Dom Perignon, Aude Bourrel known as Jacoba (the last Cathar), Philippe Fabre d’Eglantine (8th century poet and politician), Marie Petiet (painter), Jules Vedrines (airman), Henri Duclos (writer).
Sport : XIII Limousin.
Festival : Limoux carnival (ten weeks with a Tour de France them this year), Toques et Clochers (April), Cuivrée spéciale (brass festival),Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc (July), Festival NAVA (Nouveaux Auteurs en Vallée d’Aude, theatre), Nuit de la Fricassée (August), Fête de la Grand’Ville (September), Foire au Gras (November).

Patrocinadores del Tour