Let yourself be surprised by this town which, under its discreet appearance, conceals real treasures ! An ancient Gallo-Roman city, then the seat of the bishopric of Couserans, the town of Saint-Lizier is part of the “Grands Sites Occitanie” collection, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.

A walk through the town’s alleys will allow you to discover the covered arcades, the half-timbered houses, the old canons’ houses, the cobbled alleys, the clock tower and the ancient ramparts.

From surprises to discoveries, as you stroll through squares and terraces with beautiful views of the Pyrenees, you are invited to explore.

Saint-Lizier Cathedral 

 Ask for the guide !

– Guided tours are available with our guides : COVID-19 Pass required
The 18th-century pharmacy
~ 30 min, full price €6 – reduced price* €4
Saint-Lizier at the time of the Romanesque (the cathedral, the cloister, the treasury)
~ 45 min, full price €7 – reduced price* €6
Guided tour of the city
~ 1 hour, full price €7 – reduced price €6
* reduced rate: children (-15 years old), students, jobseekers, and recipients of RSA or AAH benefits (on presentation of valid proof)
– A free booklet with map is available in our offices
– As well as an exploration guide for children, with Balours !

Info/visiting hours : Couserans Pyrenees Tourist Office 
 Saint-Lizier office – Tel. 05 61 96 77 77  

The Romanesque cathedral dedicated to Saint-Lizier is remarkable for its chevet made up of a multitude of Gallo-Roman spolia. It owes its fame, above all, to its exceptional collection of Romanesque frescoes dated between 1060 and 1080. These are the first large Romanesque paintings to have been passed down to us from the Pyrenean region. 
Open all year round.

© Loïc Bel

The cloister 

 Adjacent to the Saint-Lizier cathedral, the 12th-century Romanesque cloister constitutes a magnificent architectural complex which by its simplicity alone, invites visitors to bask in serenity.

It is the only Romanesque cloister in the Ariège and one of the few in the Occitanie region. Discover its galleries composed of capitals with both floral decorations and figurative and historiated representations such as the « original sin ».    
 Open all year round.

The 18th-century pharmacy

Located in the old Hôtel-Dieu de Saint-Lizier, the 1764 apothecary has been perfectly preserved: woodwork, earthenware, mouth-blown glass bottles, surgeon’s kit and numerous 18th-century remedies with curious names such as « the vinegar of the four thieves », «the elixir of long life » or « dog oil ». 
Guided tour only – group tours possible throughout the year.

© Virginie Gaszynski

The Bishops’ Treasury  

 From the cloister, you can see the Bishops’ Treasury. This small museum presents a collection of objects of sacred art and silverware belonging to the bishops of Couserans : 12th- and 13th-century crosses, silk and gold-thread mitre, reliquaries, chalices in precious materials and the masterpiece : the Renaissance bust of Saint Lizier. 
 Open all year round.

© Loïc Bel

The Bishops’ Palace and the Notre-Dame de la Sède Cathedral 

 Overlooking the town of Saint-Lizier, the palace – former residence of the bishops of Couserans – houses the departmental museum, presenting more than 2000 years of local history.

After a period of closure for works, the Bishops’ Palace will reopen this year with a brand new layout !

The ancient treasury of 13,000 coins will be honoured; while different models will allow everyone to understand the evolution of the town of Saint-Lizier. Thanks to a interactive slab, the paintings of Notre-Dame de la Sède will reveal all their secrets as the visitor is placed in the shoes of a restorer.

New objects from the famous early 20th-century collection from the Bethmale Valley will be added to the exhibits. A room will be dedicated to the presentation of the site’s psychiatric history. Finally, the chapter house will open its doors for the first time.

Et bien sûr, la superbe cathédrale Notre-Dame de la Sède demeurera au centre de cette nouvelle présentation. Adossée au Palais, elle possède un ensemble unique de peintures Renaissance. Ornant les voûtes et les murs, ces peintures représentent des Sybilles, Patriarches, arbre de Jessé, vie de saint Jacques et lui confèrent le titre de « petite chapelle Sixtine de l’Ariège ». 
Visites libres ou guidées.

Quel est votre bon plan ici, votre conseil spécial, un récit d’expérience forte récente ? Le cloître roman de Saint-Lizier : marcher autour du cloitre roman est une invitation à la méditation, ce lieu est avant tout beau.
Sarah – Experte locale 3 novembre 2020