• © CG31 - Archives départementales - Collection Labouche
  • © CG31 - Archives départementales - Collection Labouche
  • © CG31 - Archives départementales - Collection Labouche

A Little History

The barony of Aspet which included 17 communities was, in the Middle Ages, the most extensive lordship of the region after the County of Comminges. Formerly, the city of Aspet was surrounded by walls. Only the dungeon remains. It has now become tower of the parish church, housing a magnificent 16 belles carillon built in the mid 19th century. The Miègecoste Chapel dominates the town of Aspet and houses a Black Madonna from the 17th century. The first known lord, Raymond- At, is attested in 1068. The barony changed hands several times passing successively to the family of Coarraze and then to the House of Foix (in 1483), and finally those of Lautrec and Albret.The last one was named Lord Henry III of Navarre, the future Henri IV. In 1606 the barony was attached to the Crown of France and the town of Aspet became the county seat of a lordship.

History has mostly retained two names: that of Lady Barrave and Coarraze. Dame Barrave gave a Charter of customs to the city in 1383 which specified the respective powers of the lord and the inhabitants. As for the name Coarraze, it may be mentioned Arnaud- Raymond de Coarraze, noble of the time, which fought in Orléans side by side with Joan of Arc in 1428. His daughter, Catherine of Coarraze, considered one of the town’s greatest benefactors, left the most vivid mark. It is to her that we owe the fountain that currently adorns the main square of the town of Aspet. She had found a spring close to the stream of Soueil and build a reservoir.
It is called today “Fontaine Henry IV”. This fountain was indispensable to the daily life of the inhabitants, but also for holding fairs and markets that have for centuries made up the town’s business activity. But in 1483, victim of family feuds, Catherine of Coarraze will be forced to sell the barony to Jean de Foix, Viscount of Narbonne.

 

A city of exchanges

 

The geographical location of Aspet, has for centuries been a place of important exchanges. Since feudal times until the early twentieth century, Aspet was famous for its fairs and markets and one of the most populous in Haute-Garonne.  Much later, between 1906 and 1939, regular railway line liaised with Saint-Gaudens.Thermal Springs cross the area of the Three Valleys. The ancient spas of Encausse-les-Thermes and Ganties were the selected choice until the early 1960s. Their waters known since the Gallo-Roman era attracted illustrious guests.