The Aude is famous for being Cathar country,in the south of France, the Cathar castles perched high on seemingly impregnable mountain tops are legendary, but it also has another rich roman and medieval history. These periods left a profound and lasting mark on the department. You can explore historical sites, the castle and abbeys that witnessed and added to the richness of the historical narrative. Carcassonne, Queribus, Peyrepertuse, Lastbours, Arques, Pailaurens, Aguilar, Termes, Villerouge-Termenes and Fanjeaux; throughout the Aude there are many impressive Medieval fortresses. Also during this medieval period, abbeys and priories prolifered, today ten, Cistercian or Benedictine, abbeys remain open to visitors. You can choose Fontfroide, St Papoul, Lagrasse, St Hilaire, Caunes-Minervois or Fanjeaux, a medieval hilltop village overlooking the plain of Lauragais, occupied since roman times and with strong links to the Cathars.