The stone garden of Alas
Where the Lez river flows by Alas, a tiny village with a melancholy name in the High Couserans near Castillon, its right bank sports for a few dozen metres an enchanting stone necklace, a 25 year labour of love by one of the inhabitants. Mr. _______ only intended to build a small terrace on the riverbank that bordered his back garden when he started work on what became the “Jardin de Pierres”. The retaining walls he began constructing from river stones took on a life of their own and from his imagination whimsical arches, totems and statues took shape, decorated with hyroglyphics, symbols, and strange incantations. The castle in the middle of the river has been rebuilt 4 times following floods.
In summer the garden is a cool, peaceful haven that is much appreciated by pilgrims passing through Alas (the Way of Saint James traverses the village).
Mr_______ passed away in April 2008. His family continue to maintain the garden in his memory.
On the D618 from Castillon take the 2nd left to the village of Alas. At the entrance to the village on the left there is a stone sink. Park near there and follow the track to the left of the sink for about 100 metres until you see a stone man on the right pointing the way down a footpath which will lead you along the river to this suprising spot.