Museums in the Ariège Pyrenees
These are just a few of the museums and permanent exhibitions that will help you better understand the history, environment and culture of this part of the Pyrenees.
The Forges de Pyrène at Montgailhard near Foix. A museum centered on a large, traditional iron forge on a 5 hectar site and includes a collection of old tools and equipment from other crafts and trades. Artisans demonstrate crafts and techniques from the past.
La Maison du Chemin de la Liberté in Saint Girons - exhibitions on the escape routes used by downed Allied pilots, refugees, and Resistance fighters to escape into Spain during the Second World War.
Le Musée Pyrénéen in Niaux - traces the daily lives of inhabitants of the Pyrenees
La Marionnetterie in Laroque d'Olmes : an exhibit of over 400 19th and 20th century marionnettes from all over the world. In August a professional puppeteer gives a guided tour and demonstration.
La Forêt aux Dinosaurs (Dinosaur Forest) near Le Mas d'Azil - an open air museum about the paleontological history of the chain of foothills called the Plantaurel.
Le Musée Bayle at Carla-Bayle - traces the life and writings of Protestant philosopher Pierre Bayle, who was born in Carla-le-Comte, which was later renamed in his honor.
Le Musée du Textile et du Peigne en Corne in Lavelanet - housed in a old textile factory from 1796 and displays a collection of tools and equipment from the textile industry. Lavelanet also used to have a more unusual, specialised craft – the manufacture of combs from horn, which you can also learn about in the museum.
The museum "Patrimoine et Traditions" in Mirepoix : presents daily life in the region and traditional crafts and trades
The 18th Century Pharmacy in Saint Lizier
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Foix : an exhibition about the flora and fauna of Ariège, hunting techniques since prehistoric times and the 14th century tome on hunting by the count of Foix Gaston Fébus.
Museum of Le Vernet : traces the history of the camp constructed in 1918 to receive colonial troops and later turned into a camp of repression during WW2.
Observatoire de la Montagne in Orlu - explores the biodiversity of the mountain environment.