Foix is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

, the capital of the Ariège
Ariège is a department in southwestern France named after the Ariège River.- History :Ariège is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from the counties of Foix and Couserans....

 department in southwestern France. It is the least populous administrative centre of a department in all of France, although it is only very slightly smaller than Privas
Privas is a commune of France, capital of the Ardèche department. It is the second-smallest administrative center of any department in France, larger than only the commune of Foix. It is the fifth-largest commune in the Ardèche, behind Annonay, Aubenas, Guilherand-Granges, and Tournon-sur-Rhône. It...

. It lies south of Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

, close to the border with Spain and Andorra
Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...



The town of Foix probably owes its origin to an oratory founded by Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

, which afterwards became the Abbey
An abbey is a Catholic monastery or convent, under the authority of an Abbot or an Abbess, who serves as the spiritual father or mother of the community.The term can also refer to an establishment which has long ceased to function as an abbey,...

 of Saint Volusianus in 849. The current area was preceded by the County of Foix
County of Foix
The County of Foix was an independent medieval fief in southern France, and later a province of France, whose territory corresponded roughly the eastern part of the modern département of Ariège ....




The coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 used by the commune has the blazon Or, three pallets gules. This is replicated on the flag, and in the arms of the département. It originates from the arms of the Counts of Foix
Counts of Foix
The counts of Foix ruled the independent County of Foix, in what is now southern France, during the Middle Ages. Later they extended their power to almost the entire Pyrenees mountain range, moving their court to Pau, in Béarn, until eventually the last count of Foix acceded to the French throne as...

, and, as such, dates back into medieval times. It bears a resemblance to the coat of arms of Aragon, both featuring in the coat of arms of Andorra
Coat of arms of Andorra
The coat of arms of Andorra has existed for centuries. It supposedly violates the rule of tincture. This coat of arms has been the national coat of arms of Andorra since 1969. Below the shield arms stands Andorra's national motto Virtus Unita Fortior...



Foix was the birthplace of Charles de Freycinet
Charles de Freycinet
Charles Louis de Saulces de Freycinet was a French statesman and Prime Minister during the Third Republic; he belonged to the Opportunist Republicans faction. He was elected a member of the Academy of Sciences, and in 1890, the fourteen member to occupy seat the Académie française.-Early years:He...

 (1828–1923), statesman and prime minister.

Tour de France

Foix was the start of Stage 15 in the 2007 Tour de France
2007 Tour de France
The 2007 Tour de France, the 94th running of the race, took place from 7 July to 29 July 2007. The Tour began with a prologue in London, and ended with the traditional finish in Paris. Along the way, the route also passed through Belgium and Spain...

, and the end of Stage 11 in the 2008 Tour de France
2008 Tour de France
The 2008 Tour de France was the 95th Tour de France. The event took place from 5–27 July 2008. Starting in the French city of Brest, the tour entered Italy on the 15th stage and returned to France during the 16th, heading for Paris, its regular final destination, which was reached in the 21st stage...


Points of interest

The botanical garden, Les Épines de Lespinet
Les Épines de Lespinet
Les Épines de Lespinet is a private botanical garden specializing in cactus and succulents. It is located at 38, Les Hauts de Lespinet, Foix, Ariège, Midi-Pyrénées, France, and open by guided tours; an admission fee is charged....

, has a collection of cacti
-See also:* RRDtool The underlying software upon which Cacti is built* MRTG The original Multi Router Traffic Grapher from which RRDtool was "extracted".* Munin -External links:******...

 and succulents, as well as citrus trees, banana plants, and Mediterranean vegetation.

See also

  • Castle of Foix
    Château de Foix
    The Château de Foix is a castle which dominates the town of Foix in the French département of Ariège. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. It has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture....

  • List of Co-Princes of Andorra
  • Communes of the Ariège department

External links

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