Look up and contemplate the superb Renaissance paintings of Notre-Dame-de-la-Sède Cathedral. You will then understand its nickname of “Ariège Sistine Chapel”.
A visit to the Bishops' Palace, alternately bishopric, prison or insane asylum, will also reveal the history of Couserans and the development of the site thanks to a completely new museum.
Discover the monetary treasure and its 13 pieces, the models and interactive devices, the psychiatric history of the place and the new objects taken from the reserves for the occasion.
- Spoken Languages: English Spanish
The museographic space
On the heights of the charming village of Saint-Lizier, the bishops of Couserans built a sumptuous palace and a richly decorated cathedral that they continued to embellish from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century.
After 1 year of work, the site reopens its doors and presents a new museography allowing you to discover 2 years of local history in a fun, modern and accessible way.
The story and your visit begins in Antiquity, when the Romans ruled the area. You will discover, from this period, archaeological remains found locally: amphorae, ceramics, pottery and of course, the monetary treasury of Saint Girons made up of 13000 pieces. Thanks to a clever facsimile, the rampart, an archaeological gem of the city of Saint-Lizier, will reveal its secrets to you.
Upstairs, your visit continues and eras follow one another, old collections mingle with tactile devices and models to allow you to understand the construction of the place and the city below.
One floor is dedicated to the superb Cathedral that the Bishops' Palace houses within it: Notre-Dame-de-la-Sède Cathedral. The paintings, the techniques used at the time, their recent discovery and the long restoration work are presented to you. An interactive slab will even allow you to put yourself in the shoes of a discoverer and a restorer!
Your tour will end in more recent times with the inhabitants of the Bethmale Valley in the XNUMXth century. Straight out of the reserves, new objects from the important Bégouën collection, such as traditional costumes, remarkable for their cuts and bright colors, or even Bethmalais clogs will complete those on display until then.
Finally and for the first time, the Palace's psychiatric past will be told to you in a fully dedicated room. In the years 1808, the Palace of the Bishops became a begging depot and then a psychiatric hospital in Saint-Lizier. It is then one of these places of reception and confinement of patients suffering from insanity, and therefore, the witness and the actor of the extraordinary change that psychiatry has experienced. In the building which housed the old isolation cells of the psychiatric hospital, this new room will allow you to discover in a sober way the objects and the environment of the daily life of the patients. Reproduced cells will show beds, baths, medicine cabinets ...
A real gem of the site and the highlight of your visit, the Cathedral-Notre-Dame-de-la-Sède is often called the “Ariège Sistine Chapel”. With its painted walls and ceilings, its richly decorated woodwork, it attests to the magnificence of the place and the power of the bishops during the Renaissance.
Look up and be amazed at the sight of the Sybils and Patriarchs that adorn the vaults.
The guided tour, free with your ticket, will give you all the keys to understanding the real purpose of so much beauty, nothing is there by chance… the bishops had a very specific idea in mind when ordering such drawings!
- On-site ticket office open until 17 p.m. except in July and August until 17 p.m.
- Payments accepted: cash / checks (on presentation of an identity document) / bank cards / holiday vouchers
- Reservation is not necessary
- Online ticket office accessible 24 hours a day
|Child (5 to 17 years old)||3€|
|Student (under 26)||4€|
|Family Pass (2 adults + 2 children)||15€|
|From Sunday 04 April to Sunday 31 October|
Works: the Palace will reopen on April 4, 2021 with a brand new museum.
Palace of the Bishops of Saint-Lizier
09190 ST LIZIER
0561051010Calculate my route
Are there reduced rates at the Bishops' Palace?
Discover our different packs and visit our sites at reduced prices!
The “Family Pass” gives you 2 adult tickets + 2 child tickets at only € 15,90.
Children under 5 are free, from 5 to 17 years old a reduced rate of € 3,60.
Students under 26 benefit from a reduced rate of € 4,20.
Anyone with a disability who has a disability card benefits from a 15% discount applicable on the base rate. The companion of a person in a wheelchair is free. Please note that some areas of the Palace are difficult to access, see section Affortability.
How long does the visit to the Palace last?
The visit lasts approximately 1h30.
Is the Bishop's Palace accessible to people with motor disabilities?
The visit cannot be accessible to people in wheelchairs (steps, etc.)
Where to park at the Bishop's Palace?
Free parking is available on site, it is accessible to motorhomes during site opening hours.
Are animals allowed at the Bishop's Palace?
Animals are not allowed inside the site, even on a leash.
Can we buy souvenirs at the Palace?
A shop is present and open at the same hours as the Palace.
Aire de pique-nique
Does the Palace have a picnic area?
A picnic area is available on site.