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The village of Puycelsi

Plus Beaux Villages de France

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The name Puycelsi comes from the roman fortification - whose remains still exist - close to hill the village is located now: Celsium Podium, which means a high platform.
It is a member of "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" family.
Puycelsi's more recent history goes back to 1180 when the abbot Pierre d’Aurillac hands over the village to Raymond V, Count of Toulouse, who fortifies the place. At the beginning of the Crusade against the Cathars the village is known to be a cathar stronghold.
The crusaders army lead by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and later in 1213 by his brother Guy de Montfort besiege the fort twice without conquering it.
In 1229 at the Treaty of Meaux - which formally ends the conflict between the Kindom of France and the County of Toulouse, and prepares the annexing of the latter one to the former one - Puycelsi is one of the cities that belonging to the defeated party has to have their defence system reduced. This is the time when its castle was destroyed, but the towers and the ramparts were saved and can be still admired.
Over the centuries the little town stood against other powerful enemies like the English armies during the Hundred Years War or the Huguenot troops during the Religious War.
From its promontory the little town offers a beautiful panorama of the Grésigne forest, the biggest - 8600 acres! - Oak forest in the South West of France.

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