Medieval Festival of Mazères, Ariège Department of France

The “bastide” of Mazères – now a town in the Ariège department of the south west of France with a population of 4000 inhabitants was founded in 1253.
The flamboyant Count of Foix Gaston Phoebus (1331 – 1391) built here his castle and made Mazères one of his favorite hangouts. Starting from the same period Mazères becomes a textile manufacturing center stimulated by production of flax, hemp and wool in the surrounding region coupled with the culture of pastel used for fabric dyeing (the unique way at the time for obtaining blue dye was by using pastel).

During the Religious Wars Mazères became a Protestant citadel (it still has a Protestant temple). Contrary to the rest of the region or indeed the whole France the town of Mazères remained more or less divided between Catholic and Protestants until the middle of the 20th century.

Mazères Church
Mazères Church

Besides its historic sites: the beautiful church, the old street bordered by arcades, etc. Mazères is only 3 km away from an interesting natural reserve called “Domain des oiseaux”. This reserve appreciated bird watch lovers has about 7 km of walking paths that meander around three ponds (Augé, Grévillou, Cluny) and the banks of river Hers. At the heart of the Domaine des Oiseaux in two specially designed barns there is the “Domaine des Oiseaux Museum” dedicated to rural life of the region in the last century.

Each year in August Mazères celebrates its history with a Medieval Festival. 2013 was not an exception. Here are some highlights from this edition of it:

Mazères Medieval Festival Billboard
Mazères Medieval Festival Billboard
Mazères Medieval Festival - Viking Tent
Mazères Medieval Festival – Viking Tent
Mazeres Medieval Fest 2013 - Candle Making Demonstration
Mazeres Medieval Fest 2013 – Candle Making Demonstration

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