The name of inhabitant is couseranais ( coseranés/couseranés in Gascon). The principal city is Saint-Bosoms. Gascon province Eastern, Couserans is located in addition to the Garonne, in the valleys of the Salat and the Arize. It constitutes the Western part of the Département of Ariège.
The name of Couserans ( Coseran/Couseran in Gascon) comes from the Consoranni , the name given by the Romans to the ancient people which had his chief town with St Lizier.
Couserans extends on about thirty kilometers around its “capital” Saint-Bosoms.
Bottom and Haut-Couserans
It is subdivided in two parts, Bas-Couserans, downstream from Saint-Bosoms, and Haut-Couserans upstream, the unit organized around an artery: the Salat (which is thrown in the the Garonne) and its many affluents.
Bas-Couserans, between 350 and 700 m of altitude, belongs to the field of Prépyrénées or the Small Pyrenees, still called the Plantaurel, a calcareous area folded where small valleys and watersheds alternate.
Limited to the south by the valley of the Lez and the valley of the Baup, this small Brook which occupies the broad corridor making it possible to reach Foix, the area extends, in the east until Labastide-with-Sérou and the North-East until the Farmhouse-with Azil.
In the south of this unit, Haut-Couserans, with three parallel watersheds of East-West orientation:
initially, a link which reaches the 1500 m, Pyrenean face-north (massive of Sourroque, solid mass of Erp-Soulan, collar of Rille),
then, the zone Leans - Mirabat - Bouirex - Araing - Calabasse,
- finally the axial chain, on the border with the Spain, which starts in the mountains of Aulus, not far from the Pic of Montcalm (basin of the Ariège) and continues until Crabère, on the departmental limit with the Haute-Garonne, while passing by the peaks of Certescans, MT Rouch, the Mont Valier, Barlonguères and Maubermé, all having 2500 to 2800 m of altitude. On this way, the border never goes down in lower part 2087 m (port of Salau). The slopes are stiff, since the funds of valleys, around 1200 m, are seldom with more than 3 or 4 km of the watershed.
With the foot of these mountains, two rivers, Salat and Lez, its principal affluent, which individualize two most of the mountain couseranaise: Haut-Salat and the Castillonnais.
In Castillonnais with the narrow valleys (Biros, Bethmale), the villages are primarily installed on the soulanes. In Haut-Salat, the inner basins (Oust - Seix, Massat, Ercé, Ustou) alternate with more boxed sectors (throat of Ribaute between Lacourt and Kerkabanac), while the soulanes, in the form of plates (Soulan, Cominac) or of hills (Sentenac d' Oust) dominate the unit.
In Haut-Salat, the Peak of Montagnol and the Vallée of Angouls were classified “ natural Zone of ecological, faunistic and floristic interest ”, because of their Flore of high mountains limestones with endemic or rare plants, and of the presence of a rich fauna of mountain.
GeologyThe essence of this territory makes up of grounds Sédimentaires, primarily Calcaire S, Argile S and Schistes, and, locally, of the granitic grounds (Erp with its rotted Granite S, mountains of Aulus) or ic Volcan. Most famous of the latter being located, above Massat, around the pond of Lers, which gave its name to the greenish rock, the Lherzolite.
The mountain couseranaise results, like the whole of the Pyrenees, of the shock of two continental plates, the Iberian plate “” and the “European” plate. The sedimentary rocks which had been formed at the bottom of the Mer S during the previous periods were then carried in Altitude and very vigorously rectified, sometimes with the vertical. One can still see nowadays, with a few kilometers downstream from Aulus-the-Baths and balafrant the mountain landscape, the rectified limestone deposit, witness of the limit between the two plates.
But they are periods closer to us who will contribute to work the landscapes of Couserans, such as we know them today.
Initially, for the long period of the Tertiary sector, intense a erosion reduces considerably the height of these mountains and sets up a first network of valleys between which extend from inclined surfaces, of which one is noticed still nowadays in the landscape: it limits, in the west, the basin of Oust, on the basis of the Mount Valier (2800 m), passing by Bouyrex (1800 m), to finish on the mountains of Sourroque (1400 m) which dominate St-Bosoms.
GlaciersBut it is especially the period of the glaciations which will work the high mountain.
Couserans knew, in its oriental party, a relatively important Glacier, in the mountains which extend between Aulus and Ustou, on the site of the current ski station of Guzet-snow and going down in the valleys from the Garbet and the Alet, two Affluent S of Salat. Between the Red Peak of Bassiès and the Peaks of Certescans-Montabonne (2840 m), on ten kilometers length, the watershed never goes down in lower parts of 2400 Mr. Moreover, in the north of this peak, the spaces located above 1800 m are relatively vast: they extend on 2 to 3 km at least in the sector from Guzet, of the Pic of Séron to the Pic of Freychet. Admittedly, these dimensions can lend to smiling by their modesty, but, in these mountains of the central Pyrenees to the very stiff slopes, such configurations are exceptional. They is thus there that accumulated, for the coldest periods of this long diluvial period which lasted a million years, snows which fed this glacier. There remains about it, around 1800 meters of altitude, many lakes closed by glacial bolts (ponds of Alet, of Hilette, Paddle, Garbet) and Cirque S, of which most known are those of Cagateille or Garbetou, without forgetting, more in the west, in the high valley of Salat, the circus of Anglade in the commune of Couflens.
This large glacier thus went down in a compact mass between the current valleys from Alet and Garbet. Arrived at the level of the collar of Latrape, currently located around 1100 m, it ran up against the link of the peak of Adosse and separated in two languages towards the two valleys from Aulus and Ustou, currently located between 700 and 800 m of altitude. On the level of these two villages, these valleys have, by places, the sides precipice of the glaciated valleys out of trough.
the Lakes of Couserans
HistoryTo refer to
Principal centers of interest
- Dirty-of-Salat the Hydrotherapy
- Guzet-snow Winter sports
- Aulus-the-Baths Hydrotherapy
- List of the bishops of Couserans
- In the middle of Ariège: Couserans
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