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The origins of Alet-les-Bains’ abbey are shrouded in mystery, but can be traced back to around the 8th century. In the 12th century, it was an influential site, attracting a fair number of pilgrims. In 1318, the Abbey was erected as a Bishop’s house, with a view of pursuing the war against Catharism. It stood until the Revolution, when the diocese included 60 parishes spreading until Formigueres and Saint-Paul de Fenouillet. During the 16th century, at the time of the religious wars, Huguenots fired and ruined the abbey. In the 17th century, Nicolas Pavillon, Alet’s priest and disciple of Saint-Vincent of Paul, could have found the resources to restore the damaged buildings but decided not to proceed.

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