In the Upper Aude Valley, Quillan is the capital of the Pyrénées Audoises in both geographical and touristic terms. Standing at a major road junction, Quillan makes an ideal base from which to explore the entire picturesque region of the Pyrenean piedmont plateau: the spectacular Sault region, the Fanges and Roquefortès forests, the Pierre-Lys, Rébenty and Agly gorges and other southern Corbières canyons.

The Castle

Standing on the river’s right bank, the castle has towered over the lower town since the 14th century. The entrance to the square-shaped castle was via a majestic gate tower of several storeys. It was the administrative headquarters of the Archbishops of Narbonne, who sometimes resided there. First destroyed during the Franco-Aragonese wars, it was later levelled and transformed into an artillery battery.

Quillan, vue du chateau

After being used as a stone quarry for the construction of new buildings, it became an excavation site on three different occasions, before work began to restore it.

Nowadays, the top of the castle offers beautiful views of the town and the surrounding mountains.

Origin

The town owes its name to three nearby hills which form the backdrop known as the “Trois Quilles”.

Quillan, vue générale

Notre Dame de l’Assomption Church

Leaving the castle via the old bridge and crossing Place de la République, you can see a square tower stretching to a height of 30 metres. This is the church steeple. It is a Romanesque structure dating from the 14th century. The wealth of its interior will leave you speechless…
This includes:
• A 19th-century wooden pulpit with a cast iron staircase which comes from the Cathédrale d’Alet, and the choir wall made from Caunes-Minervois marble.
• A magnificent “Pietà”
• An organ dating from 1793
• A set of paintings of biblical characters, donated by Napoléon III
• A 19th-century crystal and bronze chandelier from Saint Petersburg.

Quillan, clocher
quillan lac saint bertrand, enfants

Saint-Bertrand Lake

This lake is a haven of peace which has recently been equipped to offer visitors a place to cool off.
This concerns two areas of the lake. The first has beaches, one of sand, one of pebbles, offering partial shade under the foliage of large-trunk trees. The second is set aside for fishing, paddleboarding, kayaking, etc.

There is also a freely accessible volleyball and football pitch, a boules pitch and a pump track, as well as a 4 km trail for runners, walkers and mountain bikers.

Sporty town

Quillan is a world-class venue for white-water sports and a popular departure point for hikes in the Upper Valley and the Pyrénées Audoises. The town also hosts a number of sporting events which attract significant numbers of participants, including a trail run and the Ronde des 3 Quilles MTB race.

Descente en rafting dans l'Aude ©Pierre Davy-ADT de l'Aude