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Forge de Pyrène, un village inoublié - Ariège, Pyrénées, Foix, Montgailhard
Forge de Pyrène, Village des métiers d’antan - Ariège, Pyrénées, Foix, Montgailhard

The village of
Les Forges

Truly a living history book, les Forges de Pyrène plunges visitors into the world of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, through live workshops, bygone practices and the life of artisans. You will also be welcomed, upon the opening of their shops, by our craftsmen – entertainers: the blacksmith’s workshop, the shoemaker, the bread oven, the potter, the writing workshop not forgetting the gold panner in the river “Scios” during the summer. Notably, up to 6 workshops per day from 10:00 to 18:00, all workshops are covered and take place even in bad weather; all that remains is for us to wish you a good visit.


La Forge à Martinet

Already present in the Middle Ages, this big forge hammer driven by a water mill, is one of the last still operating in France. Commonly known as the “Forge à martinet”, it has kept its original appearance and still retains its dark and mysterious atmosphere. Philippe (Zézé), holds its secrets and shares them with you.

The Museums

The museum of trades of the past, of Forges de Pyrene, brings together the largest collection of tools and objects displaying 130 trades in 5000  pieces. From the most famous to the most unusual, the trades are displayed via a slide show, an educational room and customised tours for groups.

The trades are grouped under five thematic areas:

– street trades
– agriculture and livestock
– domestic life
– habitat
– clothing

Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the great epic of iron in Ariège. Discover the tools, take part to the production chain and to the
evolution of techniques throughout history. Men, women and children of the iron reveal this priceless wealth.

“The Ages of Life” and the Discovery path

Baptistou, 85, takes you on a journey through time, which is both fun and moving. By addressing his granddaughter Marion, and aided by an interactive scenography, he immerses you into the heart of the 1900s to the delight of the entire family.


Take a walk with our mascot the squirrel and discover the typical Ariège environment : its fauna, its flora and resources that Man has been able to draw from it in respect of nature for so many years.


Village des forges : le forgeron

The village blacksmith

The pivot of rural life, the blacksmith is also the soul of the village. In this workshop, with one singular smell, the iron began to glow on a coal bed fanned by the bellows. Before you he transforms the iron with the sound of the hammer striking it on the anvil. He cuts, lengthens, stretches the material to make horseshoes or nails. This multi-talented man becomes a Farrier or Cloutier.

Village of old trades : The Master Glassmaker

The Master Glassmaker

Vincent Pull our master glassmaker holds the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France. He specialises in making and restoring stained glass windows. Discover the traditional methods he uses and admire the colors, transparency and magical reflections he creates with the stained glass.

Village of old trades : le potier

The basket maker

This workshop conjures the history of the basket making trade, details the different materials used in weaving and how wickerwork items were made. It then goes on to focus on techniques of making the essential objects used in agricultural trades and daily life.

Village of old trades : le boulanger

The bread oven

In the past the Fournier managed the communal oven, the heating for cooking by looking after it. You find out about the wood oven and its origins, as well as bread and its trade secrets. The more thing complicated here, will be being patient before tasting, as sourdough bread will make foodies drool.

Trade Fair : orpailleur

The gold panner

Under the counts of Foix the collection of gold was widespread, the work consisted of a large number of washes to clear the sand of the gold flakes. Here you attend demonstrations with old tools: pan, shovel and bowl.

Old Amusement park : atelier d'écriture

The writing workshop

This participatory workshop plunges you into the atmosphere of a school in 1900. Rediscover desks, ink, pens and pen holders for a writing lesson between thick and thin. Don’t be silly, our school masters and mistresses shall ensure discipline and the dunce cap is never far…

Un site de l’agglo Foix-Varilhes