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Garnac, the lost village

Belpech, a village to discover 
From yesteryears to nowadays, what a history…

Located about one kilometre west of Belpech, Garnac was a Gallo-roman or Gaul settlement that gave its name to the whole area… before disappearing completely.

In the Xth century, the area was known as ministerium Agarnagense.  At the end of the XIVth century, the country of Garnac, or Garnagès, had become an irregularly-shaped wide collection of parishes spreading as far out as Cintegabelle, Fanjeau and Mirepoix. ​

Unfortunately, the exact location of this earliest settlement is not known for sure. The very old geographical designation Pech Vièlh (the old hill) could well lead to the neighbouring hill where it could have been located.

Around the middle of the XIth century, a new settlement was founded, that would ultimately become the current Belpech.  It was located below the newly-erected fortified castle, at the foot of the hill which became Pech Novèl (the new hill), or Pech of Bel (Bel’s hill).  We don’t yet know the reason for the founding of the new settlement, or why the original village was abandoned.

Belpech - Wisigothic sarcophagus, Garnac cemetery, Vth century. © Auguste Armengaud
Wisigothic sarcophagus, Garnac cemetery, Vth century. © Auguste Armengaud

Thanks to L. and T. Guillosson

for translation

Pégau – Garnac cemetery – Vth century
Pégau – Garnac cemetery – Vth century

Garnac cemetery

The name « garnac cemetery » still appears in the land registry where the old Belpech cemetery was located. Around 1825, sarcophagi dating from the Vth century were discovered by farmers. In one of the sarcophagi, a “pégau” vase, of a very common type in the area during the XI-XIIIth centuries, was found.

A second pégau was found around 1980 by a rambler, in the vicinity of the ancient cemetery.  Although incomplete, it seems to be of a similar age.  These artifacts indicate that the site was still in use at least six centuries after its inception, while Garnac had already laid way to Belpech.


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