• Palais des Évêques de Saint-Lizier
  • Pharmacie XVIIIe - Saint-Lizier
  • Cloître de Saint-Lizier
  • Place de Saint-Lizier
  • Cathédrale Notre Dame de la Sède - Saint-Lizier
  • Modillons cathédrale - Saint-Lizier
  • Musée Palais des Évêques de Saint-Lizier
  • Bergère - Saint-Lizier

Chapel of the asylum - St-Lizier

The caves nearby the City may testify to the fact that prehistoric people used to live there.

The history of the City of Saint-Lizier can be divided into 3 periods of unequal lengths :

Gallo-Roman Civitas

In 72 BC, on his way back from pacifying the Iberian Peninsula, Pompey founded the City of the Convenae (Saint-Bertrand de Comminges) and then probably organized the City of the Consorani, later transformed into Couserans. Some think that, at the time, the City was nearer to the town of Saint-Girons.
At the end of the IIIrd century, during the reign of Dioclécien and Constantin, the Consorani territory formed the province of Novempopulanie with eight other Cities. As in Gaul, the Couserans enjoyed the Pax Romana.

According to some and by fear of eventual invasions, the City has moved onto the heights of Saint-Lizier during the IVth century. At that time, ramparts were erected. They still reach a length of 750 metres.

As a witness of the importance of the Civitas, numerous remains of Gallo-Roman monuments were used for the construction of churches during the Middle Ages.

A Bishop’s See (from the Vth century to 1801)

From the Vth century, the history of Saint-Lizier is to be read through the succession of its 79 prelates on the Bishop’s See of Couserans.

The construction of both the Cathedral of Notre Dame de la Sède and the church of Saint-Lizier were started at the end of the XIth century. In 1117, the Bishop of Barbastro in Aragon, Raymond de Durban, consecrated the church. As Saint-Lizier held the relics of a venerated Saint, it became an important stop on the pilgrim road to Santiago de Compostela.

In 1533, a brotherhood of Saint-James was founded in Saint-Lizier of which the statutes were found back recently.

Hector d’Ossun (Bishop from 1548 to 1574) founded the first hospital in the village and provided its financial resources.
It was Bernard Coignet de Marmiesse (Bishop from 1654 to 1680) who had the hospital extended in 1670 and the Bishop’s Palace built.

During 28 years, the Bishop Joseph de Saint-André de Marnays de Vercel administrated the diocese and he so had the hospital rebuilt with the apothecary that can still be visited nowadays.

In 1801, the Concordat suppressed the Bishop’s See of Couserans.

A cultural role

Nowadays, various associations have developed an important cultural life in Saint-Lizier, through concerts, exhibitions, conferences, festivals …
And this is how the City of Saint-Lizier in Couserans found back a role as a host of art and thoughts that had disappeared with the suppression of the Bishop’s See.