Nothing remains of the preceding structure of Bobbin Church (mentioned in 1250, originally owned by the Bergen monastery). The present church is an imposing, fieldstone structure with shaped brick elements plastered so as to leave the underlying surface visible. Brick is used for the corners of the building, gables, buttresses, vaults, and all ornamentation. The nave, choir, and sacristy were built in about 1400. It has a rectangular nave with a flat wooden ceiling, and a retracted, rib-vaulted choir. The two square choir bays have been repeated in enlarged form in the nave. The interior is whitewashed and in 1955 was painted in simple form. Floors are of limestone tiles. The choir is a step higher than the nave. The windows were enlarged, probably in the Middle Ages. The “Likhus” on the south side of the choir was built in the 17th century, and was extended in the 17th century to provide access to the patron’s box. The west tower was built in about 1500 of brick with a sprinkling of fieldstone (the upper part still later). Steep pavilion roof with a weathervane from 1657.
Oldest furnishings and accessories: Gotland limestone font from about 1300 (presumably from the preceding church). Cuppa wall decorated with twelve blind ogee-arches. Worth noting: the iron-grilled aumbry inserted in the south wall of the sacristy (from about 1400), decorated with Gothic tempera painting and carving, beside the altar sacrament house with iron-studded wooden door under a canopy and quatrefoil. Other furnishings: pulpit from 1622 (late Renaissance), high altar with choir screen (1668) and patron's box, confessional from 1775 (workshop of Michael Müller, Stralsund), portraits, sepulchral slabs. The churchyard is worth a visit.References:
The Château de Foix dominates the town of Foix. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Built on an older 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.
In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.
The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.
From the 14th century, the Counts of Foix spent less and less time in the uncomfortable castle, preferring the Governors' Palace. From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.
As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu (1632-1638).
Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.
Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.