Les Angles is at the southernmost tip of the Capcir. This no doubt explains the origin of its name since it comes from the Latin angulos, meaning remote place.
According to tradition the village once lay 300 metres further north than where it now stands, at “l’Esglèsia Vella” above the Formiguères road just after the last buildings in the village.
It is said that the inhabitants moved into the enclosure of the fortification built to provide greater protection from enemy invasions.
It is built on the slopes of Mont Llaret and so stands above the Capcir plateau (1655m).
The first written mention of the village of Les Angles dates back to 966. In 1106 Richard, Archbishop of Narbonne, consecrated the altar in St Sauveur church in Les Angles at the request of an abbot (from an Abbey near Saint Paul de Fenouillet) in a new church built where the church still stands today.
Around about the 13th century the inhabitants, fleeing from the enemy, abandoned the place. They came and took refuge in the enclosure around the castle which was a bit higher up, thereby founding the current village which grew up around a fortified farm or mause, the mansus de Podio. In the 13th century the mansus became a Castrum de Podio Angulorum in parochia Sancti Salvatoris.
The size of the population fluctuated over the period from 1355 to 1964. It peaked in 1900 when Les Angles was a dynamic village with about 730 households. But the World Wars and the rural exodus (due to the greater economic opportunities available in towns and the decline of agriculture) gradually drained the village of its population, and in 1960 there were only 350 households left.
On 4 January 1964 the village created its ski resort. From that point on the economic alternative afforded by tourism enabled the village to stabilise its population, which even started growing slowly but surely once again.
Nowadays Les Angles has a permanent population of about 600 people.
Google Street View
Naviguer dans le village grâce à l'outil de Google Stree View
A little guided visit of our village is available via a downloadable booklet, "The Story of Les Angles”
Most people do not seem to pay much attention to the fountains they see around the village, of which there are nine in all. They were used for various functions – including providing water for the inhabitants and drinking water for the animals. The fountain troughs are hewn out of granite.
When it froze hard in winter the ice had to be broken in the lower basin.
And they also had a more romantic use, as they were where lovers used to meet.
The current church of Saint Michel des Angles (Sant-Miquel) was rebuilt in the late nineteenth century, on the spot where the chapel of the old castle once stood. The baptismal fonts are made out of granite and thought to come from the old chapel at Esglesia vella. Behind them is a Virgin of the Assumption, known as Mare de Deu blanca (white mother of God). She is venerated during processions on Easter Sunday and 15 August (her feast day). Numerous statues may be admired in the nave. A fine rood screen in the Baroque style, placed in the chapel on the left transept, has been officially placed on the Fine Arts and the Historic Monuments lists.