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Sem - Commune de Val de Sos

Historic site and monument, Village de caractère in Val-de-Sos
  • Former mountain mining village

  • Village of Sem (Municipality of Val-de-Sos)

    Altitude: 991m
    Location: in the Vicdessos valley
    Number of inhabitants: 23
    Distances: Vicdessos 3 km - Tarascon-sur-Ariege 15 km

    Sem is one of the villages that has been part of the new municipality of Val-de-Sos since 2019.

    The village of Sem seems to have been grouped together during the Middle Ages, probably before the year 1000. It is mentioned for the first time in a charter from the end of the 12th century. Its toponym would come from the...
    Village of Sem (Municipality of Val-de-Sos)

    Altitude: 991m
    Location: in the Vicdessos valley
    Number of inhabitants: 23
    Distances: Vicdessos 3 km - Tarascon-sur-Ariege 15 km

    Sem is one of the villages that has been part of the new municipality of Val-de-Sos since 2019.

    The village of Sem seems to have been grouped together during the Middle Ages, probably before the year 1000. It is mentioned for the first time in a charter from the end of the 12th century. Its toponym would come from the Latin man's name Sentius.

    The village of Sem is especially associated with the iron mine of Rancié because it is located closest to the exploitations and its population was made up of many miners. This mine, of ancient origin, was one of the largest in the Pyrenees. It developed radically from the 14th century, when the hydraulic forging process made it possible to manufacture iron more easily and therefore at lower cost. Iron became a common commodity and demand exploded.The high quality of ore from the Rancié deposit and the wise policy of developing the iron trade allowed the success of this activity to the point that the consulate of Vicdessos in modern times could be called "iron consulate". Victim of competition with mines from the colonies and then from other continents, that of Sem closed definitively at the beginning of the 20th century.

    We counted in the village of Sem up to 400 miners, 4 cafes and many shops.

    Its church is now dedicated to Saint Croix, patron saint of geologists, firefighters, miners, artillerymen, metallurgists, etc.
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