Villetritouls is a pretty village in Aude located in the heart of the Corbières 28 km south-east of Carcassonne in the canton of Lagrasse. Covering an area of 488 hectares, perched at an altitude of 237 meters on the northern foothills of the Lacamp Plateau, it is part of the geographical area called Val de Dagne.
Villetritouls, a funny name
Villetritouls is located on a plateau on the slope of the Val de Dagne. It used to be a bigger town, as evidenced by the foundations of the surrounding area. Named in turns Villa Tertulli (1110), Villatertulis (1272), Villatertulus (1361), the village had 117 inhabitants in 1826. In 2015, at the last census, there were 28. Several explanations are clash on the origin of the name of Villetritouls.
At the time of the Roman occupation, the establishment of a large “villa” or agricultural estate could have given its name to Villetritouls: villa Tertulli, the estate of Tertullus after the name of its owner, Cornutus Tertullus or a descendant of Tertullus, lover of Faustina, the wife of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Another interpretation draws its source (pardon the pun) from the topography of the area. So we would have a more pastoral etymology: the “village with three sources” or “three waterfalls” (ter tullii). One thing’s for sure, water sources are not lacking in the Val de Dagne, which owes its name to Diane, the Latin goddess of hunting or perhaps vallis aquitania, the water valley).
A little bit of history : Villetritouls of Lagrasse, then of Termes
In the twelfth century, Villetritouls belonged to the Abbey of Lagrasse, before passing into the hands of the lordship of Termes. Part of the land was bequeathed to the commandery of the Templars of Douzens. This could also explain the origin of the roadside cross where the recumbent figure of a Knight of the Temple appears, hands clasped on his sword.
The village church possesses superb monolithic baptismal fonts. At the top of the main vault an enigmatic inscription: “RCR 1666”.
Villetritouls has become a predominantly residential village. The sheep cheeses of the Donnet family, present on the menus of the most prestigious restaurants of France, contributed much to the reputation of the village until the retirement of the couple.
Visit the website of Villetritouls, where you will find many interesting details on the history and news of the town.