Arans lies over halfway up the western arm of the "Y".
To the east of the valley, the main road from Andorra-la-Vella climbs through the Port d'Envalira through the town of Pas de la Casa (Pass of the House) and then follows the Ariege River from it's source down into the pro-Cathar County of Foix and thence on to Languedoc, still in the grip of the Albigensian Crusade in 1220.
The southern route leaves via the valley at the base of the "Y" through to the Catalan County of Urgell, whose bishop is the nominal feudal overlord of Andorra. The county of Urgell is currently claimed by the usurper Guerau de Cabrera, who has just seized it in 1220 from the rightful heiress, Aurembiax, sole daughter of the previous count Armengol VIII, on the death of her mother Elvira on the pretext that daughters cannot inherit.
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