Coustouges dates from approximately 130 BC when it was chosen as a Roman garrison « Custodia » on the border with Spain and was a passage between the two countries. Over the years the name has altered slightly several times, finally becoming what it is today, Coustouges and in Catalan Costoja. There is evidence of human occupation even further back, indeed as far back as prehistoric times, with dolmens and menhirs on both sides of the river Major. It is this same river which marks a natural boundary between France and Spain, and has been the official frontier since the treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659.
The village has had its share of troubles; the Visigoths, allies of the Franks against the Saracens and the armies of the kings of Aragon, Majorca and France, variously invading and subjecting the population to the vagaries of their rule. More recently in 1939, it was one of the routes used by people fleeing Franco’s army. Carrying their belongings which had to be discarded little by little as their strength drained, thousands of refugees passed through our village. There is a memorial to them at the southern edge of the village. (If you are interested in this period in our history, type ‘Retirada’ into a search engine). The villagers also suffered under the Nazi occupation with some interned in concentration camps, from which not all returned.