Visit to the Castles of Montsegur and Puivert
A full day visiting two Châteaux about an hour's drive south-west of Carcassonne, both with strong Cathar connections.
Montsegur is the iconic Cathar Castle, the "head and the seat" of the Cathar Church. Its fall to a crusading army in 1244 following a 10-month siege signalled the end of significant Cathar resistance. It was besieged by the French army in 1243 and fell in 1244. In addition to ascending to the castle and a visit to an informative local museum, the tour includes details about the death of over 200 Cathars who were burned alive after refusing to renounce their faith.
lunch is at a secluded restaurant in the village which specialises in traditional food with local produce.
After lunch we visit Puivert, a castle owned by a Cathar family who are known to have been patrons to many troubadours. This well-preserved castle has strong connections to both the Cathars and the Troubadours, sophisticate poet-musicians who sang the praises of such innovative themes as courtly love, chivalry and the fundamental equality of all people, regardless of gender or wealth. It was besieged by the Crusaders during the Albigensian Crusade in 1210. The family fled and a new Catholic lord installed, who built a new castle next to the old one. Our visit illuminates their enduring contributions to regional and European history in spite of the castle’s fall to a crusading army early in the Cathar Crusade.
|Model of Montsegur II|
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