The Cathars: Cathar Castles
Most of the main "Cathar Castles" are actualy castles built by
the French after the Cathar Crusade, and used to defend their new
border with Aragon. Being later, and Royal, they were typically
bigger and more advanced than the original "Cathar Castle".
These castles were Royal slighted, or left to decay, after the Treaty
of the Pyrenees in the seventeenth century. Among the
and her five sons: Termes,
There are a few genuine Cathar Castles, advertised as Cathar Castles:
You will also find a few vestiges near to existing structures (eg
castles at Peyrepertuse,
probably has the best claim to be a Cathar Castle, followed by Foix
and three quarters of Lastours
Among the later French Castles built on the site of Cathar strongholds,
(but often advertised as Cathar Castles) are: Coustaussa,
There are even French Castles with no Cathar connections, which
are sometimes advertised as Cathar Castles: such as Arques.
There are also Cathar Castles that are not advertised as Cathar
Castles for various reasons. Among them are: Pieusse
(in private hands) Le
Bézu (advertised as a Templar Comandery) and Usson
(remote and ruined).
Finally there are a number of sites of Cathar Castles, where nothing
or almost nothing remains: Béziers,
There are also castles of interest because of their links with
events during the Cathar period, for example: Avignonet,
where Cathar sympathisers massacred Inquisitors. Villerouge
Termenès, where the last known Cathar
Parfait in the Languedoc was burned alive, and Montaillou,
the home of Beatrice de Plannissols, a major character in the events
following the arrest of a whole village by the Inquisition
on suspicion of Cathar sympathies.
here for more on Cathar Castles.
here for a summary list of Cathar Castles, with links to details,
history architecture, phographs, plans and maps.