"Le Domaine de l'Espitalet"

The Cathar Castles

The catharism

To face the excess of the Catholic church of that time, which lived more in luxury and abundance then in poverty and abstinence, these "good christians" were trying to get back to the sources. Their way of life was the expression of their spiritual ideals which earned them much sympathy among the population. Women also adhered to this new faith, and, as in the ancient testament nothing prohibited this, they took the same positions as men. They called themselves "parfaits" and "parfaites", the perfect men and women. Because the evangel forbids to swear, the cathars refuse sermon. in fact these good christians were particularly subversive for the authority in place and were going to be a menace for the social balance...

The commemorative stone dressed in 1960 in memory of the stake of Montségur.

The castle of Quéribus


The formidable and impressive Cathar castles which still conserve their aura of mystery can be discovered in magnificent sites. Amongst them are the 'five sons of Carcassonne': Peyrepertuse, Quéribus, Puilaurens, Aguilar and Termes. The castle of Usson

The stake of Montségur.

Montségur was not the largest slaughter of the crusade but the most important one, because most leaders of catharism together with more than 200 heretics were thrown into an enormous fire at the 'prat des cramats' near the foot of the castle on March 16, 1244. From May 1243 to March 1244, Montségur was besieged by the troops of the senéchal of Carcassonne and the archbishop of Narbonne.

on the right:

The castle of Puilaurens

on the left:

The castle of Montségur