Montségur: the rock of the Ariège! Situated 45 minutes from Quillan, towering at 1207 metres high on the uppermost part of a rocky promontory called Pog, Montségur castle is cited in texts from the end of the 12th century.
The first signs of human occupation on this mountain however date back to 4000 BC.
At the beginning of the 13th century, the Cathars, practicing a dualistic religion declared a heresy by the Pope, took refuge here.
In 1232, the castle became the seat of the Cathar church and a refuge for “faidits” (exiled Albegensians) and local Lords stripped of their property by the Crusade.
While the Languedoc was engulfed in fire and blood, Montségur lived in relative peace for more than 40 years. In the end, the Pope and the King of France decided in 1243 to rid themselves of Montségur. At the end of a terrible 11-month siege, on 16th March 1244, the Cathars were taken to be slaughtered. However, before taking back Montségur, Raimont Roger Trencavel declared a 15-day delay without fighting or invasion. Mystery still surrounds this decision. Pourquoi?
More than 200 Cathars were burnt alive after this fifteen-day respite. The castle of Montségur is full of mystery and stories, some of which remain unclear despite much research.
More information at: www.montsegur.fr
• Don’t miss the museum in the village of Montségur, displaying various objects: tools, furs, ornaments.