Other Cathar Castles
Within an hour’s drive from Quillan, these other Cathar Castles will all allow you to experience the mystery and history of the region.
A vestige of Catharism in the heart of the Montagne Noire, Saissac Castle rises above an exceptional landscape with the Pyrenees on the horizon.
Two restored halls house an exhibition on the 13th century treasure of Saissac, made up of 2000 coins.
The site of Lastours, with its four castles, sits on the summit of a rocky spur overlooking the Orbiel and Gresillou valleys. The four Lastours castles are called: Tour Régine, Surdespine, Cabaret and Quertinheux. They have an important place in Cathar history in the south of France. Under the protection of local lords, numerous "heretical" families lived in the fortified village, whose ruins have been examined for over twenty years by archeologists. There is a superb panorama over the site from the viewpoint. It is said that one of the castles is built on a rock in which there is a cave. It is known locally as “the opening of the town". According to legend, on 15th August 1209, some of the inhabitants of Carcassonne fled via an underground passageway taking them to Lastours Castle.
• Don’t miss the sound and light festival and the medieval dinners in the summer.
Mentioned for the first time in texts in 1110, Termes Castle was the seat of one of the most important families in the south, the counts of Carcassonne, up until the beginning of the 13th century. 800 years ago, Termes was the site of the longest siege in the Albigensian Crusade. The ruins are situated in one of the bends of the Gorges du Sou. Viewed from afar, the north and west walls give the illusion that the castle is still intact.
• A visit with an introductory film, guide book to borrow and an exhibition entitled “1210: the siege of Termes Castle”.
Villerouge Termenes Castle
The castle is situated in the centre of the medieval village. The first references to Villerouge-Termenes date back to the 12th century. From 1110 to the Revolution, the castle and village belonged to the powerful bishopric of Narbonne.
Unfortunately the village was the place where the last known Cathar “Parfait”, Guilhem Bélibaste, was slaughtered, in 1321.
Essential in the defence of the Corbières, Aguilar, lying not far from the Fitou vineyards, was fortified in the 11th century.
This Franco-Aragon border fort was built in a polygon form, in the centre of a hexagonal wall with six towers. Clinging to the rock, it overhangs the plain of Tuchan.
More information here
Experience the surroundings of the castle on foot, especially around Mont Tauch across from the castle.
Perched on a rocky spur at 920m high, this Ariege castle controlled the Aude Valley up to the border between the "départements" of Aude and Ariège in the canton of Quillan. Its role as one of the “high citadelles” was to protect the Donezan area from incursion.
More information here
• Don’t miss the evening visits during the summer, finishing at the castle!