Cultural Heritage

La Couvertoirade

La Couvertoirade is an ancient Templar castle still surrounded by encircling walls and towers. A reference to the “Cubertoirata” can be found in the XI century as property of the Gellone abbey. It used to be a post station along a “dralha”, a transhumance route of the Languedoc area. It was an ideal place for a settlement thanks to the presence of pasturelands, cultivable fields and water. When the Templar Order was suppressed in 1312, the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, and the Knights of Malta afterwards, gained possession of the castle. During the One Hundred Years War, specifically between 1439 and 1442, the settlement was equipped with walls and towers. Nowadays, La Couvertoirade is a very touristic hamlet thanks to the overall beauty of its complex. There are a XIII-XIV century church partly carved in the rock and a big underground tank next to it, which supplies water to the community. The cemetery is of great interest thanks to its numerous medieval funerary stones, all representing a variously decorated Greek cross, engraved in a solar disc facing the east. The XII century castle, partially reduced to ruins, is a private property. […]

The Castle of Termes

From the XI century on, the Castle of Termes housed the Lords of Termes, who owned the wide border district which bordered with Aragon. The aristocratic family had frequent conflicts with the close abbey of Lagrasse and it adhered to the Catharist heresy. Raymond de Termes was accused of heresy and Bénoit de Termes, perhaps his brother, was parfait and Catharist bishop of Razès. In 1210 the castle was besieged by Simon de Monfort and it was taken due to the lack of drinking water. It was confiscated and destroyed in the XVII century because its defensive function was not necessary anymore when the border of the reign of France shifted more to the west. The castle can be visited, even though the ruins date back to the XIII century reconstruction, after the end of the crusade: tel. 33 (0)4 68 70 09 20, 33 (0)4 68 70 10 71. The medieval hamlet of Termes arose in that same period, in a meander of the stream Sou. […]

The castle of Monségur

The ruins of the castle of Monségur, last fortress of the Catharist resistance, date back to a reconstruction following the crusade. What remains are massive quadrangular walls, with two doors and a courtyard having rocky outcrops. On the highest point there is a building formerly covered with a tunnel vault, with little windows: it was probably the main tower or another lodging. For guided tours (groups of 20 people and more) tel. 33 (0)5 61 01 06 94. […]

The castle of Peyrepertuse

The village of Duilhac has medieval origins (XI century) and it probably arose around the Romanesque structure of the church of St-Michel, built with a single nave and a semicircular apse. It preserves the medieval structure in the Fort, which corresponds to the area surrounded by polygonal walls of the XIV century. To the north of this area there is a monumental fountain wash-house. The castle of Peyrepertuse is one of the most significant examples of medieval military architecture. The place was probably […]

The castle of Puivert.

What remains of the castle are the quadrangular walls and their six towers. It was built at the beginning of the XIV century, therefore after the crusade, where there used to be a fortress of the XI century, taken by Simon de Monfort in 1210. There is a wide grass courtyard inside the walls which are made of limestone blocks. The central structure of the castle is a quadrangular tower with rooms built on four levels, among which there a is a Gothic chapel and a room used as museum, with a Gothic umbrella vault and ribs supported by sculptures representing musicians and musical instruments (reproduced in the museum’s cases). Other smaller towers used to be stock rooms or housed the garrison. The owner of the castle is still living in one of the towers, and the castle can be visited: tel. 33 (0)4 68 20 81 52. […]

The fort of Vinadio

Before setting out for the walk, the fort of Vinadio deserves a visit. It was built between 1834 and 1847 by King Carlo Alberto of Savoy. Its defence line consists of ramparts, moats, passageways and it is almost a kilometre in length as the crow flies. It was never armed and never experienced battle. Nowadays, it is used for exhibitions and cultural events. […]

Villerouge-Térmenes

In Villerouge-Térmenes there is still a castle which was strategically important for the crusade. It was built after the XII century by the archbishops of Narbonne and is a remarkable example of medieval military architecture: the four-tower structure dates back to the XIII century. It was occupied by Simon de Monfort and his vassals during the crusade. More than one century afterwards, Guilhem Bélibaste, the last ‘Catharist Perfect of the faith’ known in history, was burnt alive in the castle in 1321. […]

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