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Are you ready to step back in time?
Two steps from here, discover our Top 3 of the most beautiful royal fortresses in the so-called “Cathar” country.
Let yourself be seduced by the richness of the heritage and the beauty of the landscapes.
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1. Quéribus castle

Quéribus is first mentioned in 1020 in the will of Bernard Taillefer, Count of Besalù. The county joined the House of Barcelona in 1111. In 1162, Alfonso, Count of Barcelona, became King of Aragon. The fortress thus became part of the northern defensive line of the Kingdom of Aragon, formed by Fenolhedés and Peyrepertusés. During the Crusade against the Albigensians, it was a last refuge for the faidit lords and heretics. The town’s commander, Chabert de Barbaira, resisted the King and the Church until the siege of 1255. Chabert, taken prisoner by Olivier de Termes, surrendered Quéribus to the French king in exchange for his freedom. The royal master builders gave the castle its full effectiveness against Aragon. Until the Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659), they transformed its walls to adapt to military developments…

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2. Le château de Peyrepertuse

The fortress is first mentioned in 1020 in the will of Bernard Taillefer, Count of Besalù. From 1162, it was part of the Aragonese kingdom’s line of defense against the Occitan lords. In 1240, it came into the possession of the King of France, who made it a key part of his line of defense against Aragon. The “masters of the king’s works” created a masterpiece of innovation and adaptation to the terrain: a jewel of medieval military architecture that, at the end of the 13th century, proudly defied the neighboring kingdom. Its strategic interest disappeared with the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659.

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3. Le château de Puilaurens

The abbey of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa received the Boulzane valley as a gift in the 10th century. It founded a church associated with a fortified structure. During the crusade against the Albigensians, the castle played host to Faidite lords and heretics. Saint Louis took possession of Puilaurens in 1255, at the same time as Quéribus. Bossed towers, baffles… to the strength of the walls, active defenses were added to face up to Aragon. The castle remained a rear base, a simple point of support, far removed from the fighting that raged from the middle of the 14th century onwards. Puilaurens was taken only once, in 1637. Back in the French fold, the fortress continued to be improved and its garrison well maintained until the Revolution.

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