Cathar Castles

Site Lastours Cathares

At the foot of the Montagne Noire, 1 hour drive from our hotel in Lauragais

The only citadel north of Carcassonne, at the foot of the Montagne Noire, the site of Lastours is made up of four castles perched on its crest: Cabaret, Tour Régine, Surdespine and Quertinheux are part of the same whole while being very distinct. The cypresses add to the mystery and majesty of the place. Facilities have been made to make it easy to go around. At the foot of the mountain, the medieval village of Cabaret is worth the detour for its remains.


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With among others:

St Félix Lauragais: Lauragais is the region in the South of France where the Cathars were the most numerous in relation to the total population: 50% according to historians. Elsewhere, they are in the minority. It is therefore in this area strongly imbued with Catharism that the Cathar bishoprics were born. It was during a great Council in 1167 in Saint-Félix-Lauragais that the creation of 4 Cathar bishoprics was decided: Agen, Toulouse, Albi and Carcassonne. The aim was to give firm structures to the new religion.

Les Cassés: The place called “Le Fort”, located on the edge of a small plateau ending in cliffs, experienced a tragic episode during the crusade against the Cathars. Indeed, in the 13th century, the village was dominated by the lords of Roqueville, who were the vassals of the counts of Toulouse. In Cassès, the Roquevilles had given asylum to many Cathars. Simon de Montfort besieged the place in 1211 which capitulated very quickly. 60 Cathars who did not want to renounce their faith were burned alive. It was the largest collective pyre in Lauragais.

Avignonet Lauragais: It is here that one of the most important moments in the history of Catharism took place: the massacre of
Inquisitors on May 28, 1242 . In 1242, around sixty Cathar knights, who had found refuge in
Montségur (Ariège), decided to go to Avignonet to assassinate the Inquisitors there. The ride lasted 4 days and 3 nights. The second night, the knights sneaked into the castle where the 11 inquisitors were staying, and massacred them with axes.