Montségur, cathar castle in Pyrenees south France
Montségur, a Cathar castle in Ariege
The Petit Pyrénéen campsite is 50 minutes from the famous Cathar castle. Its tragic history, known throughout the world testifies all the drama lived in this region during the crusade against the Albigensians. This story has entered the collective memory of the inhabitants of the region. Come visit this legendary site that feeds many legends related to the quest for the “Graal”, a mythical cup in which Joseph of Arimathea collected the blood of Christ.
Montségur and its legend still inspires today famous artists like Era or Iron Maiden whose an album is dedicated to the legend of Montségur.
It is a phenomenon that also attracts visitors: the symbolic lighting of the castle during the summer solstice – a line of light runs through the building in its full length – and that of winter – the rai exactly touches the 4 archers dungeon .
Finally, who has not heard of the Cathar treasure which would be enclosed in the walls of the castle? These are two facts that support this hypothesis: the escape of the castle of a perfect named Mathieu and the deacon Bonnet, carrying, in 1243, a large amount of gold, silver and money placed in a safe place in a Cathar community Italian; and in 1244, four men carrying with them a heavy load. For historians, it seems that they are texts preserved by the perfect in the fortress that should not fall into the hands of royalist troops.
All these extraordinary stories, even if they undeniably overlap with hard facts today, give the Château de Montségur a reputation that attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Take advantage of the proximity of your campsite for a visit to one of the highest places of the Cathar legend.
The visit of Montségur Castle
It takes an hour to climb the narrow and winding path that leads to the summit. You enter through the south gate before entering the castle grounds.
Its dimensions are 80 meters in length and 20 meters in width. The courtyard of the castle was home to stores, cisterns, housing and stables before ending in the dungeon where lord of the place lodged. He only reached it by a single staircase. A small wooden footbridge allowed access to the galleries fixed on the wall, a walkway made of wooden planks that ran all around the enclosure of the castle.
The village museum
Below the castle, the village hosts a museum that offers exhibitions on the defenses of the castle of Montségur, elements found through archaeological excavations as the skeletons of this couple found at the foot of the wall, both pierced with a touch of arrow.
During the summer season, the tourist office organizes many events to animate the site: village festivals, craft market, Trail citadels, arts festivals etc …
All around Montségur, other attractive sites that interest you:
- Mirepoix and its medieval city
- The textile museum in Lavelanet
- The underground river of Labouiche and the prehistoric caves
- The talc quarry of Luzenac
- Montségur and its surroundings are full of curiosities to discover with family.
Office de Tourisme
05 61 01 06 94