Cathar Castles, Carcassonne, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 

Most of the main “Cathar Castles” are actualy castles built by the French after the Cathar Crusade, and used to defend their new border with Aragon. Being later, and Royal, they were typically bigger and more advanced than the original “Cathar Castle”. These castles were Royal slighted, or left to decay, after the Treaty of the Pyrenees in the seventeenth century. Among the were Carcassonne and her five sons: Termes, Aguilar, Queribus, Peyrepertuse and Puilaurens.

There are a few genuine Cathar Castles, advertised as Cathar Castles: You will also find a few vestiges near to existing structures (eg castles at Peyrepertuse, and Puivert). Carcassonne probably has the best claim to be a Cathar Castle, followed by Foix and three quarters of Lastours (Cabaret).

Among the later French Castles built on the site of Cathar strongholds, (but often advertised as Cathar Castles) are: Coustaussa, Puilaurens, Montségur, Queribus, Termes, Aguilar and Saissac.

There are even French Castles with no Cathar connections, which are sometimes advertised as Cathar Castles: such as Arques.

There are also Cathar Castles that are not advertised as Cathar Castles for various reasons. Among them are: Pieusse (in private hands) Le Bézu (advertised as a Templar Comandery) and Usson (remote and ruined).

Finally there are a number of sites of Cathar Castles, where nothing or almost nothing remains: Béziers, Toulouse, Bram, Marmande, Lavaur, Minerve, Beaucaire, Castelnaudary, Muret, and Les Cases.

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