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Discovery of a Cathar castle in the southwest of France: the castle of Montsegur
The Cathars were Christians who rejected the authority of the Pope and the Church.
Their community led by perfects (spiritual masters) flourished in southwestern France. The Perfects had to lead a very austere life, they were vegetarians, owned nothing, and observed complete sexual abstinence.
For the basic believers the obligations were much more flexible.
The pope, after having let the movement develop, decided to repress this heresy by launching a crusade. After multiple persecutions, the last Cathars took refuge in a castle that was difficult to access: the castle of Montsegur.
The castle was then the scene of disastrous events during the winter of 1244. On March 16, after more than 10 months of siege, the Cathars surrendered. Of the 400 remaining defenders, 200 refused to renounce their faith and were burned alive below the castle.
It should be noted that the ruins of the castle that we see today are not the ruins of the Cathars' castle because it was rebuilt a few years later. Not much is known about the original castle.
The entrance to the castle is not free, half way up you will have to pay the entrance fee: 6,5 E (July - August). The climb is short but a bit steep. It takes about half an hour to get to the castle.