Cathar Castles:   
Château du Bézu ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about Occitan. Castèl de Albedun)

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Le Bezu is the name of a ruined Cathar castle in the Aude - more properly called Les Templiers. It is sited on a hill top near to the vilage of Le Bezu, in the Commune of St Just & Le Bezu, in the Aude département withing the Languedoc-Roussillon.

In the popular imagination (and books about Rennes-le-Château) Le Bézu is an old Templar fortress, from where the Templars treasure was rescued when they were persecuted by the French King Philip le Bel in 1307.  You will find it marked on maps as "Les Templiers". 

It is open to the public - a decent walk from the village of Le Bezu. Not much to see. Entrance is free.A chapel has recently been excavated here - rectangular, not round as the Templar fans would have preferred.

According to locals the place is haunted. Asilver bell rings at midnight on the anniversary of the Templars' arrest.

 

There is very little evidence that it was ever a Templar fortress, but plenty that it was a Cathar stronghold at the time of the war against the Cathars known as the Albigensian Crusade.  Le Bézu is even mentioned in the The Song of the Crusade, though no one realised this until the twentieth century when a local historian traced back the unlikely mutation of the name from Le Bézu to Albedun

The seigneurs were a family called Sermon, a branch of the famous Aniorts, Viscounts of the Plateau de Sault. It is known that Cathar bishops took refuge here. 

From the castle you have spectacular views, including the Pyrenees, Rennes le Chateau and the mountain of Bugarach.

Google map showing the location of Le Bezu

 

 

Le castle was abandoned in the Autumn of 1210, along with Coustaussa at the approach of the Crusdaer troops of Simon-de-Montfort. The seigneur Bernard Sermon, became a faidit, and often visited Montségur, spending the rest of his time attacking the French invaders..

He openly rebelled in 1211, but later made his submission to Simon de Montfort who reoccupied the castle.

Guilhabert de Castres a Cathar bishop lived here for three years (from Easter 1229 to 1232) at the château d'Albedun, under the protection of Bernard Sermon le Vieux before seeking refuge at Montségur.

It appears that the château of Le Bézu was never besieged, but it surrendered without a fight after the demoralising fall of the Château of Termes to Simon de Montfort in 1210. 

Youtube video of the Château d'Albedun at Le Bezu Next.

443286m E 4747824m N (UTM zone 31)

 

Google map showing Le Bezu

 


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