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Cathar Castles
Château de Coustaussa
Ruined Medieval Cathar Castle in France ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about Occitan. Castèl de Coustaussa)

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The ruined chateau and modern village of Coustaussa is situated in the high valley of the Aude, above the river Sals between Arques and Couiza.

On their way back from Termes in late November 1210, Simon de Montfort and his Crusaders found the Château at Coustaussa already abandoned, and so carried on to Puivert.  Apparently the garrison at Coustaussa, like the one at Le Bézu had lost heart after the fall of Termes

Picturesque but dangerous ruins.  Free entry.

See sepate sections below on:

Address / Maps / Location

History

Architecture

Photographs

 

Address


Address:
Château de Coustaussa
11190 Coustaussa
Aude
France


Contact
Cathar Castle Tours
Tel from the US: 010 33 468 201142
Tel from the UK: 01 33 468 201142
Tel from France: 0468 201142
Tel other: + 33 468 201142
www.catharcountry.info
e-mail catharcountry@gmail.com
 

 

Google Maps

 

Small scale map showing the location of
Château de Coustaussa

Google map showing the location of
Château de Coustaussa

Large scale map showing
Château de Coustaussa

Location

 

Sited above the Sals River (so called because of its salty water) it controlled the Sals Valley in the modern Aude département and thus the only significant route between the Aude Valley and the Corbières.  Just across the Sals valley is Rennes-le-Château

 

 

History

The original castle was built by the Trencavels - Viscounts of the Razès - in the twelfth century. 

Later in the twelfth century, the lordship of Coustaussa belonged to the Vilar family. Soon after, it was in the hands of the de Fenouillet family. In 1367, by the marriage of Geraude de Fenouillet to Saix de Montesquieu, the lordship passed to the Montesquieus who kept it until the French Revolution.

On their way back from Termes in late November 1210, Simon de Montfort and his Crusaders found the Château at Coustaussa already abandoned, and so carried on to Puivert.  Apparently the garrison at Coustaussa, like the one at Le Bézu had lost heart after the fall of Termes

Like many other strongholds Coustaussa returned to its traditional allegiance the following year. According to the Historia Albigensis [280], Simon de Montfort was at Narbonne with a crowd of newly arrived Crusaders when he heard the news. He immediately hurried off to Coustaussa and attacked it. The castle was surrendered after "a few days", after which Simon set off for Castelnaudry.

After the Crusades, the Castle came into the possession of the de Montesquieu family. 

The present Château was apparently still in good shape until the nineteenth century, when an enterprising local realised that he could turn a few Francs by stripping out and selling the woodwork. 

During the night of 31 October to 1 November 1897, the parish priest of Coustaussa, the Abbé Antoine Gélis, was brutally murdered in his presbytery. The crime was not solved. The Abbé was found during the investigation to possess large sums of money which had not been taken by his assailants. This event has been incorporated into the Rennes-le-Chateau "mystery". (Rennes-le-Chateau is in sight of Caustaussa across the Salz valley.

 

 

 
 
 
 

The arms of the town of Coustaussa

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

Architecture

 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 


GUIDED TOURS OF CATHAR CASTLES OF THE LANGUEDOC

You can join small exclusive guided tours of Cathar Castles
led by an English speaking expert on the Cathars
who lives in the Languedoc
(author of www.cathar.info)

Selected Cathar Castles. Accommodation provided. Transport Provided.

Cathar Origins, History, Beliefs.
The Crusade, The Inquisition, and Consequences

Visit the Cathar Tours Website for more information

 

Photographs

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Around Coustaussa are Capitelles - ancient (prehistoric) dry stone circular buildings

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ruined Chateau of Coustaussa with the village behind it

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Chateau is in a poor state.
Note the remnants of a corner bartizan

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
     
     

 

 

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