The Château de Puivert is a Cathar castle situated in the commune of Puivert, in the Aude département of the Languedoc. This building, on top a hill overlooking the village and its lake, reaches an altitude of 605 m.
n the twelfth century a castle stood on this site, which had strong Cathar and troubadour links. A meeting of troubadours took place here in 1170, and in 1185 festivities attended by the Viscount of Carcassonne and Loba, Lady of Lastours (Cabaret).
The castle has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1902.The castle of Puivert is still in relatively good condition. It is privately owned, but open to the public and undergoing restoration.
| Lo vers fo fats als enfobatz
A puich-vert tot jugan rizen
| This poem was composed to the sound of bagpipes
At Puivert among song and laughter
At the start of the Wars against the Cathars, the so-called Albigensian Crusade, Puivert's seigneur was Bernard de Congost. His wife Alpaïs had become a Parfaite before her death just a year earlier in 1208.
Bernard died after receiving the Cathar Consolamentum at Montségur in 1232. His son fought on, participating in the events of Avignonet in 1242 and helping defend the Château of Montségur ( Montsegùr) in 1243-4.
In 1213 the seigneurie, now in French hands, was conferred by Simon de Montfort on one of his lieutenants, Lambert de Thury. Later it was allocated to Pons de Bruyère.
At the start of the 14th century, probably around 1310, Thomas de Bruyère, grandson of Pons, built the present castle, to the east of the old "Cathar castle". His wife was Isabelle de Melun, daughter of a Grand Chamberlain of France, whose arms are still to be seen in the building.
One room has fine carvings of minstrels, and tourists are often told that troubadours played in this room. This is absolute rubbish, but if you look behind the castle you will find the foundations of the earlier castle where troubadours really did play.