Cathar Castles
Château de Quéribus ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about Occitan. Castèl de Queribús)

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This is sometimes regarded as the last Cathar stronghold.   In a sense it was. After the fall of the Château of Montségur (Occitan Montsegùr) in 1244 surviving Cathars gathered together in the Corbières in another mountain-top stronghold on the border of Aragon (The present border between the Aude département and the Pyrénées-Orientales département).

Quéribus is high and isolated. It stands on top of the highest peak for miles around. From a distance it can be seen on the horizon, sticking up into the sky.

It is accessible to visitors. You can drive almost to it, walking just the last few hundred metres. The entrance to the castle itself is very steep and narrow – a defensive measure. Notice the number of arrow slits covering the approach.

Chateau de Queribus

 

G.P.S. Co-Ordinates 42° 50' 3" North - 2° 37' 21" East. Altitude - 730 metres.

Pays Cathare - Cathar CountryPhone number: 04 68 45 03 69. Opening times: In April and October of 9.30am to 18.30pm. May, June and September 9.30am to 7pm. July and August 9am to 8pm and any other time from 10am to 5pm. Closed all of February.

Closest village: Maury: Population 1000.

Google map showing the location of Château de Queribus

 

 


1255 a French army was dispatched to deal with the last Cathar stronghold, but the Cathars slipped away without a fight, propably to Aragon or Piedmont, both regions where Cathar beliefs were still common, and where the Occitan language was spoken.

Chateau de Queribus - Plan

Google map showing Château de Queribus

 

 

Perched on a narrow rocky outcrop, the castle stands proudly at 728 metres altitude. The name comes fron the Occitan for rock-boxtree and even today you will notice hage numbers of wild box trees growing there..

Mentioned in 1020, the castle of Quéribus was part of the County of Besalù, then of Barcelona and was later held as a royal fortress by the house of Aragon in 1162.

The castle of Quéribus is situated on the commune of Cucugnan which is renowned in French literature as the site of the ‘Priest's Sermon' by Alphonse Daudet.

A ‘Cucugnan family' appeared for the first time in 1193.

During the Crusade against the Albigensians, this family was presented as being one of the fervent defenders of the Languedoc cause.

Before 1240, Pierre de Cucugnan took food and stores to Cathars in the castle of Puilaurens and sheltered the dispossessed knight Guiraud d'Aniort from the Plateau de Sault.

In 1240, Pierre joined Raymond Trencavel at his siege of Carcassonne. Following the failure of the siege, Pierre surrendered to the French King Louis IX ( Saint-Louis).

The castle of Quéribus continued to serve as a haven to Cathars. The Cathar deacon of the Razès, Benoît de Termes, took refuge here under Chabert de Barbaira, who was finally forced to surrender to Saint-Louis in 1255. The last stronghold to fall, eleven years after the fall of Montségur, Quéribus then became a piece in the French frontere defence system.

This is one of the "Five Sons of Carcassonne", along with TermesAguilar, Peyrepertuse and Puilaurens:: five castles strategically placed to defend the French border against the Spanish. It lost all strategic importance after the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659 when the border was moved even further south to its present position along the crest of the Pyrenees

 

 
 
 
 

The Castle of Queribus Today

Chateau de Queribus

 

This is how the castle at Queribus would have looked when it was rebuilt by the French after 1255.
(Artist's impression by Peter Dennis from
Marcus Cowper, Cathar Castles,, Osprey 2010)

Chateau de Queribus

 

Exterior Wall at Queribus

Chateau de Queribus - Exterior
 

Spiral Staircase at Queribus

Chateau de Queribus - interior

 

 


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.
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Visit the Cathar Tours Website for more information

 

Queribus from the nearby pass between two departements - once connecting France to Aragon

 

 

Queribus - Close up

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

Vaulted Cieling at Queribus

Chateau de Queribus - interior
 
 

Cucugnan

Cucugnan
 
 
 

Staircase at the Castle of Queribus

Chateau de Queribus - Steps
 

Large (Renaissance) Windowat the Castle of Queribus

Chateau de Queribus - interior
 

A view of the Castle of Queribus

Chateau de Queribus - Exterior
 

A view of the Castle of Queribus

Chateau de Queribus - Exterior
 
     

 

 

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