History of the Cathar Region in the Pyrenees, France

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In the 12th and 13th centuries, a new religion, Catharism (also known as the Albigensian Heresy) took root in the south of France . This different form of Christianity was regarded as a threat by Pope Innocent III and a holy war was declared against the various countries in Langue dOc by the Barons of France and the Catholic Church.

The immediate result of this Crusade was the annexing of a large part of the south of France to the Capetian-ruled Kingdom of France , as well as the near-total destruction of a highly original local civilisation. 

Situated in the heart of Cathare country, Cuxac Cabardes is within easy traveling distance of the many sites of historical interest in the area.

During the 13th and early 14th centuries, a massive crusade was launched for the first time on Christian soil by the Catholic Church and then Northern France , against another set of Christians, the Cathares

During this time, great sieges took place and mass slaughter (often by fire) of tens of thousands of people of the so called 'Herebics' and their sympathizers, took place.

Nearby places of interest include Beziers, which in 1209 became the first major victim of the Albigensian Crusade when on the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, upwards of 20,000 people were killed in one day.

Second on the crusaders list was the great city of Carcassonne, which despite siege and counter siege is still home to the magnificent battlements and a wondrous castle (said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney's castle in Disney Land), and now a World Heritage site. Restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century, the citadel is a witness to a thousand years of military architecture and 2500 years of history.


Nearby Foix, where a furious Simon de Montfort frustrated by the impregnable castle, once stood beneath the battlements hurling insults towards those who defied his will to conquer amidst a rain of missiles and miraculously walked away unscathed.


Montsegur, the perilous mountain top castle referred to by the Catholic Church as 'the synagogue of Satan'. This isolated castle served time and again as a refuge for Cathars against persecution until its surrender in 1244 after a 10 month siege during which time it is claimed that the Holy Grail was spirited away from its one time home.


 These are just some of the places of interest in an area rich with medieval history ready to be explored at your leisure.