Candidate for UNESCO AND MAJOR SITES OF FRANCE
The elements of the history of Montségur and its Castle which we have with certainty have been established from historical documents, in particular the archives of the Inquisition, but also from the results of archaeological excavations undertaken for several years on the site. .
The castle of Montségur
The site seems to have been frequented since the Neolithic.
We also have, discovered on the pog, some indications of Roman occupations. But there is nothing to reconstruct the history of Montségur from the High Middle Ages until the beginning of the 13th century, when Raymond de Péreille, vassal of the Count of Foix, found in this place an earlier castrum whose origin is n is not known. By castrum we mean a fortified place to which are annexed (extra muros but leaning against the ramparts) dwellings accommodating mostly civilian populations.
The history of this new castrum of Raymond de Péreille, called Montségur II by archaeologists, is closely linked to the history of the Cathars of Languedoc.
From Christianity, the Cathar religion is based on two main principles: a Good God and a Bad God. All that is immaterial is the work of the Good, all that is material is the work of the Devil.
The Cathar religion will extend over a large part of Languedoc, and at the beginning of the 13th century the Catholic Church, to bring back to the right path those it calls "heretics", has no other solution than to resorting to force: this is the crusade against the Albigensians (sometimes incorrectly called the Albigensian crusade).
Montségur, seat and capital of the Cathar Church.
From 1232 Montségur became the seat and capital of the Cathar Church. The castrum became denser, populated by 500 to 600 souls, where religious, civilians and men-at-arms rubbed shoulders. To the northeast of the castle, the remains of dwellings still visible today represent the last witnesses of this settlement.
The Siege of Montsegur, 1243-1244
In 1243, at the head of an army of 10 men, Hugues des Arcis, seneschal of the King of France in Carcassonne, and Pierre Amiel, bishop of Narbonne, laid siege to the fortress. This siege will last about 000 months, until its tragic outcome: the besieged surrender on March 11, 16 and there will be more than 1244 Cathars who, not wanting to deny their faith, will go up to the stake.
After the fall of Montségur the King of France attributed the castle to one of his lieutenants, Guy de Lévis. Revamped in its architecture, the fortress will still be occupied by a royal garrison until the Treaty of the Pyrenees in the 17th century.
The village of Montsegur
Towards the end of the 13th century, a small community called Ourjac settled almost on the site of the current village, not far from the fountain which still bears the same name.
The community has no church and, to follow the cult, its members must go up to the castle.
In the 16th century, this village, which became Montségur, developed to take on the appearance of the current village in the 19th century, with some of the houses being built with stones from the castle.
Weaving and agriculture will be the main activities of the inhabitants. But from the end of the 19th century the population will not stop decreasing, while there were 743 inhabitants in 1889 there were only 592 in 1900.
By visiting the castle of Montségur, you will perceive all the pathos that emerges from the site when one tries to imagine what could have been, during the winter of 1243-1244, the seat of this "citadel of vertigo". How, for the 400 people entrenched, living conditions, already austere in normal times, were made even harsher by the isolation resulting from this long siege of 11 months. You will then have a thought for these 220 Cathars who, not wanting to deny their faith, chose to die and go up themselves on the stake lit below the castle, March 16, 1244. Thus sounded the announced end of Catharism.
OPEN EVERY DAY
Castle opening hours 2022
- March to June from 10 a.m. to 17 p.m.
- July to August from 9 a.m. to 00 p.m.
- October 10 a.m. to 17 p.m.
- November to February from 11 a.m. to 16 p.m.
- Closed in January
Guided visits to the castle 2022 (no extra charge) from:
- May 1 to June 30: every Saturday, Sunday and public holidays at 14 p.m. and 15 p.m.,
- July 1 to August 31: daily at 11 a.m., 13 p.m., 15 p.m. and 16:30 p.m.
- September 1 to September 30: Saturdays and Sundays at 14 p.m. and 15 p.m.
Outside these days and for groups of a minimum of 20 people on reservations with the guide (05 61 01 06 94).
Museum opening hours 2022
Open from May 1 to October 31
Closed Tuesday only
May, June, September and October from 14 p.m. to 00 p.m.
From July to August from 11 a.m. to 13 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 19 p.m.
Closed from November to April
Outside these days and for groups from 20 people minimum on reservations with the guide (05 61 01 06 94) / email@example.com
Prices / Opening
Adult rate: from 9 € to 11,50 € Child rate: € 2,50 Adult price: 2,50 € Adult rate: from 4,50 € to 5,50 € Child rate: from 3 € to 4 € Adult rate: from 4,50 € to 5,50 € Others: from 4,50 € to 5,50 € Adult price: 7 € Adult price: 3,50 € Adult rate: from 6 € to 7,50 € Adult rate: from 4,50 € to 5,50 € Child rate: € 2 Child rate: from 15 € to 19 € Group rate: from € 2,50 to € 3,50 Group rate: from € 5 to € 6 Child rate: € 4 Adult price: 3 € Child rate: € 1,50
|Adult rate - castle and family museum 1 adult and 2 children (8 to 15 years old)||Min. 9€||Max. 11,50€|
|Child rate - associated museum and students||Min. 2,50€|
|Adult rate - disabled and unemployed museum||Min. 2,50€|
|Adult rate - castle + unemployment museum||Min. 4,50€||Max. 5,50€|
|Child rate - castle + museum 8 to 15 years old||Min. 3€||Max. 4€|
|Adult rate - castle + student museum||Min. 4,50€||Max. 5,50€|
|castle + disabled museum||Min. 4,50€||Max. 5,50€|
|Adult rate - castle + museum adult groups VIP visit||Min. 7€|
|Adult rate - museum||Min. 3,50€|
|Adult rate - castle + museum||Min. 6€||Max. 7,50€|
|Adult rate - association approved by the municipality of Montségur castle + museum||Min. 4,50€||Max. 5,50€|
|Child rate - children's museum 8 to 15 years old||Min. 2€|
|Child rate - castle + family museum 2 adults and 2 children (8 to 15 years old)||Min. 15€||Max. 19€|
|Group rate - castle + museum school group rates (8 to 15 years old)||Min. 2,50€||Max. 3,50€|
|Group rate - castle + museum groups 20 people +||Min. 5€||Max. 6€|
|Child rate - castle and museum school group rates (8 to 15 years old) VIP visit||Min. 4€|
|Adult rate - museum adult groups||Min. 3€|
|Child rate - museum school group rates (8 to 15 years old)||Min. 1,50€|
- Debit card
- French bank and postal checks
Equipments and Services
- Aire de pique-nique
- Coach parking
- Marked trails
- Camera allowed
- Drinking water point
- Groups of 1 to 80 people welcome