June 15, 2008

Cathar Castle: Usson

Upstream from Axat in the Aude Gorge, carved out of the foothills of the the high Pyrenees, is the little known castle of Usson. It dates from the eleventh century (perhaps earlier) and during the Cathar period marked the eastern boundary of the territories of the Counts of Foix. In the twelfth century this was the capital of the Donezan region. Before the Défilé was cut through the mountains to link Quillan to Axat, this was an inaccessible outpost providing succour for faidits and other persecuted Cathars.