May 3, 2012

Cathar Castle - Chateau de Lastours - HD

An unusual arrangement of three castle towers is this fortification that  belonged to the Lords of Cabaret, who held in fief from the Trencavels. 

 In the thirteenth century there were three towers here, built on the same rocky outcrop. They are called Cabaret (to the north), Quertinheux and Surdespine (to the south). These are some of the few original Cathar castles left. 

 The Seigneurs of Cabaret received troubadours here, including Raymond de Miraval and Peire Vidal, who dedicated verses to the Cathar Ladies of the place.

Lastours lies in the Aude departément just north of Carcassonne. During the Cathar Crusade this was one of the most ardent centres of resistance to the French Crusaders,

In 1209 it was besieged unsuccessfully, by Simon de Montfort. It was here a year later that a line of a hundred men appeared on foot, having snaked their way from Bram, their eyes torn out, their noses cropped and their lips cut off by the Holy Catholic soldiers of Christ., carrying out what they described as "God's Business"

 In March 1211, after the fall of Termes, Pierre-Roger de Cabaret, negotiated the surrender of the château, under diplomatic rather than military pressure. In 1223 he recovered his property. Once again Cabaret became the foremost centre of resistance against the French invaders. The Cathar bishop of Carcassonne, Pierre Isarn, was given refuge here until 1226.

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