Montségur seen from the castle
|• Mayor||Robert Finance (since 2014)|
|37.16 km2 (14.35 sq mi)|
|• Density||3.2/km2 (8.3/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||630–2,365 m (2,067–7,759 ft) |
(avg. 918 m or 3,012 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Montségur (Languedocien: Montsegur) is a commune in the Ariège department in southwestern France.
It is famous for its fortification, the Château de Montségur, that was built on the "pog" (mountain) on the ruins of one of the last strongholds of the Cathars. The present fortress on the site, though described as one of the "Cathar castles," is from a later period. It has been listed as a historic site by the French Ministry of Culture since 1862. According to the book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Montségur was the location of a mythical treasure related to the Holy Grail, which was promptly smuggled away before the Cathar surrender.
The earliest signs of settlement in the area date back to the time of the Neanderthals, around 80,000 years ago.
Evidence of Roman occupation such as Roman currency and tools have also been found in and around the site. The name "Montségur" comes from Latin mons securus ("safe hill") which evolved into mont ségur in Occitan.
In the late 1204 the chateau was fortified to guard the southern frontier.
In the Middle Ages the Montségur region was ruled by the Counts of Toulouse, the Viscounts of Carcassonne and finally the Counts of Foix. In 1243–44, the Cathars (a religious sect considered heretical by the Catholic Church) who had sought refuge at the Montségur fortress were besieged by 10,000 troops, in what is now known as the siege of Montségur. In March 1244, the Cathars finally surrendered and approximately 244 were burned en masse in a bonfire at the foot of the pog when they refused to renounce their faith. Some 25 took the ultimate Cathar vow of consolamentum perfecti in the two weeks before the final surrender. The Inquisitors kept faithful accounts and included the names of many, who are remembered every year on the anniversary of the massacre on March 16. These names are also displayed at the museum in the village of Montsegur.
Ariège is a department in southwestern France, in the Occitanie region. It is named after the Ariège River and its capital is Foix. Ariège is known for its rural landscape, with a population of 153,067 as of 2016. Its INSEE and postal code is 09, hence the department's informal name of le zéro neuf. The inhabitants of the department are known as Ariègeois or Ariègeoises.
The Château de Montségur is a former fortress near Montségur, a commune in the Ariège department in southern France. Its ruins are the site of a razed stronghold of the Cathars. The present fortress on the site, though described as one of the "Cathar castles," is actually of a later period. It has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1862.
Otto Wilhelm Rahn was a German writer, medievalist, Ariosophist, and an officer of the SS and researcher into the Grail myths. He was born in Michelstadt, Germany, and died in Söll in Austria. Speculation still surrounds Otto Rahn and his research.
Quillan is a commune in the Aude department in southern France. On 1 January 2016, the former commune of Brenac was merged into Quillan.
Puivert is a commune in the Aude department in the Occitanie region in southern France.
The Château d'Usson is one of the so-called Cathar castles in what is now southwestern France. It is located in the commune of Rouze, in the Ariège département. It is sited upstream from Axat, along the Aude River gorge, carved out of the foothills of the Pyrenees. It is situated at 920 m in altitude and dominates the valley of the Aude River. The Château de Puilaurens is 30 km away, Château de Puivert 49 km and Château de Quéribus 60 km.
Antonin Gadal (1877–1962) was a French mystic and historian who dedicated his life to study of the Cathars in the south of France, their spirituality, beliefs and ideology.
The Château de Foix is a castle which dominates the town of Foix in the French département of Ariège. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. It has been listed since 1840 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
The Château de Montaillou is a ruined castle in the French village of Montaillou, in the Ariège département. The village of Montaillou, standing on the slope of Mount Allion, was made famous in Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie's history, Montaillou, village occitan.
The Château de Roquefixade is a ruined castle built on a cliff overlooking the village of Roquefixade, situated 8 km west of Lavelanet French département of Ariège.
Esclarmonde of Foix, was a prominent figure associated with Catharism in thirteenth century Occitania.
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Ignaux is a commune in the Ariège department in southwestern France.
Mijanès is a commune in the Ariège department in southwestern France. It is located close to two Cathar castles, the Château d'Usson and the Château de Quérigut.
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Cucugnan is a commune in the Aude department in southern France, approximately 29.5 kilometres (18.3 mi) north-west of Perpignan. The small village lies in a valley in the Corbières Massif, overlooked by the ruined Château de Quéribus, which stands at the top of a 728-metre (2,388 ft) hill to the south of Cucugnan.
Villebois-Lavalette is a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France. It was the seat of the former Canton of Villebois-Lavalette, and is located on a prominent hill which has a château dating back to Roman times.
Cherveux is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France.
The Château de Durfort is a ruined castle in the commune of Vignevieille in the Aude département of France. It is 27 km east of Limoux and 3 km north of the Château de Termes.
The Siege of Montségur was a nine-month siege of the Cathar-held Château de Montségur by French royal forces starting in May 1243. After the castle surrendered, about 210 perfecti and unrepentant credentes were burned in a bonfire on 16 March 1244.
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