The Villerouge-Termenès Castle, the end of Occitan Catharism

Fifty kilometers from Carcassonne, Villerouge-Termenès is the Mediterranean gateway to the High Corbières.
Located in the heart of the village, the important mass of the castle imposes the respect.

The first historical data concerning it go back to the beginning of the 11th century.
At that time and until the French Revolution, the powerful archbishops of Narbonne were the lords of the castle and the village.
However, the castle of Villerouge-Termenès was occupied and coveted several times.

Indeed, in 1107, the pope Pascal II must confirm the archbishop Richard in his possession of Villerouge which is in reality occupied, since 1070, by Pierre de Peyrepertuse.
The latter gave it as a dowry to his daughter at the time of her marriage to Pierre Olivier de Termes.
It was only around 1110 that the de Termes family agreed to give the castle back to the archbishop of Narbonne. 

However, other tensions will appear, again, between the lords of Termes and the archbishops of Narbonne.
In 1227, Pope Honorius III urged his legate to uphold the archbishop's complaints against the usurpations of the leader of the Crusade, Simon de Montfort, and his vassal Alain de Roucy, who had taken the place of the former lords of Termes.

The village is intimately linked to the history of Catharism.
In 1321, Guilhem Bélibaste, the last known perfect Occitan Cathar, was burned alive here.
Guilhem Bélibaste had been initiated into Catharism until he became a Perfect in Catalonia where he was on the run.
Only the Perfect Ones could transmit the religion, and his death meant the end of the Cathar religion. 

The castle was classified as a historical monument in 1976.

During your visit a stop at the medieval Rotisserie is a must.

 

Castle of Villerouge-Termenès
11330 Villerouge-Termenès
Phone : 04 68 70 09 11
Fax : 04 68 70 4 37
chateau.villerouge@wanadoo.fr


www.payscathare.org

 

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