SPIRITUAL JOURNEY 2014: The stake of Montségur

Montségur, which means “secure mountain”, is situated on the eastern edge of the Pyrenees, the border mountain range between France and Spain, on a steep and rugged knoll. The ruins of the probably most widely known castle of the Cathars sit enthroned on the peak. In the course of the crusades against Mary Magdalene’s successors, the Cathars, the castle was attacked time and again. The year 1243 is especially noteworthy in this context, since the fortress was besieged by nearly 10.000 crusaders for 10 months.

They tried to starve the Cathars and forced them either to renunciate their faith or be burned at the stake. Subsequently, 225 Cathars together with their bishop were burned, because they would not submit to the Catholic faith. Only a few could escape and those who managed to flee were murdered soon afterwards as well. We are going to visit this castle in the course of our spiritual journey.

You can find more photos on my homepage.

France Spirituality & Journeys

SPIRITUAL JOURNEY 2014: The famous Cathar castle of Quéribus

On Monday in the week of our spiritual journey we are going to discover the ruins of the Cathar castle which probably possesses the most beautiful view over Languedoc on foot. Already the ascent, which takes about 20 minutes and is not physically demanding, offers a breathtaking view over the placid line of hills right up to the Pyrenees. This mountain chain separates the South of France from Spain and many Cathars used to live in this region. (We are going to visit some of those Cathar caves in the course of our journey, a corresponding blog entry will be posted at a future date).

The castle of Quéribus provided refuge during the so-called Albigensian crusade (1209-1229), in the course of which the institutional Church cruelly persecuted the Cathars, because the castle luckily was never taken.

From up there one can see the small village Cucugnan, which was named after the same-named family in the possession of whom the castle was towards the end of the 12th century. They were friends with the Cathars and sympathised with their faith.

France Spirituality & Journeys