Photographer's Note

Situated in the Arige, the site seems to have been frequented from the Neolithic. We also have, discovered on the pog (the rock where is situated the castle) of some indications of Roman occupations.

But nothing allows to reconstitute the story of Montsgur of the High Middle Ages till the beginning of 13 century, time in which Raymond de Preille, vassal of the count of Foix, finds in this place a previous castrum the origin of which is not known.
By castrum we hear a strengthened place to which are annexed (extra(special) muros but leaned in ramparts) houses accommodating for the greater part civilian populations.

The story of this castrum new of Raymond de Preille, mentioned Montsgur II by the archaeologists, is closely linked to the story of the Cathars of Languedoc.

Stemming from the Christianity, the Cathar religion is based on two major principles: a Good God and a Bad God. All which is immaterial is the work of Well, all which is material is the work of the Devil.

The Cathar religion will extend over a big part(party) of Languedoc, and at the beginning of 13 century the Roman Catholic Church, to return in the straight and narrow those who she calls "heretics", has no other solution than to resort to force: it is the crusade against Inhabitant of Albi.

Montsgur, siege and capital of the Cathar Church.
Left of 1232 Montsgur becomes the seat(siege) and capital of the Cathar Church. The castrum densifies, becoming populated from 500 to 600 souls, where mix members of a religious order, civilians and men at arms. In the northeast of the castle the vestiges of still visible houses today represent the last witnesses(batons) of this populating.

The siege of Montsgur on 1243-1244.

In 1243, at the head of an army of 10.000 men(people), Hugues des Arcis, seneschal of king of France in Carcassonne, and Pierre Amiel, bishop of Narbonne, put the seat(siege) in front of the fortress. This seat(siege) will last approximately 11 months, up to its tragic outcome(exit): the besieged go(surrender) on March 16th, 1244 and they will be more than 230 Cathars which, not wanting to deny their faith, will rise on the stake.
After the fall of Montsgur king of France attributes(awards) the castle to one of his(her) lieutenants, Guy de Lvis. Reshaped in its architecture, the fortress will be still occupied by a royal garrison up to the Treaty of the Pyrenees to 17 century.

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