Castles, lots of castles on the same card. These are some of castles in the Cathar Country, which is considered one of the most beautiful and unspoilt areas of France. Cathar Country embraces much of the Languedoc, a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France.
The castles on the card are: Lastours, Quéribus, Montségur, Puilaurens and Peyrepertuse.
Photos by C. Nègre
Cathar castles (in French Châteaux cathares) is a modern term used by the tourism industry (following the example of Pays Cathare – Cathar Country) to designate a series of fortresses built by the French king on the southern border of his lands at the end of the Albigensian Crusade. Some of these sites, before the royal period, were fortified villages capable of sheltering Cathars and which were destroyed during the building of citadels.
In 1659, Louis XIV and the Philip IV of Spain signed the Treaty of the Pyrenees, sealed with the marriage of the Infanta Marie Therese to the French King. The treaty modified the frontiers, giving Roussillon to France and moving the frontier south to the crest of the Pyrenees, the present Franco-Spanish border. The fortresses thus lost their importance. Some maintained a garrison for a while, a few until the French Revolution, but they slowly fell into decay, often becoming sherpherds' shelters or bandits hideouts. - in: wikipedia