Tag Archive for: cathar

Cathar Chateau de Peyrepertuse

Chateau de Peyrepertuse in the heart of Pays Cathare, Cathar country

Chateau de Peyrepertuse in the heart of Pays Cathare

In the wilds of the Corbière hills, on a limestone ridge 800m high, magnificent Peyrepertuse is the impregnable medieval fortress where 1000 years ago fleeing Cathars sought shelter from persecution by the Catholic church. Accessible to all with reasonable mobility, sturdy shoes and 6 euros, you can drive much of the way then take the shady, uneven path to the ramparts. The Mediterranean shimmers on the horizon and there are good views of neighbouring Queribus chateau.

Peyrepertuse, magnificent Cathar castle

Peyrepertuse, magnificent Cathar castle

Calm in the valley among the vines, there was a strong, warm wind blowing around the ramparts – don’t visit if the wind is strong in the valley. About an hour from our holiday home in southern France, take a diversion through the dramatic Gorges de Galamus and visit l’Ermitage, the hermit’s house, and Le Grotte de St Antoine (a mini Lourdes) on the way.

L'Ermitage, more accessible than it appears

L’Ermitage, more accessible than it appears

“Wild” swimming in Puivert lake

Château de Puivert provides a stunning backdrop to a day out at the lake, 8km from our holiday cottage and B&B in the south of France; borrow our mountain bikes or an easy drive along quiet roads. On a Saturday afternoon where the temperature tipped 31 degrees it was a popular spot for the kids having tremendous fun diving from the jetty. Go early to have the lake to yourself before returning to Chez Maison Bleue for a leisurely breakfast on the terrace. Puivert Château built in the 12th century is one of the Cathar castles, the open countryside more hospitable than the wild crags of many of the Cathar sites. The very lovely, typically French town, houses a small museum and of course in these parts, the ubiquitous medieval church.

Puivert Chateau, a most magnificent backdrop for swimming in the lake