See Part One Here First. In this episode I continue my exploration of the French castles along the Spanish border.
I make my way into the mountains for a day of travel photography with some of the best castles I have ever laid my eyes on. I found myself alone exploring a castle above the clouds.
In part two I am deep in the Pyrénées mountains. Here lie some of the most impressive castles you can lay your eyes on. While they are in ruin, the location and scenery are second to none. It was a truly exciting adventure and I really hope you enjoy watching as much as I did creating.
This video is part to. I had to split it due to the amount of content that came out of this day. Trust me they are worth a watch 🙂
Check out the video below.
If you have any questions around locations or how/why I did certain things, contact me using any of the social channels below. Or, just use the comment section after the pictures.
About Château de Quéribus:
The Château de Quéribus (in Occitan Castèl de Queribús) is a ruined castle in the commune of Cucugnan in the Aude département of France. It has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1907.
Queribus is one of the “Five Sons of Carcassonne”, along with Aguilar, Peyrepertuse, Termes and Puilaurens: five castles strategically placed to defend the French border against the Spanish, until the border was moved in 1659.
It is sometimes regarded as the last Cathar stronghold. After the fall of Montségur in 1244 surviving Cathars gathered together in another mountain-top stronghold on the border of Aragon (the present border between the Aude and the Pyrénées-Orientales).
In 1255, a French army was dispatched to deal with these remaining Cathars, but they slipped away without a fight, probably to Aragon or Piedmont – both regions where Cathar beliefs were still common, and where the Occitan language was spoken.
Quéribus is high and isolated. It stands on top of the highest peak for miles around. In 1951 restoration work on the turret began, and between 1998-2002 a complete restoration of the castle was undertaken: the castle is now accessible to visitors.
It is at coordinates 42°50′11″N 2°37′16″ECoordinates: 42°50′11″N 2°37′16″E and an altitude of 728 m. The nearest village is Maury, Pyrénées-Orientales (population 1000).
About Château de Peyrepertuse:
The castle is one of the “Five Sons of Carcassonne” along with the castles Quéribus, Puilaurens, Termes, and Aguilar, all situated atop ‘unassailable’ rocky peaks. It is called ‘Celestial Carcassonne’ because it is the biggest of the five castles and it is as vast as Carcassonne.
The site was occupied during Roman times from the beginning of the 1st century B.C., as recent archaeological excavations have shown. The first historical references to the castle appeared in 806. It was then Catalan and was called Perapertusès. It belonged to the Count of Besalú, a small city situated in Catalonia between Figueres and Olot according to a text from 1020.
It then passed into the earldom of Barcelona in 1111, and then into the viscountcy of Narbonne. From 1180, the Count of Barcelona (Alphonse II, who later became the king of Aragon) secured his independence from vassalage to the king of France. The area became a de facto border.
At the time of the Albigensian Crusade, it was the fief of Guillaume de Peyrepertuse who, not wanting to submit, was excommunicated in 1224. He did finally submit after the failure of the siege of Carcassonne, and the castle became a French possession in 1240. IN 1242, Saint-Louis decided to reinforce it and add a second part, the Sant Jordi dungeon, located higher up on the ridge. The Sant Jordi dungeon was then constructed in 1250-51 and the Old Dungeon as well as the Sainte-Marie Church were re-purposed. The situation in the region was unclear until the signing of the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258 which liberated Catalonia and Languedoc. It also fixed the border as just south of Peyrepertuse Castle. Like its neighbors, the castles of Puilaurens and Queribus, Peyrepertuse was one of the royal fortresses which was reconstructed at the end of the 13th century to defend the border against the Crown of Aragon and then Spain until the 17th century.
In 1355, the castle was restored to its defensive state and Henri de Transtamare, pretender to the Castillian throne, routed at Navarette, was authorized by the king of France Charles V to take refuge there. In 1542, Jean de Graves, lord of Sérignan, seized the castle in the name of the Reformation, but was captured and executed.
The castle was decommissioned as a border point with the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659 having lost its strategic interest. Although the citadel was a lot less valuable after the annexation of Roussillon in 1658, a small garrison commanded by a junior officer was maintained until the French Revolution, during which it was abandoned. Sold as a National Property in 1820, its ruins remain today. The first campaign for the preservation of the monument began in 1950.
Since 1908, the site has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.