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“The climb is worth it” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chateau de Montsegur

Chateau de Montsegur
Montsegur, 09300 Montsegur, France
33 5 61 01 06 94
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Ranked #1 of 2 Attractions in Montsegur
Type: Castles, Cultural
Attraction details
South Wingfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
244 reviews 244 reviews
100 attraction reviews
Reviews in 97 cities Reviews in 97 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
“The climb is worth it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

It is a very steep climb up to the castle, which was built after the Cathar siege, but still carries the romanticism. There are remains outside the walls at the top which are said to date from Cathar times. Take care not to fall off though, it is a long way down. No facilities at the top so carry water and dried figs. Magnificent views, and by the time you are down you have earned a glass or two of wine.

Visited August 2012
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London
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Exciting location!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

The location and climb to the castle makes this visit worthwhile. The castle ruins themselves aren't as interesting as some of the other castles in the region, however the panarama from the path and the top are fantastic. We visited in an unusually cold April so there was snow on the path and in the castle itself. Our almost teen daughter and teenaged son were in their element chatting excitedly as they climbed. At the foot here's a poignant memorial to the cathars who were burned to death in the fields below.

Beware if you are not in good heath as it is a very steep path - unfortunately not at all accessible to anyone not physically fit or able.

Definitely supervise young children, (I'd say under 11's), on the path!!

You can buy a combined visit ticket to the castle and the museum in Montsegur Village. I'd recommend visiting the museum first, (some information only in French), as you will get more out of the castle visit.

Visited April 2013
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Okehampton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
45 attraction reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Stunning views from a castle with history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

When you look up at this Cathar Stronghold its easy to see why the castle held out in the siege in medieval times. It is situated on a steep sided 'pug', with vertical drops of 3 sides, and a steep slope on the fourth side. It is a steep climb up to the entrance and the little booth collecting money is about a third of the way up a little zig-zag track. I have a knee that doesn't like steep slopes, so it took about 40 minutes to climb up, stopping to take in the views, chat to passing people etc.

One of the sites mentioned in Kate Mosse's novel Labyrinth, so if you've read this then a visit to Montsegur is something you have to do! If not, it's worth trawling on the internet first to research a bit about the history of the castle, so you understand the context of this last Cathar stronghold. You can see two other Cathar castles from the top Roquefixade (which is free to visit) and sometimes Puivert (another village about 20 km to the east). You can see down valley to the small town of Mirepoix, which was flooded by catastrophic lake drainage in 13th century (I think).

There is a small museum in the local town with more information, but it wasn't open when I visited (and I was more interested in getting a coffee by that time).

Various guide books in different languages introduce the history of the Cathars castles, so if you are going to visit a few of the castles it might be worth picking a guide up. Zoe Oldenburg writes "In 1208 Pope Innocent III called for a Crusade against a country of fellow-Christians. The new enemy was Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse, ...So began the Albigensian Crusade (named after the French town of Albi), which was to culminate in 1244 with the massacre of Cathars at the mountain fortress of Montségur".

The castle is also on the Sentier Cathar (the Cathar Way), which starts from Foix and heads east to Roquefixade, with Montsegur being the third castle along the walking route.

Visited February 2012
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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14 reviews 14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

Loved it! If you have a passion for French Medieval History, Cathars, Forts, Military Strategy or have read Kate Mosse's book Labyrinth, then Montsegur is just for you!

It's a 30 minute climb, give or take fitness levels. It shows panoramic views and hosts large colonies of butterflies in the Summer (when I went!). Very good photo opportunities and the village of Montsegur is lovely and quaint too, perfect for a day out.

Only issues are that all signage and info plaques are only in French - I have very bad French and was a little disappointed but, if you have a guide book of the Languedoc region - you should be fine information-wise!

Visited August 2012
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Teignmouth, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“"A great place"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

The climb is worth the walk,The views are worth your time, but find a quiet corner and just let your mind drift back from the 21st century to that place in history that it has become famous for, to live up there through hot summers and freezing winters, with clear views over the wild countryside and mist lying valleys. No cars or tarmac roads, no cameras or mobile phones, no plastic sandwich box's or drink containers, Just your belief in a faith, on top of a mountain, that would be worth dying for....

Visited November 2012
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