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Musee de Montsegur, Montsegur

#3 of 7 in Museums in Ariege
Specialty Museum Museum
The Château de Montségur is a former fortress near Montségur, a commune in the Ariège department in southwestern France. Its ruins are the site of a razed stronghold of the Cathars. The present fortress on the site, though described as one of the "Cathar castles," is actually of a later period. It has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1862.GeographyThe ruins of Montségur are perched at a precarious altitude in the south of France near the Pyrenees. Located in the heart of France's Languedoc-Midi-Pyrénées regions, 80km southwest of Carcassonne, Montségur dominates a rock formation known as a pog — a term derived from the Languedocien dialect of Occitan — puòg or puèg, meaning "peak, hill, mountain."HistoryThe earliest signs of human settlement in the area date back to the stone age, around 80,000 years ago. Evidence of Roman occupation such as Roman currency and tools have also been found in and around the site. Its name comes from Latin mons securus, which evolved into mont ségur in Occitan, which means "safe hill". In the Middle Ages the Montsegur region was ruled by the Counts of Toulouse, the Viscounts of Carcassonne and finally the Counts of Foix. Little is known about the fortification until the time of the Albigensian Crusade.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
53 reviews
  • There was only a very tiny display in cases of some finds in the museum. It wasn't worth the entrance fee, unless you are really very bored or very enthusiastic about history.  more »
  • Very interesting small museum in the village of Montsegur, detailing the daily lives of the Cathars, the fortification of the Chateau and their persecution by the Inquisition. As other reviewers have ...  more »
  • The museum has a fascinating exhibition about the development of the castle and the materials used. It shows the three defensive walls and the village of 600 inhabitants when the castle was a major de...  more »
  • Climbing the narrow path towards Cháteau de Montségur is a 30 minute journey through the fairytale landscape surrounded with the green mountains with the snow at their peaks. If you know the history of Montségur it will take you to the time of its glory especially if you climb alone or in a group of few. Breathtaking landscape with eagles in the sky can't leave anyone indifferent. When you reach the walls of this magnificent castle these feelings become even more intense. With staggering view from this eagles nest you just want to sit and enjoy every second on this holistic place. At the gates and the walls of Montségur, blood on the stones of the citadel still radiates unrelenting energy.
  • An amazing piece of history the site of the last Cathar settlement in France. To even begin to imagine as you climb and explore how it was built and imagine rubbing shoulders withthe ghosts of the past is simply amazing. Stunning views of the surrounding foothills of the Pyrenees in a hidden gem area of France.
  • Lovely views, difficult climb not to be taken lightly. Not the most impressive castle but interesting history.
  • Knowing the cruel history of Catholic genocide at this ruined site, where 200 people were burned alive, leaves one feeling very subdued. It's a great monument to visit and reflect.
  • Si vous avez les jambes pour monter en haut, faites la visite guidée !

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