Peyrepertuse (or Pierre Pertuse)is a ruined fortress and one of the so-called Cathar castles located high in the French Pyrénées in the commune of Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse, in the Aude département, and has been associated with the Counts of Narbonne and Barcelona. It stands at 800m high.
The name of Peyrepetuse derived from the ancient language called Occitan and means Pierced Rock. The castle was built on a strategic location along the French/Spanish border by The kings of Aragon (lower) in the 11th Century and by Louis IX (higher) later on. The two castles are linked together by a huge staircase. However, the castle lost importance as a strategic castle when the border of the two countries was moved to the south in 1659, causing the castle to be abandoned.
During the Albigensian Crusade it served as a Cathar haven and stronghold, but was handed over to French forces without a battle in 1240. Known as one of the “five sons of Carcassonne” — several castles along the border between France and Spain — the French fortified the castle in 1242 to protect the border.
Since 1908, the site has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture
The Castle can only be reached by a long,winding road and is a climb of about 1/2 hour at least. It is a formidable fortress with two towers and a Romanesque chapel in the keep of St.Georges. The view from the castle is breathtaking, and stretches to the peaks of the Pyrenees.
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