Photographer's Note

I: A castle called Montsegur

Today the first entry in a little series of the ending of the Cathars. A people exterminated on the initiative of the Pope as their faith was not adopted to the Catholic Church.

I had no knowledge of this ‘ethnic’ cleansing before my days down in Langedouc Rousillon. To learn how half a million people was to be pursued by the Pope in alliance with the king of France has engaged me. Maybe the Pope already at 1200 AC launched ideas others adopted later on, as with the Holocaust in WWII as the ethnic wars of former Yugoslavia.

To retrace the history of Montesegur, one needs to go back to 1208 when Pierre de Castelnau, the papal legate, was killed near Arles. Pope Innocent III waged a holy war against the Cathars to eliminate the heretics. The war, known as the Albegisian Crusade covered two particular episodes:

In 1209 when the Crusaders slaughtered some 20.000 victims at Bezieres, spilling much blood and bringing fire to Occitania.

Then some 30 years later at the night of May 28th 1242 a group of ‘faydits’ from Montsegur killed 11 church inquiry members travelling through Avigonet. This event sounded the final death-knell for Catharism.

Here at Montsegur more than 220 Cathars were to be burned at the stake March 16th. 1244.

More info later in this series

This photo displays the placement of the castle at top of this rocky peak at alt. 1216m. Shot from the road crossing this mountain pass.

Ref: The Green Guide Langedoc Roussillon and the Montesegur information sheet

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Additional Photos by Jack R Johanson (jrj) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4529 W: 494 N: 7430] (34843)
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