Chateau de Montsegur

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We had a view of Chateau de Montsegur from our gîte. Not having access to a weather forecast, we used the château….

If it was clear and stayed clear in the morning, we were likely to get a good day. Often it would be clear when we woke but then the cloud would come down. We knew then we were in for a dull and possibly damp day.

It is a pleasant 3-4 mile drive along a long winding road through the trees from Montferrier. The road climbs steadily from 5488m in Montferrier to a huge parking area at the col at 1059m. Even at 5pm on a dull afternoon this was still quite busy.

Now in ruins, the château was a stronghold of the Cathars and is built at the top of a precipitious bare rock, described locally as a ‘pog’. The base is wooded. Above is bare rock or grass and scrub on the less steep slopes.

The guide books describe the climb to the top as 30minutes on a well trodden track. It is certainly well trodden and we could see people like tiny ants tackling the climb. In places it looked very steep – real hands and knees stuff. As well as being rough we had been warned there were areas of polished limestone which can be slippery.

Knowing that ruins like this are often more dramatic viewed from a distance, we admired from the bottom.

It is almost impossible to give this a star rating. It's location it must give it 5*, asuming it is clear of cloud and rain!

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