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Château Minerve

FRANCE | Friday, 9 May 2014 | Views [251]

Minerve, Aude

Minerve, Aude

The tower surrounded by birds is all that remains of Château Minerve, which was besieged by Simon de Montfort in 1210. Following the massacre of Béziers in 1209 Château Minerve had provided a refuge for escaping Cathars. However, this haven did not last long and when the castle was surrendered to the Crusaders on 22 July 1210 it is believed that 150-180 Cathars were burned alive. The events were immortalised in the Song of the Cathar Wars

The castle of Minerve sits not on a plain,
But stands, as God is my witness, on a high spur of rock.
There is a no stronger fortress this side of the Spanish passes,
Except Cabaret and Termes at the head of Cerdagne.
William, lord of Minerve, rested and bathed,
Shut up in the castle with his whole troop.
Our French men and those from Champaigne,
From Maine, and Anjou and Brittany,
From Lorraine, and Frisia and Germany
Drove them all out by force before the grain ripened.
And there they burned alive many heretics, sons of bitches,
Frantic men and crazed women who shrieked among the flames.
Not the value of chestnut was left to the survivors.
Afterwards, the bodies were were thrown out and mud shovelled over them
So that no stench from these foul things
Should bother our foreign forces.

Tags: cathars, crusaders, minerve, siege


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