St Julia De Bec - Quillan - Aude - France

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Montsegur Castle

To visit the Cathar stronghold castles, especially Montsegur is an important experience. Here a couple of hundred Cathars were besieged for almost two years by the massed crusading forces. Offered a chance to live if they renounced their beliefs and returned to the Catholic fold, all chose death by fire.

Every midsummer day/evening in this ‘Field of Fire’, at the foot of Montsegur, drummers from Barcelona, the Catalan capital and surrounding territory gather to beat out a constant drum tattoo through out the night in memory of those harmless martyrs.

Visitors from all over the world arrive only for this special night.  The Cathar faith just asked to be left alone, but their common sense belief in ‘dualism’ made them an extreme danger to the Church who maintain and still do that only they have the absolute right to absolve sins.