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Cathar country

The Cathars

Catharism is a Christian movement that grew strongly in Occitania between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, based largely on dissent to the power of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Cathars ("pure" in Greek) led a very austere life with a doctrine dictated by the purification of the will. They freed themselves from the traditional sacraments of the church, recognising only baptism, the "consolament" and a single prayer the lord's prayer. They were unsurprisingly designated as "heretics" and from 1208 were the object of the bloody Albigensians crusades and the Inquisition.

The fall of Montsegur (Ariège) in 1244 spelled the end of the Cathar movement.


Why are the Cathars important in Lauragais Country?

The Lauragais is strongly marked by this Medieval episode, of which it was the epicentre. Although today, few physical traces remain, the Cathar Epoch as described by historian Michel Roquebert, left its scars on many villages around the territory — Saint-Félix Lauragais, Fanjeaux and Avignonet-Lauragais among them.

Immerse yourself in the history of the Cathars and walk in the footsteps of the "Good Men and Good women" of St. Dominic.