Chateau Queribus – France

Perched on a narrow rocky outcrop, the magnificent castle of Queribus stands at an altitude of 728 metres. The castle was first mentioned in 1020 as part of the County of Besalù, then of Barcelona and was held as a royal fortress by the house of Aragon in 1162.

During the Albigensian Crusade the owners of Queribus were fervent defenders of the Languedoc cause taking food and stores to the heretics in the castle of Puilaurens and sheltering the dispossessed knight Guiraud d’Aniort and the Cathar deacon of the Razès, Benoît de Termes. When the knight Chabert de Barbaira was caught by forces loyal to King Louis IX in 1255, the knight had to trade his life for the surrender of Queribus, though no Cathars perished as they had long since left to head into Aragon taking who knows what with them. Chabert de Barbaira had fought against the French many times and was captured by a former ally, Olivier de Termes, who knew that Chabert was a lifelong supporter of the Cathar cause and believed in their heresy.  

Queribus was the last stronghold sympathetic to the Cathar cause to fall, eleven years after the fall of Montségur. The castle then became a key element in the French defence system against Aragon. Queribus was one of the ‘five sons of Carcassonne’ with Aguilar, Peyrepertuse, Puilaurens and Termes, which formed the key defensive line between Languedoc and Roussillon. Queribus overlooked the plains of Roussillon to the south and acted as a deterrent to prevent the enemies of France from entering the Corbières massif from Aragon. The castle lost its strategic importance with the 1659 treaty, which fixed the border with Spain at its present location, the peaks of The Pyrenees.

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