The days seemed to fly past as I would run in the morning (remember, my theory always is that runs help drive out illness, although mine has been determined to hang on), shower and start teaching classes at 11. Once classes were finished around 2:30 or 3, everyone else would be ready for a nap, so my days kind of passed staying inside.
Finally, one afternoon, I said, "Forget this! I could be living in Ohio for as much French life as I'm getting."
So I asked Earl if we could go visit a nearby castle after I finished teaching, and he, of course, agreed.
The Cathars had different beliefs than the Catholic church and were slaughtered by the Catholics in the early 1200s. So when were the castles built? Before then, although some of them might have been rebuilt by the French on the same site in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Peyrepertuse is the only other Cathar castle we have visited.
As you can see from the blurry map, there are plenty to choose, so I picked one that was close by, Puivert, and checked to see if it was open. Yep, until 5 p.m.
It wasn't a long drive as we wound around above Quillan to Puivert. We got a closer look at the mountaintops sprinkled with snow.
According to those who have been here all winter, Quillan hasn't gotten any snow, even though there are frequent predictions of snow. On the mountains, it's a different story.
I probably should have looked up the history of Puivert before we went, but I expected there would be some literature handed out along with the ticket.
|Our view of the castle from below|
The sign said they were open until 5, but I could imagine the ticket taker on a dreary late-January day deciding around 3 p.m. that no one would be coming and closing shop.
|The view from the entrance.|
|A much better photo from the Cathar Castles website.|
|Earl in no danger from the portcullis above|
So this was a Medieval Cathar castle that was overtaken by Catholics in a 3-day battle. Apparently, it was a place where troubadours gathered before the take over. It was rebuilt by the French in the 14th and 15th centuries. There's also a story that Dame Blanche who lived in the castle wanted to be able to enjoy the lake shore so workers began to make changes to the dam, which resulted in the dam breaking and destroying part of the Medieval city Mirepoix. Lots of interesting information about this castle, even though we were closed out.
|One of the towers. Apparently, there are 8.|
|I had hoped for a panoramic picture inside the castle, but had to settle for this |
view of the snow-dusted mountain with a bit of the castle wall in the picture.