The keep of the Château de Quéribus
The Château de Quéribus (in OccitanCastèl de Queribús) is a ruined castle in the commune of Cucugnan in the Audedépartement of France. It has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1907.
Queribus is one of the “Five Sons of Carcassonne”, along with Aguilar,Peyrepertuse, Termes and Puilaurens: five castles strategically placed to defend the French border against the Spanish, until the border was moved in 1659.
It is sometimes regarded as the last Catharstronghold. After the fall of Montségur in 1244 surviving Cathars gathered together in another mountain-top stronghold on the border of Aragon (the present border between the Aude and the Pyrénées-Orientales).
In 1255, a French army was dispatched to deal with these remaining Cathars, by means of a siege, but they slipped away without a fight, probably toAragon or Piedmont – both regions where Cathar beliefs were still common, and where the Occitan language was spoken.
Quéribus is high and isolated. It stands on top of the highest peak for miles around. In 1951 restoration work on the turret began, and between 1998-2002 a complete restoration of the castle was undertaken: the castle is now accessible to visitors.