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Chateau de Puilaurenstourist information guide
Address: Lapradelle-Puilaurens, Puivert, 11140
Tel: + 33 (0)4 68 20 65 26
Opening Times: Daily | Admission Charge
Chateau de Puilaurens is located on a high rocky promontory surrounded by the dense forest of Quillan. It's one of the best preserved of the Cathar castles and a formidable medieval fortress with four towers and a crenellated curtain wall. Its battlements defending the keep are visible from afar so it's not hard to see why Simon de Montfort (the leader of the opposition to the Cathars) was unable to mount a successful attack.
After the fall of Chateau de Montsegur, Chateau de Puilaurens housed many fleeing Cathars, most notably Saurine Rigaud from 1246 to 1247. Finally, in 1256 the Cathars surrendered and Chateau de Puilaurens was taken over by French troops.
It was at this time that the French fortifiedChateau de Puilaurens as a frontier citadel.  most southerly point occupied by King facing advancing troops of Spain.
The path that leads up to the main gate is surrounded by shrubs and trees typical of the region (cherry trees, wild rose, juniper and blackthorn). It leads to a lower courtyard. To glimpse the immensity of this Cathar refuge, go through a postern at the bottom of the east tower. You'll see a rocky spur from which you'll be able to contemplate Chateau de Puilaurens.
Great views are also to be had of the Pic de Bugarech to the north east and the Boulzane Valley to the south.