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Chateau de Puiverttourist information guide
Address: Château de Puivert, Montaillou, 11230
Tel: +33 (0)4 68 20 81 52
Opening Times: All year
Chateau de Puivert is probably best known for its sculptures of musicians found in the donjon. Instruments include the bagpipes, tambourine, viol and lute which hark back to Chateau de Puivert's fame as a centre for music and culture.
However, Chateau de Puivert, like most other castles of the Aude and Ariege, is also strategically linked with Cathar history. Gaillard de Congost was the son of Bernard, a Cathar and Lord of Puivert who died at Chateau de Montsegur in 1242. During his time at Chateau de Puivert, he promoted the castle as a centre of Occitan culture. Poets and musicians alike were encouraged to spend time at the chateau.
Historians recount the tale of an attack on Chateau de Puivert in 1210. Bernard de Congost managed to escape the Chateau by an underground tunnel with his son, Gaillard in his arms. Later in 1242, a planned slaughter took place in Avignonet of 11 officers of the Inquisition (against the Cathars). Among the attackers was Gaillard de Congost. Some say he was seeking revenge for his family having been so brutally driven from their home.
What remains of the de Congost fortress is at the far western end. The remaining castle was largely rebuilt by a wealthy French family in the early 14th-century. Luckily, a fair amount remains of Chateau de Puivert as it didn't pose such a military threat as some of the other castles in the region. However, it did suffer neglect and ruin after the Revolution.
Whilst visiting Chateau de Puivert, don't forget to take a tour of the Musée du Quercorb with displays of local artefacts and a collection of medieval instruments.