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Chateau de Villerouge-Termenestourist information guide
Address: Villerouge-Termenes, 11330
Tel: +33 (0)4 68 70 09 11
Opening Times: Daily | Admission Charge
A trip to Chateau de Villerouge-Termenes is a step back in time to the middle of the 13th-century when Cathars were abandoning their strongholds in search of safety.
One of the last of the Languedoc Bons Hommes or Cathar sympathisers was Guillaume Belibaste. It was in the Autumn of 1321 that he was burnt at the stake in the grounds of Chateau de Villerouge-Termenes. Belibaste had previously led a small Cathar community south of the Pyrenees although he was not typical of the austere Cathars in that he enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle and had a mistress who fell pregnant by him in 1320.
Chateau de Villerouge-Termenes is an interesting and well preserved castle to stroll around. It's square in shape and the ramparts are accessible and afford great views. Chateau de Villerouge-Termenes is flanked by four towers that again are very well preserved. This is mainly because Chateau de Villerouge-Termenes survived centuries without being demolished or pillaged.It was even taken by Simon de Montfort in 1210 without so much as a fight.
There are three floors of the east wing which house audio-visual displays on Belibaste's life plus information on the archbishop of Narbonne, Bernard de Farges and his diocese. There are also displays that recount daily life in Villerouge-Termenes in the Middle Ages.
Part of the south wing is now a restaurant, La Rotisserie Medievale, which serves authentic medieval dishes, including a spit-roast. Every Summer, Chateau de Villerouge-Termenes hosts medieval banquets that take you back to the Middle Ages. All in all, well worth a visit.