Montsegur and specifically Chateau de Montsegur was the stronghold and seminary for the Cathars; a religious society who practiced a sacred aesthetic way of life and believed that they were the descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Montsegur was the home of Guillebert de Castres, Cathar theologian and Bishop. 'Montsegur' in Latin means 'safe hill'. Lord Raymond de Pereille refortified the structures in the 12th century creating just that! Montsegur II is where the Cathars thrived until 10,000 French Royal Troops climbed up the cliffs and invaded the area. Considered heretics by the Catholics all the Cathars were forced to abandon their faith or be burned at the stake. On 16 March 1244 more than 200 devoted Cathars were put to death in the field below where The Monument of the Pog stands today. A few slipped away believed to have taken with them Holy Artifacts and Relics, perhaps The Holy Grail and The Book of Love. The last living Cathar is believed to be Guillaume Belibaste who died in the early 14th century.
Archaeologists have discovered signs of human existence back to the stone age. The present Montsegur III stands where Montsegur II formerly existed. The structures are considered architectural wonders. The solar phenomenon has been viewed by countless astronomers and spiritual pilgrims; appearing in the documentary THE OTHERWORLD by Richard Stanley, 2013. Chateau de Montsegur is not only famous for its spiritual connection to The Cathars, also to the Templar Knights, the presence of Mary and Jesus, the Seneschal's Siege, Gorges de la Fran, and Pic de Soularac. Many famous paintings have depicted this historically and spiritually significant French spot. "Le Bucher de Montsegur", is an extraordinary modern painting by Jacques Fauche depicting the horrific scene on one side and on the other, white birds flying symbolizing the ascendance of the Cathar souls. The classically styled oil by Herve Olivier is simply entitled "Montsegur"; a beautiful depiction of the Chateau and the French landscape. Finbarr Ross is an expert in the history, the folklore and the sacredness of the Cathar society. On this Sacred Mystical Journey you will be treated to more than you can imagine.