Between the Montagne Noire and the Pyrenees, in the center of the Aude Departement, is a spectacular countryside of wild hills, covered with broom, lavender, juniper and beautiful forests, still influenced by the memory of the historical events which took place there. The Corbières mountains, Pyrenean foothills near the vast fertile Lauraguais plain, were the cradle and centre of  development of Cathar heresy in 12-th century.

 During the 11th and 12th centuries, Termes was the seat of an important fiefdom. In 1061, the lord possessed the circumscription dominated by the castle: the Termenès.      

Utilising different opportunities, the lords of Termes increased their territory, causing occasional conflicts, for example, with the Abbey of Lagrasse.
        When the Crusades against the Albigensians began, the fiefdom spread from Arques in the west to Aguilar in the east. Raimond de Termes was thus one of the most powerful vassals of Trencavel, Viscount of Carcassonne. Implicated in the Cathar heresy, Raimond de Termes fought against the Crusade.
        When, in August 1210, Simon de Montfort decided to force the ‘impregnable' castle of Termes into submission, it was one of the most crucial episodes in the Crusade. The defenders resisted for four months. Finally, however, it was the shortage of water and dysentery which forced the besieged to flee on 20 November 1210… Raimond de Termes was taken prisoner and his possessions were confiscated and given to Alain de Roucy, a Crusader.
     Temporarily recuperated during the collapse of the Crusade around 1223, the castle became a royal French fortress in 1228. Whereas the castle was progressively reinforced, the adjoining village settlement was evacuated in 1257. From that time on, Termes served as fortress defending the France-Aragon border: one of the ‘Five sons of Carcassonne'. The castle was occupied by a royal garrison for four centuries.
       Olivier de Termes, son of Raimond, became famous for his many battles, whether they be against the French king, or, after his submission in 1248, as a Holy Crusader in Palestine.
        The demolition of the castle was decided in 1652, seven years before the Treaty of the Pyrenees displaced the border further south.
        The site was then forgotten until the first conservation measures were taken in the mid-20th century. It was listed as an Historical Monument in 1989. 

Of this long and painful epic, there remain today only a ruin watched by old oak trees and in face, the property of Prat de Mu, overlooking a flower covered valley, shaded by oak trees, pines and cypresses, full of charm and mystery, of peace and memories on the painful historical events which took place here...


For more information about the château de Termes and the village




La Bergerie du Prat de Mu  11330 TERMES
Tél: +33 (0)9 80 40 76 54  portable +33 (0)6 31 02 91 77