in Cathar Country
You find Termes castle in the South of France, in the Corbières. We are situated in the " Aude, Cathar Country " area, at 1 hour of Carcassonne, 1 hour of the Mediterranean Sea, and 1 hour of the Pyrenees moutaintops.
The site of Termes includes a charming small village, near two spectacular gorges, and of course, the rests of one of the best known fortresses of the history of the Crusade against the Cathars. We are not far away from the castles of Villerouge-Termenès and Arques nor from the village and abbey of Lagrasse as well.
The castle of Termes was the administrative center of an important territorial district in XI th -XIII th centuries. The lords of Termes managed a powerful fortified village, under the donjon, and they showed themselves tolerant to the cathar heretics. 800 years ago, during the crusade against the cathars, the siege of Termes in 1210 by the army of Simon de Montfort made Termes famous : it was one of the longest sieges of this 20 years long war (1209-1229). At the end of the XIII° century, the castle was reorganized by the French royal power. From then, Termes was one of the castles wich protected France against spain : The " Five sons of Carcassonne".
Destroyed by the french authority in 1654, the castle of Termes remained abandoned until the XXth century. But since 1989, conservative workings are done. The current archaeological excavations wich are now made every year since 2005 allows a beter understanding of the history of the castle. These discoveries as well as the efforts made to improve the comfort of the visit, brings the castle out of the forgetting.
The remembrance, 800 years later, of the Albigensian crusade, and the siege of the castle of Termes, is an opportunity to propose you even more : the contents of the visit grows rich :
- a short film "Termes, the impregnable ?" allows to start your visit.
- an exhibition "1210, the siege of the castle of Termes" gives all about this event of the XIII th century.
- the paper-guide which is lent to you for the time of your visit is renewed for the summer 2010.
The object of these pages is to inform you at best about our historic site, its visit and its surroundings. Our ideas and suggestions can help you to plan an excursion in the Corbières.
Have a good consultation ! We hope to have the pleasure to see you in Termes very soon!
The team of the castle - The municipality of Termes