Carcassonne

Medieval Carcassonne is a fortified town rather than a castle - and perhaps the most impressive fortified medieval town to be found. Which is ironic, because in the middle of the 19th century it was in such bad repair that it became scheduled for demolition, to be saved by the efforts of the local mayor, who called in the new 'historic monuments' department to take a look.

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Chateaux Lastours

High above the village of Lastours in Languedoc-Roussillon are the four cathar castles of Lastours.

The castles - Cabaret, Surdespine, la Tour Régine, and Quertinheux are in a seemingly impregnable position - on a rocky spine, with deep ravines on either side, containing the fast flowing Grésilhou and Orbiel rivers.

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Chateau de Peyrepertuse

Probably the finest of the 'cathar castles of Languedoc', Peyrepertuse is situated in a very dramatic location atop a very high, thin rocky needle. The castle appears almost invisible at first, so closely it resembles the rock on which it is built and we can only wonder at the incredible feat it was to build a castle in such a location.

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Chateau de Queribus

Near neighbour to Peyrepertuse, the castle at Queribus started life around 1000 as a 'Spanish' castle, being on the northern frontiers of Aragon / Barcelona territory. In an extremely dramatic location on top of a rocky pinnacle in Languedoc-Roussillon, the castle comprises a donjon (keep) and a chapel, and various other rooms and remaining defensive walls.

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Fort de Salses

Salses Fort was constructed by the catalans in 1497 to protect their border with France to the north - the castle that had previously stood at the same location had been destroyed the year before by the French army

The location had been part of a key transportation route dating back to Roman times.

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