July 1210. Beginning of the big siege of Termes. Heavens, the siege of the century! Who ended in November… 4 long months to submit Termes the Cathar! So, now, we were in July 1210. Simon de Montfort, who led a big army, was in front of Termes’ walls.
Not to mention the cohort of prelates and archbishops, real chatterboxes… What about Simon? Do you remember him? He was the leader of the Crusades against Cathars. But now, the bold Montfort was scared stiff. Right now, in front of the high, high walls of Termes! Hey, a 13th century chroniclers wrote:
"Termes seemed humanly impregnable, raised at the top of a high mountain, surrounded by deep and inaccessible ravines. Those ravines were framed by very high rocks, so high that the one who wanted to reach the castle had to crawl towards the sky."
But lord of Termes was not afraid "neither of God nor of men". He waited for them. He, the powerful Raymond de Termes, defender of the Cathars.
In the beginning of the siege, Cathars led. It was a piece of cake… In the castle’s enclosure, a chap named Guillaume (a priest) became a real strategist, taking care of the war machines, advising the carpenters and the blacksmiths…
He even supplied the castle in food, by steeling staples at night, in the neighbourhood! But they started to lack water, in Termes. Cathars even wanted to sign the surrender… until one day, it started to rain! A big storm which quickly filled the castle’s tank. But the water was full of miasmas and men started to die...
Whoa, a real massacre! Simon de Montfort finally arrested Raymond after 4 months of siege. Look at him: he looked like an exhausted chap, but still with shining eyes and proud face, who went out escorted by soldiers, in the dust of the road. A last look for his proud Termes, and… he left for Carcassonne’s jails, where he rot 3 years and died. Fortunately, he passed on the torch to his son Olivier… we will see it in the castle of Aguilar).