1255. Quéribus besieged: a treason?

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The castle - ©Groumfy69 / CC-BY-SA The castle - ©Groumfy69 / CC-BY-SA
Quéribus castle Castle Cathar castle Siege

The Battle Lion

Quéribus, last Cathar bastion! The fortress was put up in the 11th century for counts de Cerdagne-Besalù, who joined the Cathars’ cause. The beginning of an unfailing friendship… yes, in the 13th century, Chabert de Barbaira, Quéribus’ governor, hosted Cathars on the run, after the fall and the stake of Montségur (1244). He was nicknamed le Lion de combat, the "Battle lion"!

In Quéribus in 1230, he hid the Cathar bishop Benoît de Termes, who died in the castle 3 years later. The famous Olivier de Termes’ uncle, do you remember this one? Another Cathars’ custodian?… Benoît wasn’t the only one: Quéribus hosted all Cathars religious on the run. Because we have here the last castle in the area with Puilaurens to do it, after Montségur’s slaughter.


So… Quéribus was a big den of Cathar knights. And neither king of France nor the religious liked this situation! So, in 1255, seneschal of Carcassonne Pierre d’Auteuil besieged Quéribus: a real "meeting place for heretics, murderers and thieves, according to him"! Chabert de Barbaira, trapped, exchanged his life against Quéribus’ surrender. The place fell 11 years after Montségur’s stake...

You know what? That was Chabert’s old pal, Olivier de Termes, who managed the siege. Olivier knew the fortress, because he already defended it with Chabert, long time ago… Yes, but Olivier went over to the French camp, to the king… Some said that there was no surrender, but a treason: because of a naughty ambush created by Olivier himself! But this one never killed anyone, during Quéribus’ siege. He only expelled the Cathars and arrested Chabert.

And also!