The Termes family in Aguilar: fearsome from dad to son!

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The castle - ©Bertrand benazeth / CC-BY-SA The castle - ©Bertrand benazeth / CC-BY-SA
Aguilar castle Castle Cathar castle

Olivier’s wrath

Lords of Termes raised a fortress in Aguilar at the end of the 12th century, on the location of a former keep mentioned in 1020 like a possession of counts de Besalu. But at the end of the 11th century, the castle fell to the family of Termes. Hey, you know them! We already met Raymond de Termes, fervent defender of the Cathar faith, defending his castle of Termes. Here, we meet Olivier, his son: worst than his pater, he defended Cathars at all costs!

Then, he became a loyal knight of king saint Louis, for whom he died in Crusades, far way from home… The bravest knight of his time, said the chroniclers! Olivier was boiling; he was barely 12 years old when his dad was arrested, humiliated and dispossessed of his castle of Termes. But he learned all the sieges’ techniques, with him, learned from his formidable dad all he had to know to become a real strategist...

Cathars, a king

Olivier settled in the castle in 1228. But not for long: a wind of rebellion blew in Aguilar! The fortress became the head-quarter of knights defenders of the Cathars, who gathered here before Carcassonne's siege with viscount Trencavel, to recapture the city from the king of France’s hands. Olivier was part of them. But it was a big fail… After that, the king forced Olivier to submission, after months of resistance.

So, Aguilar became a royal fortress… but Olivier behaved himself, so the king gave it back. Finally, Olivier sold his castle to the king (yes, he had to take part to the Crusades, and it was pretty expensive), who settled a garrison in 1260. He also raised a keep, added a ramparts flanked by towers. But Aguilar lost its strategical position between France and Spain, because of the moving of the border in the 17th century.


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