[personal profile] luis_mw
First, Villerouge...

Well, Villerouge-Termenès to be more accurate. To avoid confusion with any other Villerouges there might be out there (at least one other, according to Google Maps). Our journey took us further south, further into the foothills, further into countryside that could have made our journey very long indeed had we stopped to appreciate it each time we saw something nice. It was evident we were in wine country, with every other side road promising a vineyard or winery at the end. With more time and more money, we could have had a very happy journey – well, at least, until the point at which I fell asleep from too much tasting (yes, I know you’re supposed to spit, but what a waste).

Villerouge-Termenès proved easy enough to find, and the castle therein was clearly signposted. They seemed to take it quite seriously, with each signpost drawing us further into the history of the castle, of the Cathars, and in particular, one Guilhem Belibaste - the last Cathar Perfectus.

This theme continued inside the castle, with the audio guide and assorted film segments telling us about the castle, related through the story of Belibaste and his persecution and eventual burning by one Bernard de Farges, Archbishop of Narbonne. It was an interesting story, and I would have liked to learn more, especially the section of film that showed Farges dictating his final memoires before his anticipated death. From my brief Googling, I think I may have to learn a lot more French before I can research it more. The audio guide was less annoying than most, since the appropriate segment was activated by walking into the room, rather than driving you around in lock-step, point by point, painting by painting etc. Once again, there was the bonus of some wall paintings, even if some were restorations/reproductions.

It was a smaller castle, so not so many photos - what I did take can be seen here...

There was a pleasant looking tavern/café across the tiny bridge from the castle. A cold beer was an awful temptation, but we had some more kilometres and at least one other castle to explore before we got to our hotel. So, farewell to Villerouge and onward to Aguilar…
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