The Château d'Usson is one of the so-called Cathar castles in what is now southwestern France. It is located in the commune of Rouze, in the Ariège département. It is sited upstream from Axat, along the Aude River gorge, carved out of the foothills of the Pyrenees. It is situated at 920 m in altitude and dominates the valley of the Aude River. The Château de Puilaurens is 30 km away, Château de Puivert 49 km and Château de Quéribus 60 km.
The castle dates from the 11th century and during the Cathar period marked the eastern boundary of the territories of the Counts of Foix. In the 12th century, this was the capital of the Donézan region. Before the défilé was cut through the mountains to link Quillan to Axat, this was an inaccessible outpost providing succour for faidits and other persecuted Cathars. The Cathar bishop of Toulouse Guilhabert de Castres is known to have taken refuge here.
Copyright: CC 3.0