The Holy Place
It is said that a visit to Montsegur and specifically the climb to the Château gives everyone who undertakes it a special feeling. The feeling commences on the first sight of Château on the road from Foix.The old secret Cathar routes are now signposted, well, at least where they cross the modern roads.
The rock itself is relatively slim so when in the Château there is no sense of being supported from below. For me the experience took the form of a very slight vertigo, but not at all unpleasant or threatening. It was as if I might be able to float. On many days there are clouds below the peak which makes the experience even more impressive.
Monsegur was the setting of the final defeat of the Cathars at the end of the Albigensian Crusade. Approaching it from the east it seems improbable that it ever could be captured, sat as it is, on top of its pillar of rock.
I had visited Monsegur during my first visit to the area, because in Rennes I had been told that one possible source for the treasure of Rennes was not the Visigothic treasure but Cathar treasure smuggled out during the last days of the siege.