Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Château de Peyrepertuse

Trip to Aude: Day 5 (Afternoon)
After Quéribus, we hopped over to it's sister castle, Château de Peyrepertuse on a neighboring hill. Quéribus and Peyrepertuse form a chain of five castles that are called the Sons of Carcassonne. All refurbished former Cathar castles, they formed a line of defense against Spain centered on the grand castle of Carcassonne.
Peyrepertuse is just a short drive away from Quéribus. You can actually see Peyrepertuse from the ramparts of Quéribus. If you remember, I had a photo of it in the previous post.
This is what Peyrepertuse  looks like, as you approach.

Climbing the hill to Peyrepertuse...

Peyrepertuse is actually in two parts: A lower part built by the kings of Aragon in the 11th century, and an upper part built later on by King Louis IX. The two parts are connected by a natural ridge that forms one of the ramparts. This ridge once had a parallel stone wall that formed the other rampart. You get from one part to the other by a staircase that was built later.
Here is the upper part, viewed from the lower part.

Taking the staircase to the upper part

Viewing the lower part and the natural ridge from the upper part. From here, you can clearly see how the ridge forms a natural rampart, joining up the two sub-castles into a big, halunking super-castle.

This place is very popular with para-gliding enthusiasts. You can get a spectacular view of the castle from the air.

At the end of the visit, Blandine declared she had fallen in love with Peyrepertuse, as I had with Quéribus. She agreed that while she would be Queen of Peyrepertuse, I could be Prince of Quéribus. The kingdom amicably divided, we drove on to the next destination.

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