Minerve and the Cathar Past

Cathar Chateau at Minerve, Languedoc France
Cathar Chateau at Minerve, on-shore visit from luxury hotel barge Athos

History of the Cathars while Cruising with luxury hotel barge Athos

Minerve is one of the most memorable hilltop towns that has been made famous for its Cathar past. On the countless times I've taken tourists here I very often hear that in spite of Minerve’s much smaller scale, Athos passengers enjoyed the experience more than the Medieval Cite of Carcassonne.  As Minerve was the site of a pretty gruesome siege against the Cathar sect in the 14thC, I can only speculate that people are so overcome by the intensely beautiful setting, that they are able to come away with a feeling that the past has made peace with the land.

Minerve sits perched between two deep gorges:  the Brian on one side and the Cesse on the other.  They converge and wind their way through the craggy, vineyard-covered landscape creating a natural moat, which surrounds the village.   Two bridges give access over the gorge and into the isolated village:  the “Old Bridge” (Circa?? no-one knows) and the “New Bridge”, (a mere 200-years old).

Is the visit worth a week’s luxury hotel barge cruise?  Definitely.

Dove Sculpture at Minerve
visit to Cathar Chateau at Minerve, Dove sculpture