Roquefixade Castle (Roquefixade in French or Castèth de Ròca Fixada in Occitan) is the Cathar Castle built on a rock overlooking the village of the same name. It is located 8 km west of the Lavelanet municipality in the Ariège department in the Pyrenees (France).

The first mention of the castle dates back to 1180. It is known that the castle provided refuge to the Cathars (representatives of the heretical Christian sect) during the Cathar wars: the Albigensian Crusade or the Cathar Сrusade of 1209-1229 (French: Croisade des albigeois, Occitan: Crosada dels albigeses).

It was initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, in the south of France, and led not only to a significant reduction in the number of Cathars, but also to the restructuring of the Toulouse county in Languedoc, bringing it under the French crown’s sphere of influence and reducing the regional culture consequences of the Counts of Barcelona.

Roquefixade became a stronghold of the fortress built at the end of the 13th century along the Corbières hills to observe the Count of Foix territory.

The active castle lasted until the year 1632.

At this time, the French King Louis XIII stopped at the castle on the way to Toulouse to execute Henry II, Duke of Montmorency, who had risen against Richelieu. The king ordered men to destroy the castle, which in his opinion had no more meaning and was expensive to maintain.

Roquefixade Castle was turned into a historical monument by the French Ministry of Culture in 1995. The castle ruins are open to the public.

Roquefixade Village

Roquefixade (Occitan languedocien: Ròcafixada) is a commune in the eastern part of the Ariège département, in the Occitania region.

Exposed to a mountain climate, it is drained by the Douctouyre, the Baure stream and various other small streams. The commune boasts a remarkable natural heritage: a Natura 2000 site (the “pechs de Foix, Soula et Roquefixade, grotte de L’Herm”), a protected area (the “gorges de Péreille”) and three natural zones of ecological, faunistic and floristic interest.

Roquefixade is a rural commune with a population of 147 in 2021, following a peak of 713 in 1836. It is part of the Foix catchment area. Its inhabitants are called Rocofissadois or Rocofissadoises.

The Association of the Roquefixade Friends (l’Association des Amis de Roquefixade) is registered in the village, the main merit of which is to organize open-air music evenings.

How to get to?

From Paris: 7 hr 54 min (780 km) via A20

From Toulouse: 1 hr 20 min (105 km) via A66

From Andorra: 1 hr 54 min (105 km) via N20

From Barcelona: 3 hr 28 min (248 km) via C-16 and N20

From Madrid: 8 hr 27 min (763 km) via A-2

From Monaco: 5 hr 57 min (569 km) via A8

From Moscow: 38 hr (3,494 km) via E30/M1

From Belgrade: 19 hr 36 min (1,873 km) via E70

From Istanbul: 30 hr (2,822 km) via E70

From Bern: 8 hr 17 min (827 km) via A9

See here Pyrenees travel guide

See here France travel guide

See here Spain travel guide

Read more: Castles and fortresses of Spain and France with Mathew Kristes ...