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Saissac Castle

Cathar Castle

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Saissac cathat castle is located almost in the center of the Saissac town.
Being built around 900 AD it is the oldest of the Cathar castle.
In a document dating from year 960 the castle is donated by the bishop of Toulouse to the Count of Carcassonne.
Just before the Cathar Crusade the castle was in the property of Bertrand de Saissac (1140-1202) a protector of the heretics. Bertrand de Saissac was also the tutor of Raimond Roger de Trencavel at the time heir to the viscounty of Carcassonne.
At the beginning of the crusade the Lords of Saissac surrender to the armies of Simon de Montfort and that triggers the shared possession of the castle and of the viscounty’s lands between the crusade leaders and the members of the Saissac family who are forced also to give up their support to cathar followers.
The castle of Saissac is linked to the legend of Jeanne de Saissac the beautiful but heartless wife of Count Gauthier de Saissac, who, to become rich, sold her soul but ended up bringing about not only her own destruction but the ruin of the whole castle, that could not be rebuilt afterwards (source "Légendes et traditions populaires de la France" by François Louis Charles Amédée d'Hertault Beaufort ).
In 1979 2000 coins dating from end of the 13th century were discovered in a worksite in the village.
This "Treasure of Saissac" can now be admired in the two restored rooms of the castle.
The rest of the castle as is the case with many Cathar strongholds is now just a dream triggering ruin.

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Address:11310 SAISSAC
Visiting Hours:Closed in January
April to June and September: 10am-6pm
October: 10am-5pm
February, March, November and December: 10am-5pm (Weekends and school holidays)


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