Chateau d'ArquesChateau d'Arques
©Chateau d'Arques|Jean-Louis SOCQUET-JUGLARD
Sites of the Cathar Country

Castle of Arques

A masterpiece of Francilian Gothic architecture
Fortified house

A few kilometers after Couiza, a valley opens up, watered by the Réalsès stream and surrounded by numerous forests. In this green setting, the keep of Arques, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, rises up. The castle stands on top of a small isolated hillock, a few hundred meters west of the village.

A little history
Château d'Arques
Château d'Arques
Château d'Arques

The history of the castle begins after the crusade against the Albigensians. Olivier de Termes sells his place of Arques to Pierre de Voisins, a powerful French knight and the lieutenant of Simon de Monfort. His grandson, Gilles de Voisins undertook the construction of the castle-residence in 1280. He undoubtedly called upon the artisans of the king, then at work in Carcassonne and throughout the Corbières, to build this refined residence, combining comfort and military efficiency.

Masterpiece of Gothic military architecture

The ensemble consists of a quadrangular enclosure pierced by a Gothic door and a elegant keep, virtually intact, with a height of 24 meters, flanked by four turrets. The keep consists of four levels. The first two are vaulted with ogives, the third receives a floor, and the last is the main defensive floor. The southwest corner of the enclosure is occupied by the housing tower, of which two levels are currently being visited.

Store / bookstore

Large area in the entrance of the castle, with books, souvenirs and games for children.

Guided tours

Contact Légendes d’Oc at +33 6 72 73 81 20 or write to

Tourist information

Reception and tourist information center

The village

In the village the Maison Déodat Roché pays tribute to the one of the first historians of Catharism. A permanent exhibition devoted to Catharism and its interpretations, is installed there. The visit is coupled with that of the castle.

As a group, as a family, as a couple or even among friends visit the castle!