More Cathar tradegy
Minerve is situated on top of the gorge of the River Cesse Near the village the river disappears underground in a large, naturally-carved tunnel.
In 1210 a group of Cathars sought refuge in the village after the massacre at Béziers during the Albigensian Crusade. The village is set in a naturally strong defensive position. However it was besieged by Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester. The attacking army besieged the village for six weeks before it capitulated. They set up four seige engines around the fortification: three to attack the village, and the largest, Malevoisine, to attack the town's water supply. Eventually the commander of the 200-strong garrison, Viscount Guilhem of Minerve, gave in and negotiated a surrender which saved the villagers and himself after the destruction of the town's main well. However, 140 Cathars refused to give up their faith and were burned to death at the stake on 22 July.