Just under 50 kilometres from the well-known Cathar stronghold of Carcassonne, another former Cathar village is well worth a visit. The small village of Minerve, a recipient of a 'Most Beautiful Village of France' title, has a sad and brutal past and today offers visitors a glimpse back in time.
This part of Languedoc, in France's south, is home to many former Cathar sites and to get a real understanding of the conflict that took place here between the Cathars and the Catholic Church, a visit to the Hurepel Museum in Minerve is a must.
I've visited Minerve on two occasions - once in summer and once in winter - and each time I've been both fascinated and saddened by the events of the past. It's not until you visit Minerve that you get a sense of the predicament the villagers faced against a raging attack from the powerful Church.
Getting to Minerve
Minerve is situated in the Languedoc region of southern France. It is just under 50 kilometres from both Carcassonne and Beziers and 35 kilometres from Narbonne. No public transport is available to Minerve so a car is essential.