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"Minerve, France", © 1993 Elroy Christenson
Minerve is only a short drive from Carcasonne through a rugged and parched landscape and sits on rocky out-crop where the rivers Cesse and Briant come together. The village and its citadel put up a valiant resistance to Simon de Montfort during a seven week siege in 1210. At the end of the siege Simon executed 140 Cathars by burning them at the stake for not renouncing their faith. The sect gets its name from the Greek "katharos", meaning pure. They were particularly critical of the corruption of the Catholic church. By this stance they became heretics with Pope promising absolution and land to crusaders who helped eliminate them.