The ancient walled city of Carcassonne is around 40 mins south-east. The City is one of the best preserved medieval sites in Europe, and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the summer jousting tournaments are frequently held between the ramparts.
The Cathars were deemed to be heretics and were persecuted by the Established Church in the Middle Ages. There are numerous Cathar fortresses in the area, the most famous of which are Montsegur and Peyrepertuse.