The Cathars at Penne
In the year 1200, the lord of Penne was an ally of the Cathars. Penne was then Penne d'Albigeois ...
During the crusade against the Albigensians (so-called "Cathars"), the castle of Penne (Penne d'Albigeois) is the objective of bloody wars between the lord of Penne, who joined the Cathars, and the supporters of Simon de Montfort IV who led the crusade.
The catharism is a medieval Christian movement. The Cathars regarded the universe as the creation of a god with two faces: the material world, bad, offers temptations and corruption, while the spiritual world is good and opens the way to paradise, offering redemption and liberation of the soul. For the Cathars the souls wander from body to body. Only the spiritual baptism has the ability to break the chain that holds the soul to the body, and thus enable it after a final earthly death, to regain the sky.
The Catholic Church's crusade against the Cathars began in 1208, but it was only in 1223 that Simon de Montfort IV occupies Penne for the Crusaders. The Count Raymond VII of Toulouse (Cathar) retook the city in 1229, but had to return it to the king of France shortly after (treaty of Meaux-Paris which ended the ended the Albigensian Crusade).
The inhabitants of south-west France are still imbued with the dramatic story of the Cathars. Maybe in a search for local identity. To add to the trouble or to the search for identity, the Occitan cross with 12 balls here displayed (left and right), which is still the symbol of Occitania, and the city of Toulouse, was also the rallying symbol of the Cathars. It was the cross arms of the Counts of Saint-Gilles and the Counts of Toulouse and of Languedoc untill the Catholic crusade.
It should be noted, however, that the Cathars sought simplicity and poverty to get closer to spiritual heaven. In this sense they had no symbol for their religion, or at least the history does not know.
The Pays d'Oc or Occitania never had real political existence. It is the region where the "Oc language" was spoken (Occitan). this region stretching from northern Italy to Bordeaux, including the Pyrenees and Catalonia. Occitan was spoken in this region until the unification of France.