n the 10th and 11th centuries, the Trencavels possessed the Viscounties of Albi, Nîmes, Béziers, Agde and Carcassonne.
They often had passionate relations with the House of Toulouse. Their fate was often violent if not tragic. In 1153, Viscount Raimond was made a prisoner by Raymond V of Toulouse who freed him in 1154 against guarantees. He was assassinated in 1167 by a bourgeois of the town in La Madeleine Church in Béziers, the same place where seven thousand inhabitants of Béziers would die, 42 years later at the tragic turningpoint in the sacking of Béziers by the crusaders.

His son Roger avenged him and married Azalaïs in 1171, daughter of Raymond V.

The Cathar sympathies of his son Raymond-Roger gave the barons of the north who started a crusade in answer to the call of Pope Innocent III, a pretext to take Béziers and Carcassonne, where the young Viscount had withdrawn in 1209. Made a prisoner, the Viscount died on 10 november 1209 in the jails of Carcassonne, of dysentery according to some, assassinated according to others.

His son lived in exile at the court of the King of Aragon but in 1240 tried, with the help of other "faidit" lords (dispossessed), to reconquer the lands of his fathers, but failed before the walls of Carcassonne and had to go back into exile.

After the failure of reconquest, the population of Carcassonne was exiled, and could come back only seven years later. The inhabitants then founded the Lower Town on the other side of the Aude river.

The last Trencavel disappeared from our history when he decided to go at his turn on Crusade in Palestine at the end of the 13th century...

 

Carcassonne > History > Dynasty Trencavel