Inquisition was created in 1233 by Pope Gregorius IX, who gave the Dominicans
the power to investigate and judge the heretics.
Inquisitors settled down in Carcassonne in a building situated just next to
the Aude Gate. The first floor of their house was linked to the rampart, giving
them direct access to the Tower of Justice, which sheltered their archives.
passage is still visible today, just above the Gate. We still call it the "Gallery
of the Inquisition". You cannot miss the three windows which light
the way from the House of the Inquisition to the Tower of Justice.
Inquisition in Carcassonne did not burn a lot of heretics. But nevertheless
the Inquisitors became so unbearable for the population, that the Carcassonnais
chased the General Inquisitor away in 1303 ! The famous story of Bernard Délicieux
took place at that time. This Franciscan was very popular in Carcassonne, and
he stirred up revolt among the population against the abuses of the Inquisition.
People were completely terrified by the way the Inquisitors used to hold their
But Bernard Délicieux's
speeches very fast took political aspects and had important repercussions
in this region which had not yet accepted the annexation into the French kingdom.
wanted the Languedoc region to pass under Aragon's sovereignty. The Aragonese
in return should liberate Carcassonne from the Inquisitors !
royal authorities responded in a very brutal way. They put Bernard Délicieux
into a monastery, and hanged his friends...