he Inquisition was created in 1233 by Pope Gregorius IX, who gave the Dominicans the power to investigate and judge the heretics.
The 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.
This 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.
The 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 inquiries.

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.

Bernard Délicieux wanted the Languedoc region to pass under Aragon's sovereignty. The Aragonese in return should liberate Carcassonne from the Inquisitors !

 

The royal authorities responded in a very brutal way. They put Bernard Délicieux into a monastery, and hanged his friends...
Carcassonne > Visit > Streets of the Cité > House of Inquisition