•Aude (11190) • Population: 50 • Altitude: 318 m
Coustaussa is a very tiny village, perched on a ridge over the Salz [or Sals] river valley east of Couiza. Here you'll find the tightly clustered houses of the two dozen residents, and the prominent ruins of the 12th-century château de Coustaussa.
The simple stone church in the village is said to date from the 18th century, but the engraving over the door is "1660".
The Salz [Sals] river name was derived from its salty taste.
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History of Coustaussa
There are vestiges of prehistoric and Roman-era habitation.
Medieval: The hilltop site of Coustaussa controlled to the Aude valley from the Corbières to the east (towards the Mediterranean coast). The original castle was built in the 12th century by the Trencavels. In 1210, Simon de Montfort arrived in Coustaussa, returning from Termes where he had destroyed the castle and captured Raymond of Termes. Simon de Montfort found Coustaussa castle abandonded, but there was a garrison to massacre and he pillaged and burnt the town, before continuing on to Puivert to begin a seige.
• GPS: 42.940613, 2.278224
IGN (1/25,000) #2347 OT "Quillan, Alet-les-Bains"
The hiking trail looping east from Couiza passes through Coustaussa and out the Salz valley. We dropped down across the river and hiked up to Rennes-le-Chateau.