The Romans founded a town here along a Roman road in 60 BC and called it Eburomagus. Archaeological studies show that it was not circular like the current Bram. A interesting museum in the centre displays Roman items found nearby.
Modern Bram was born in the 12th century around a fortress church. The fortified town only had one gate, on the east side. Nothing remains of the original fortifications today.
Bram became a centre of Cathar beliefs. The Pope saw the Cathars as heritics. Simon de Montfort besieged the town in 1210 for 3 days. In revenge he cut off the top lip and nose of all prisoners and gouged out their eyes. He gouged out only one eye of the last prisoner, so that this prisoner could lead the others out of the town to the château of Lastours.
Bram outgrew its medieval walls in the 17th century and continued to expand in concentric circles around the old walls.
The 14th century church of Saints Julien and Basilisse has an apse and bells that are historic monuments. Market days in the town is Wednesday morning.
Bram is not far from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Carcassonne, the famous Cathar stronghold that attracts visitors from all over the world. The old citadel gets very crowded though, especially in summer.
A good alternative perhaps is the Village of the Book, Montolieu. Castelnaudery, the world capital of cassoulet, is not far either. If you fancy visiting a proper castle without hordes of tourists, Lastours offers not one but four castles in a single beautiful location.
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