The village of Monervois essentially is a one-street village strung along a bench at the base of a tall limestone cliff that towers above the Cesse River. Cesse shares the root word of cease and cessation, because in summer this river stops running. La Caunette, for its etymological part, is Occitan, referring to small cave dwellings—in ancient times, the locals lived in caves burrowed into the cliff. Just upstream is the village of Minerve, which gives its name to the appellation of Minervois. It sits high on a pinnacle of limestone at the confluence of the Cesse and the Rieussec, hidden in a mountain valley behind the first range of mountains after the vast Mediterranean plain. It was here that the Cathars (catharsis–to purge!) had a stronghold, which held out for months before surrendering early in a twenty-year crusade launched by Pope Innocent III in alliance with the king of France in 1209 that swept over the Languedoc and burned infidels wherever they could find them. They found a lot in Minerve.