Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lastours, Cathar Castle

We wanted to take in another Cathar castle in the area, and one of the best, Lastours, was nearby. We drove up to the village, hiked up to the entrance area/museum, and then, considering the steepness of the admission fee, that of the hike up to the castle, and the 97 degree temperatures, decided to down a pastry, take a few pix and press on, across the mountains, to our next major stop, the cathedral at Albi, the town that gave its name to the Albigensian heresy and the Albigensian "crusade" (read: genocide?). We had already seen Peyrepertuse and Queribus in 2010. The Cathars, aka Albigensians, were a Medieval Christian off-shoot movement, mostly in southwestern France. Their tenets sound benign enough today, but they ran afoul of Church and King, mainly because of their notion that material things were bad/spiritual things good (the Church, with its massive holdings of land and wealth really liked material things in the Middle Ages and later), and particularly their notion that a priesthood was unnecessary for human/divine relations. This latter really troubled the Church, and, with the assistance of the King(s), the Cathars were pretty much wiped out. Scores of thousands brutally murdered. Ad majorem Dei gloriam. The castles are about all that remain.
Land of the Cathars


Up closer

From Lastours village

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