Saturday, March 30, 2013

Montsegur and Rennes Le Chateau: Our Cathar Set Is Complete!

Principal sights for the next couple days included Montsegur and Rennes le Chateau, two important stops on the Route de Cathars. So I was told. A couple years ago Vicki read a novel (author, title now forgotten) about the Cathars, and so we have spent much of our time in this region--starting with Peyrepertuse and Queribus in 2010--going to and even climbing up to many if not most of the Cathar sites. But with Montsegur and Rennes le Chateau our Cathar set is now complete. We're heading on to Spain!
Montsegur, the last of the Cathar strong-holds (look up the
Albigensian Heresy if you're so inclined); cold, high-up,
snowy and icy, late in the day, we decided this was close

View from the village below; nice juxtaposition of Mother
Church and the heretics above...

After several sieges, the Cathars finally gave in, some 250
burned in the notch there beneath the keep (so I was told) 

River emerging from hill, en route to Quillen, where we spent
the night

At the aire by the gare

Next day, up at Rennes le Chateau

And its little but very affluent-looking parish church

Some of the lavish interior

Famous devil holding the collection plate

Well, the story goes the parish priest built
and decorated lavishly, lived openly with a
mistress, and never could explain where all
the money came from; legend is he was the
one who found the Cathar treasure (aka
treasure of Solomon, Holy Grail, Seven Cities
of Cibola); the bishop who confessed him
went mad; so I was told

Anyhow, our Cathar set is now complete


Tawana said...

We've always been fascinated by those Cathars and have loved visiting the ruins of their communities. Hard to believe that they were essentially wiped off the face of the earth for being heretics. Wes says that they were the first protestants.

Mark said...

Wes is right. Or maybe the Arians in the 5th century. "Compel them to come in" said St. Augustine. And he didn't mean friendly persuasion.