- Travel and Places
Mysteries of the Languedoc
Is the Languedoc really the Home of the Holy Grail?
Mais Oui, Mon Ami.
Why yes my friends, the Languedoc is indeed a mysterious place, The Languedoc is full of history that goes back for 2000 years. It has ancient legends of treasures, of saints and royal bloodlines and no one knows for sure if these legends are true. So we are going to explore some of these legends and mysteries.
I first read about the Languedoc in a very controversial book called Holy Blood, Holy Grail that came out in 1982. And since that time I have been obsessed with the history of this amazing region. I have read many books on the Languedoc region of France and his rich history. I hope you will be intrigued by its mysteries as I have been.
Holy Blood, Holy Grail - The Secret History of Jesus
This is the book that started it all off for my. One of the most controversial books of the 20th century, it looks at a different potential back story for Jesus, Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail.
The book that led to The Da Vinci Code and the recent debates about the life of Jesus. An interesting read no matter which side of the debate you come down on.
Rennes le Chateau Mystery - What secret did the documents hold?
We will start off with Rennes le Chateau (Rennes) since everyone knows about this one. Rennes le Chateau is a small village south of Carcassonne in the Languedoc. It was made famous in 1982 in the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail. And it became famous again in 2006 in another controversial book - The Da Vinci Code.
In 1891 the abbe (village priest) of Rennes, by the name of Berenger Sauniere, discovered some parchments printed in Latin (see picture) inside the altar of the village church. He apparently took these parchments to Paris to have them studied and came home with a huge amount of money.
When Sauniere returned home to Rennes, he began building things. He built a house and named it Bethania. He built a tower and called it Tour Magdala. Was he blackmailing someone? Was the Catholic church paying him to stay quiet? Sauniere died in 1917 without revealing how, where or why he got all his money.
There have been many theories as to what the parchments meant and how Sauniere got his money. No one knows the truth because it died with Sauniere and his housekeeper.
History of a Mystery - Timewatch - BBC 1996
Youtube Read the Description of the Video for more details
The Holy Grail
In French the Holy Grail is San Greal. But it can also be the Holy Blood - Sang Real. The 1982 book called Holy Blood, Holy Grail was mostly trying to uncover the truth of this legend in the Languedoc. That Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus, that she was pregnant when Jesus was crucified and that she later came to Southern France with her daughter Sarah.
The legends go on to say that Sarah married into the family that became the Merovingian kings of early France and that their descendents are still around today. The genealogy of the bloodline is protected by the mysterious Priory of Sion. The authors of the Holy Blood, Holy Grail also seem to have discovered that this Priory is possibly a hoax.
What is the truth? No one knows anymore. This legend is 2000 years old and there are no documents available to prove the stories. However legends do tend to be based on a grain of truth so somewhere in these legends there is a kernel of truth. It is likely that we will never know exactly what the truth is.
The picture above is how the Last Supper (Leonardo da Vinci) SHOULD have looked, if the stories about the favourite disciple being Mary Magdalene were true. I personally think it is very possible that Jesus and Mary were married. By jewish tradition he could not have been called Rabbi unless he was married.
Picture Source The Last Supper
Henry Lincoln and how it ALL started - Le Tresure Maudit
The Langue D'oc
The Language of Oc
Between 500 CE (After the Romans left) and 1500 CE (before France was consolidated into one united country) the Southern part of France spoke a different language from the northern part of France. This is why the region of Languedoc is called Languedoc - it refers to the Lange d'oc - the Language of Oc.
Dante once wrote a comment that sums up the language situation of Western Europe. He said that Some say Oc, Some say Si and others Oui - and they all mean YES. Source - Occitan Language - Wikipedia
Oui is French from Northern France, Si is of course Spanish (and Italian) and Oc from Occitania was squeezed in between those two, mostly covering Southern France.
Dante's essay on the vernacular De vulgari eloquentia - Wikipedia
Image Source - Sprachatlas
Troubadours of Languedoc - Learn more about these Medieval Minstrels
During the middle ages, Languedoc was famous for its troubadours, who strolled around the country singing songs of courtly love. Most of them sang in the langue of Oc - the local language.
Image source - Languedoc Roussillon - French website
The National Treasure movie - What treasure we are talking about? Visigothic? Knights Templars? Crusades? Cathar?
There have been persistent rumours of treasure in the Languedoc for hundreds of years. No one knows exactly what the treasure is, where it is or who it belonged to.
No one knows if this treasure is an actual physical cache of gold and jewellery or if it is a cache of documents mentioning a major (possibly devastating) secret. The gold and jewellery have any number of sources. It may have been the Visigothic treasure stolen from Rome in 400 CE. It may have been the treasure of the Knights Templars who became very wealthy during the crusades. The kings of France began coveting that wealth and start making up stories and lies about the Templar nights. On Friday October 13th, 1307 the french were under orders from the french king to attack and kill as many Templar Knights they could find. This they did. Fortunately a large number of Templars were warned of this plan before that date and were able to escape. Many of them fled to Scotland and the treasure disappeared as well. The day of the attack is now infamous as Black Friday and 13 is now an unlucky number.
In 1244 the last of the Cathars were under siege in the castle of Montsegur (now in the department of Ariege). I realise that this is NOT part of the Languedoc, but it is related. One the night in 1244 CE, 4 people were secretly let down the walls of the castle of Montsegur and mountain and escaped. It is said they took the Cathar treasure with them in order to hide it.
The next day 225 cathar men and women walked out of the castle and were willingly burned alive at the stake rather than give up their beliefs,. The catholic church had deemed their beliefs to be heretical. The treasure may have been documents with a devastating secret rather than jewels and gold. The reason for this, is because the cathars did not believe in accumulating material wealth on earth. Unlike the Catholic church however. The search for the cathar treasure is now part of Languedoc legend.
In the movie National Treasure starring Nicolas Cage, the story is loosely based on the Templar Knights and their missing treasure. Only the movie claimed that the holders of the treasure were Freemasons. The Freemasons grew out of the Templar Knights after they were forced to flee from the persecution in France.
Where do you think the treasure is?
What do you think the treasure is - if it exists?