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Mysteries of the Languedoc

Updated on May 16, 2013

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

Holy Blood, Holy Grail Illustrated Edition: The Secret History of Jesus, the Shocking Legacy of the Grail
Holy Blood, Holy Grail Illustrated Edition: The Secret History of Jesus, the Shocking Legacy of the Grail

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

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

Oui, Oc, Si
Oui, Oc, Si

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

Troubadours
Troubadours

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?

Your turn to sound off on the Holy Grail and these mysteries

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    • TeacherSerenia profile image
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      TeacherSerenia 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for stopping by Love. Appreciate the comment.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      The Holy Grail is a fascinating subject. Who knows exactly what it is, or where it is. That's the fun of it. Thanks for sharing this lens with us.

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 4 years ago

      Interesting!!

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Fascinating tales. I agree with Poddy's remarks below. History is often rewritten to make certain people and organiztions look good. I think it is entirely possible that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. It's funny I just picked up the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail yesterday from a Goodwill store,. Now I really can't wait to read it.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      Captivating. Your lenses are well written and extremely interesting. I am enjoying each of them as I have the time to steal from my day job. Blessed and featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo," my tribute to the best lenses I've found since donning my wings.

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

      Intriguing lens!

    • ttsm197 profile image

      ttsm197 6 years ago

      awesome lens .....

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      Yes, all the times when we don't get enough info about a place, it is a lot of room for mystery and we always have a vivid imagination... Treasure? yes... maybe!

      Sometime amuses me how little we really know about some places on our own planet. but what is really great is the desire to know more, this keep us live and vibrant.

      So, thanks for a great lens.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I don't know if the treasure actually exists, but it's nice to think so. My interests lie even deeper back in time, back to the birth of mankind and the nature of the Gods of Old, who Zecharia Sitchin says came from another planet in our solar system.

      While so many people have dismissed this idea, the evidence thar Sitchin puts forward makes the anomalies in our ancient history all fall into place and make sense.

      What does this have to do with your lens? Well, 200 years ago the stories of Homer and the Trojan War were thought to just be stories, until Schliemann discovered the ruins of Troy in Turkey. In recent years we are learning more about ancient civilizations that we ever did before, and the more we learn, the more it seems that legends are based on real events.

      I do believe that Atlantis did exist thousands of years ago, and that there was trade between Europe and the Americas too.

      It is well known that the early Christian Church made the rules to fit their requirements, and it's quite likely that they did what was necessary to bury any stories or evidence of anything that did not fit. So if Jesus and Mary did get married and have a child, it's not unlikely that the church would want to destroy all evidence, because the truth does not fit in with what they want their followers to believe.

      If so, does that make the Catholic Church evil? Most definitely. However, whether these stories are true, we may never know.

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 6 years ago

      Great lens, enjoyed reading it, very informative and interesting, the Languedoc is a beautiful place. Lensrolled it to my Troyes lens :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Legends and myths interwoven with history. Depends on what you believe in but it is food for the imagination.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I love mysteries, and this is a good one. Thanks for sharing this story.

    • SylvianeNuccio1 profile image

      SylvianeNuccio1 6 years ago

      This is a great lens. Yes, the Languedoc has a lot of legends/history facts, but so are a lot of other places in France. And it's so old it's hard to make the distinction between truth and legends. For example, in my birth town, Lyon, and its surroundings we celebrate December 8 with illuminations... when night come each house is full of candle lights on each windowsill. The reason for this is because some 1000+ years ago when the plague invaded France and was traveling from city to city very fast, people from Lyon prayed that the plague may not come to their city. Miraculously, it didn't. As a thank you to God, people of Lyon and its surroundings illuminated the city for the first time on December 8. This is still celebrated to this day.

    • MoonandMagic profile image

      MoonandMagic 6 years ago

      I love mystical stories, I rad the holy bood and the holy grail not long ago and found it fascinatng! I have also just watched National treasure last night! :) thoroughly enjoyed this lens. Thank you

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      You have encapsulated this magical region in this lens - well done!

    • nangaye-steve profile image

      Steve Charles 6 years ago

      It's a beautiful part of France. Have been to Rennes-le-Chateau a couple of times, but never managed to uncover the treasure of Berenger Sauniere!

    • javr profile image

      javr 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I find your lens really interesting, especially the Last Supper. This lens has been blessed by a Squid Angel.