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TRAVELS In The Land Of The Catharists …

Posted by on 22. August 2016

Katharer

… Montsegur on a camelback ...

Katharer

… Peyretuse can be visited ...

Katharer

… Queribus, just a huge tower ...

Katharer

… and Usson in good shape ...

Katharar

… and here you will find the castles ...

Katharer

… Padern n a steep cliff

THEY WERE A CHRISTIAN SECT in the 12th and the 13th century, all over Europe but mainly in the Southwest of France. A purists order, who hated the catholic structures of the church and the papal Rome, preached the simple life and lived in seclusion in fortresses on top of rocky cliffs and almost unreachable mountain tops. They build castles, mankind – up to this day – can’t understand how the did it, how they transported the material up into this heights, how they lived there like eagles in their nests, how they managed to leave or enter it – and were still so enormously popular for a while, that the Vatican staged a war against them (eliminating the Catharists in the end). And now you can enjoy this rarely opened page of christian history, so to speak – traveling from castle to fortress, from summit palace to sky-high monastery! At least 22 of those amazing buildings, coming in sight like the romantic dreams of a cartoon artists, stretching his phantasy to illustrate „The Sleeping Beauty“, „Cinderella“ or „Rapunzel“. Tour the region between Toulouse in the west, Castres in the north, Beziers in the West and the Pyrenees mountains in the south. Drive slowly, not because the roads are so steep and narrow (they are!) but because it might happen that you encounter, up in the firmament, five castles at once! All in beautiful ruins, all still in fairytale-shape, some accessible (drive up, buy a ticket, walk or climb the rest of the way), some for your eyes only, looking up. Have a snack (local cheese, bread and wine) on the terrace of a village inn and scan the horizon for the crazy habitats of the Catharists. I assure you: Never in your life will you have a similar experience! Just have a look at the five castles I show you here …

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