A Wills Visits the Castle at Carcassonne

It’s been at least 20 years now, but I remember watching a very interesting program on the Learning Channel (TLC) about the 13th century Cathars of southern France. I watched it probably 4 times because it was a fascinating story. The Cathars were sect of Christianity that held Gnostic beliefs. So naturally the Church considered them heretics. The Cathars had a fairly large following in southern France and they were based largely in the Languedoc region. Many of the region’s French Lords sympathized with the Cathars and became their defenders.

In 1209 A.D. Pope Innocent III ordered a crusade against the Cathars and their sympathizers. By 1240 A.D. the army of the Church had mostly stamped out the Cathar heresy, however, vestiges of the faith remained until the last of the Cathars was burned alive in 1321.

In southern France there are a number of “Cathar Castles.” These castles are mostly located in and around the southern French towns of Toulouse, Albi, and, the one I became most fascinated with, the massive and majestic castle, or fortified town, of Carcassonne.

After seeing the TLC program on the fate of the Cathars, I added Carcassonne to my bucket list. My wife and I have yet to get there. But, I can say with pride and envy, my oldest son was at Carcassonne today with his lovely southern French girlfriend. With a smile I opened the shared photo album this morning and my wife and I looked at the recently added 60 plus photos of Carcassonne. I thought I’d share some of them.  

Of course, in French style, there is a charming French village below the walls along with acres of wine vineyards.
Our photographer and his French girlfriend.

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