Tour Price: $3889
Our journey, led by the author, Janet Pullen, author of “Secrets and Shadows”, will take us deep into a land of the ancient Celts, the heretic Cathar, the troubadour poets, the Knights Templar and those following in the footsteps of Mary Magdalene. We will experience the sacred power sites that have for centuries attracted mystics, magicians, and saints, all those who seek, le Sang Raal, the Holy Grail.
Abbreviated Tour Itinerary
Day 1: We will arrive in Paris and connect on a flight to Toulouse. In this brilliant medieval culture, literacy and the sciences and arts flourished, freedom of religion and the rights of women were cherished, one of the first democracies in the western world was established, and the mystical spirituality of love promoted by the troubadours and the Cathar thrived and took root Le Opera hotel.
Day 2: After our morning meeting we will walk to the Black Virgin church of Notre Dame de la Daurade, a basilica established in 410 when Emperor Honorius allowed the conversion of Pagan temples to Christianity. The original building of Notre-Dame de la Daurade was a temple dedicated to Apollo. The basilica is also famous for its’ black virgin. There are many icons of Mary that show black faces and hands. In France, these are called Vierge Noires Black Virgins The remainder of the day is to explore Toulouse on your own. Welcome dinner that evening Le Opera hotel.
Day 3: Morning meeting and after lunch we will travel to the town of Albi. The Cathar initiates of Southern France were often referred to as Albigensians and the crusade launched against them as, the Albigensian Crusade. This is because St. Bernard came to preach in the town in 1145 and made contact with the group here. We will visit the huge cathedral of St Cecilia, built to as a symbol of the triumph of the Roman Catholic Church and the bishop’s palace which today houses the Toulouse- Lautrec Museum. Le Opera hotel
Day 4: We will journey through the country of the Cathar to the beautiful Cistercian abbey of Frontfroid, founded in 1097. It was here the Inquisitor, Jacques Fournier, who hunted Cathar, troubadours and Knights Templar, stayed before he became pope. We will have lunch at the Abbey (included) Last stop of the day will be Château de Palaja, near the town medieval city of Carcassone. The awe-inspiring Carcassonne is the largest and best-preserved medieval walled cities in the world. It was also a stronghold of the Cathar heresy. Accommodations: Chateau La Palaja.
We will have the day free to explore Carcassone on our own. The medieval citadel at Carcassonne, known as ‘La Cité’, dominates Languedoc’s tourism map. It is huge, encompassing no less than 53 towers, strung together by two enormous concentric walls, surrounded by a moat, and punctuated here and there by heavy barbicans, portcullis and draw-bridges Accommodations: Chateau La Palaj.
Day 6:Today after our morning meeting we will visit Niaux caves (Les Grottes de Niaux), famous for their Magdalenian era rock paintings, lie in the Vicdessos valley, 7 kilometres from Tarascon-sur-Ariège. A guided tour takes visitors through 800 metres of underground cave system, passing through the Salon Noir, a natural rotunda whose walls are decorated with around 100 animal illustrations. These black line paintings are over 12,000 years old and depict large prehistoric mammals such as bison, horse, deer and ibex. They form an exceptional and incredibly well-preserved collection. https://www.france-voyage.com/tourism/niaux-caves-1541.htm
After our visit to the caves we will drive to the medieval towns of Mirepoix for lunch (on your own) and then end our day with a visit to the beautiful remains of the Castle, Puivert, once the haunt of the troubadours and poetry completions. Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine attended one poetry competition in 1107. The Lord of Puivert and his family were unwavering supporters of the Cathar. Dinner together at the hotel .Accommodations: Chateau La Palaja.
Day 7: We will have our morning meeting and after lunch we will hike up to the most famous of all the Cathar castles, Montsegur (optional). Offered by a local lord to the Cathar leadership, believing its fortified location would protect them. In 1244, the Cathars who had sought refuge at the Montségur fortress were besieged by 10,000 troops, in what is now known as the siege of Montsegur Accommodations: Chateau La Palaja.
Day 8:In the morning we will visit the town of Alet les Bains. In 1813, Alet was the seat of an abbey founded by Béra, Viscount of Razés. The ruins you’ll see are the remains of 12th century expansion and include XIIthcentury Notre Dame cathedral. We will visit the ancient village of Rennes Le Chateau and its famous church. Inside the church, one of the added figures was of a demon holding up the holy water stoup, a rare feature in a French church. Believed to be sacred since the beginning of time, the land has attracted such groups as the Celts, Cathar, the Knights Templar We will have lunch in Rennes Le Chateau (included) Accommodations: Chateau La Palaja
Day 9: We will have a morning meeting and then return to Toulouse for our final afternoon and farewell dinner Accommodations: Hotel La Opera .
Day 10:This morning we will check out for our return flight to Paris or the USA.
OPTIONAL TOUR TO PARIS NOT INCLUDED
This is an opportunity to drift back in time, outside the ordinary into the deep waters of an ancient underground stream of Spirit. It is an opportunity to relax, renew and resurrect new levels of consciousness.
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