Le Chateau de Montsegur – The Castle Of The Holy Grail
“Il ne reste aucune trace dans les ruines actuelles ni du premier château qui était à l’abandon au début du XIIIe siècle (Montségur I), ni de celui que construisit Raimon de Pereilles vers 1210 (Montségur II.)”
Mythology is more visceral when a connection with a specific location is revealed, passed down from one generation to the next as rumor or possibly laden with truth. One such location is in Southern France, known as the Fortress of Montsegur, believed to be the castle of the Holy Grail depicted in the epic poem, Parzival, located at the heart of the Languedoc-Midi-Pyrenees region of France. Written by Wolfram Von Eschenbach around 1200 AD, its the epic tale of the transformation of the soul as the search for the holy grail becomes the philosopher’s stone, a process that enables enlightenment, proposing immortality and eternal youth.
Possession of the substance from which earth, air, water and fire are derived would ensure nothing less. Time, gravity, and their effects would all become factors to balance in a struggle with the ego to exert control. The presumption being that extraordinary power would foster some development of wisdom in its end, although the mechanism remains a mystery, obscured as the elevation of ego consumes thought and action. Motive, often a consideration in the quest itself can be lost when self-delusion portrays an image of life that reflects personal ideation and experience without recognizing that its only one perspective of what is thought to occur.
An impressive structure of brick and philosophy, beautifully positioned on a plateau, filled with historical intrigue as well as mid-evil myth, described by German writer Otto Rahn in his well received grail novel “Kreuzzug Gegen Den Gral”, linking the castle with the Parzival myth in 1933 and drawing the attention of the Nazi’s to search the area for a spiritually based super-weapon to win the war and conquer the world. Perhaps the inspiration for Stephen Spielberg’s epic Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade.
Although the castle was rebuilt twice and no evidence of the original survived, a place of history is not defined just by its structure but also the space it is built upon, leaving apparitions and residual vibrations to fill the surrounding atmosphere, part of the rich culture of Europe in the South of France.