Santa Maria

return of the troubadour

return of the troubadour

Fleury Tableau detail

Fleury Tableau detail

Haunting music, harp and vocals performed by Ani Williams at Rennes-le-Chateau (also see Rennes-le-Chateau), a small hilltop village in the Languedoc area of south-west France. Let us hope Ani Williams puts her music on bandcamp in order that it may be shared with a far wider audience.

This is the setting Kate Mosse uses for her trilogy, also features in The Da Vinci Code, and prior to that in The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.

The church was re-dedicated to Mary Magdalene after the 14th century, previously being dedicated to Saint Marie. Originally it was never the main church of the village but a private chapel of the chateau, the main village church being St Pierre aux Liens or Saint Peters, until it became a ruin in 1380 when the village was attacked.

Abbé Bigou may have discovered a secret from the local family who could trace their roots to the Crusades. The family fled the French Revolution, then so did Abbé Bigou. Whatever secret was entrusted, it died with their deaths.

Bérenger Saunière, the parish priest, discovered something, no one knows what (though numerous theories abound) which made him very wealthy for a parish priest. With this money, he renovated the church, created gardens, constructed a large villa, constructed the Tour Magdala (named after the church) and held lavish parties. All of which led to his eventual downfall.

This is the area of the Cathars. One of their myths is that troubadours will bring about their return.

The Winter Solstice in Lincoln was marked by a silent meditation in Mary Magdalene representing the sacred feminine, followed by Lincoln Cathedral representing the masculine, yin and yang.

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