We intended to glance at the ruins of the medieval Cathar Castle located at the most peak of the rocky hills in Languedoc province of France.
Rout: Peyrepertuse – Carcassonne – Cardona.
We investigated the route through Google maps and pictures. We are flying down the splendid French roads and then turning off to the road leading towards the Cathar Castles. Vineyards are all around.
Here comes the first Cathar castle – Queribus. We are driving by. We have another target today.
We are moving forward. After the following crook, when it feels like the right front wheel has driven by air over the 500 meters cliff, you can finally see the main target – a range at the rocky peaks on the left side of the picture. It is the ruins of the Peyrepertuse Castle.
First it seemed like it was a huge castle wall, but on driving closer it turned out to be a natural rock with a work of men inspired by the same rocks based at the peak.
And the closer you are, the most glorious it is.
We are parking, having a snack, glancing at all this force from below – farther only on foot.
Well, how man could have ever carried all THIS by storm?! It’s slightly a creepy way just to walk through. And we are not yet being attacked by the arrows from above.
Such a picturesque path lies around the hill, where from time to time you can see a boards with the particulars of the castle.
There is the central and the only one enter to the Peyrepertuse.
Such a needle loopholes.
Why does it feels so good and exciting here? Why does my arm reach out to these stones, the most ancient mortar, shivering upon the touch?
Maybe once upon a time I have also stood here wearing heavy armour down to the ankles and drawn a huge far-ranging bow?
And there was a boiling oil near by, pouring down the walls by my friends right over the people trying to kill us.
And may be this is the place where I have died? And these stones still remember the taste of my blood?
And we were not just raising a mass of rocks for the defensive purposes, but we was creating something beautiful with an ornament.
And here we slept and ate.
Here we were on duty…
keeping our eyes look out for something suspicious 50 kilometers around.
And downwards we entered our basilica, where we prayed asking God to keep our lives and inherit the victory. It did not come off. We were stormed and colonized by the King of France.
This is our cattle yard. We had a fair feed and drink – meat, vine, cheese and milk. We could stand a long siege.
Oh, does mademoiselle really wish to experience the same sensations as those who attacked us?
No. Things turned out well. She used the Master’s stair.
There overhead is a heart of our castle-front – the Master’s and his family’s home.
Now, it is written in the guide «Watch-room with a fireplace». It is quite clear where to watch – there is a window with a “soft” stone-made sofa. A fireplace still to find.
The lower fortress, I called it so for myself. Such a view! We are upstairs in the main building, and the whole acres can be viewed from here.
Maybe Master (or I) sat the same way by the window 700 years ago pondering over his doctrine – Why do people have to honor the True Cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified? You wouldn’t be in pray for a gibbet where the loved one have died? – or enjoying his strength and not suspecting that the fall will be so rapid and bloody?
Moving further to Carcassonne. Are Peyrepertuse and Carcassonne similar? Yes. Are they the same? No.
Carcassone is an ancient city-fort, perfectly renovated in the middle of the XIX century. Such a modern old fellow – new teeth, implanted hair, face lift and hormone replacement therapy – what a beauty.
Peyrepertuse is an ancient scripture monk with a gray beard weaving in the breeze, who holds a staff and wear chiton. He is proud, bellicose, clear, bright and wise – he does not want to give up to the time, he fights not begging for help, but… time, time, time.
And he is surrounded by flowers, flowers, flowers.