Hermann Göring’s Castle, Mauterndorf

 
Mauterndorf Castle. Lungau, Salzburg, Austria.

Every old castle would like to have its own ghost. You are boring without a ghost or dramatic history. The castle of Mauterndorf in Austria was not lucky. It never resisted a cruel siege and never had an imprisoned princess or mysterious lady. There was no murder or suicide inside its walls, and its owners were not famous people, except for one—Hermann Göring, Reichsmarschall of Nazi Germany. “OK. Why not?” the castle thought. “Let him be my ghost. By the way, I am almost 800 years old, and in such a ripe old age, it’s a shame not to have a ghost. What will tourists think about me?”

As usual, we decided to visit Mauterndorf Castle in the low season, in winter, to explore it without witnesses, and were right to do that. We enjoyed its Medieval atmosphere in solitude. Mauterndorf is a museum. It is inhabited by wax figures of Medieval traders, musicians, bishops, and knights. They come alive at night and share their daily impressions of the visitors to their castle.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Dreamboat of Photographers—Alcazar of Segovia

 

Alcazar of Segovia, Spain.

Alcazar of Segovia, Spain.

Alcazar of Segovia (alcazar means fortress or castle in Arabic) is a very talented and skillful photo model. It does not need your directions what pose to take, where to place the hands, how to hold its head, and in what direction to look. You raise your camera, and it immediately presents one of its numerous and always beautiful angles. This castle is able to deal with light, virtually attracting it to its side. Whether it is sunrise or sunset, cloudy or clear blue sky, Alcazar of Segovia always appears before you in the best light.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pays Cathare or the Noble Ruins Remembering the Cathar Heresy

 

Chateaux de Lastours. Pays Cathare, Languedoc, France.

Chateaux de Lastours. Pays Cathare, Languedoc, France.

The whole land was filled with blood, castles were taken by storm, villages were lying in ruins, bonfires were blazing everywhere burning hundreds of people, the population was almost destroyed by the Crusader army led by Simon de Montfort hired by the pope. Did you think it happened somewhere in Palestine? No. It was Languedoc, France, which 800 years ago was named Occitania or Pays Cathare and belonged to the Cathars, people who dared to think about Jesus Christ in their own way, not according to the pope’s way. The head of the Catholic Church declared this doctrine to be the Cathar heresy and tested in Occitania a new method of getting rid of unwanted people—burning them at the stake—which would later became known as the Holy Inquisition.

Why burn people? Why not just kill them with well proven methods? Because their graves and memorial stones could remain and become places of worship for new heretics. Instead, nothing but ashes would be left after a fire. However, the pope was wrong. Memorial stones on the fields of mass burnings of Cathars in Languedoc were established, and today, we will stand near one of them at the foot of the famous ruins of the Cathar castle, Chateau de Montsegur.

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,477 other followers