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Nazis and Montségur's Holy Grail

The castle | Yann Gwilhoù / CC-BY-SA
Cathar castle Castle World War II Montségur castle

Montségur attracted lots of lunatics. Among them, the Nazis… who came here to seek the Grail! Just imagine Himmler and a row of German officers, ploughing along towards the ruins… sinister shadows.

A chap called Otto Rahn talked of the Grail to Himmler. Rahn was a medieval literature fan. Who caused a stir with his book The Crusade against the Grail.

He moved in Ariège in 1933 and explored every place, every cave… because according to him, Montségur was the Grail’s mountain. Its depositary, Cathars.

He red about this in a book written in 1205 by Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzival (Perceval). The topic? The Grail’s quest.

Err… any link with Montségur?? Well, the plot took place in the legendary castle of Montsalvat. An Occitan name which echoes Montségur name…

Why do we have this cross-checking? Because of those similar names! The hero Perceval ("who pierced the valley") would be in fact Raymond Trencavel ("who cut the valley"). One of the protagonist, Parilla, would be in fact Raymond de Perella, lord of Montségur... A little contrived, isn’t it?

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!