If you've seen Kevin Costner in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves you've seen pictures of Carcassonne. The castle scene was filmed in this preserved medieval city with an ancient past.
Our hotel was located inside the walls and we were able to spend the night, watching the sunset from the ramparts.
The Romans laid the first stones to build the walls of Caracassone. After Rome fell the city was attacked and taken over by the visagoths. Later, its citizens served in the first crusade against Jerusalem. Two hundred years after that – in the 1200s- The people of Carcassonne and the surrounding area found themselves being attacked by the Pope and the French king.
The pope was doing with so many popes and religious leaders through history have done- torture and kill other people in the name of God in an effort to preserve their power and authority.
The pope's target in Carcassonne was a group of of peace loving Christian people whose views different from his. Under the Pope's orders the king slaughtered 20,000 or 30,000 of these people . Some estimate that up to 1 million people died of starvation and diseases during the Albigensian crusade and the 20 year period of inquisition that followed.
Once again history reminds us why we should be deeply suspicious of religious leaders who claim to have the truth. Fundamentalism in all expressions-both Christian and non-Christian- should be resisted.
The longer I live and the more I read and study, the more convinced I am of the need to fight against all forms of intolerance.
One of the songs that his been at the top of my summer playlist is Ziggy Marley's love Love is My Religion .
Give it a listen and let me know what you think. It sums up my views very well