Those of you familiar with Dan Brown will be aware of the conspiracy theories surrounding Rennes-Le-Chateau. So it was with great anticipation that I dragged DH and the two children to visit the village. Two hours of driving and we arrived at Rennes to find a tiny church with a couple of interesting carvings
sculptures and some overstated decor – but nowhere near the extravagant excess some sources would lead you to expect. The “vicarage” next door resolutely underplays the Sang Real connection but is worth visiting for the breathtaking views from the towers.
My holiday reading was Kate Mosse’s new work Citadel. this deals with the situation in the Languedoc region during the Second World War. The area near Carcassonne was home to some internment camps which were used to house Jews and others who were deemed “undesirable” by the Nazis before being shipped off to Dachau and Auschwitz. We stumbled across the remains of the camp at Rivesaltes en route to Perpignan. The ruined skeletons of the huts the prisoners were kept in are still standing in an weed choked field on the outskirts of the town. The place is desolate and deserted, and is all the more emotional for that. 3 memorials stand on the road that passes by the camp, commemorating the Jews, the women and children and the soldiers who passed through it.
memorial.. Try explaining this to your children.