Monday, November 08, 2010

La Couvertoirade

Shortly after driving across the Millau Viaduct, which you saw at the end of the last post, we made a stop. La Couvertoirade is a town founded by the Knights Templar. When I was doing research for our trip and learned that a stop there wouldn't take us too far off our route, I couldn't resist. As a history buff, the idea of walking in a town built by the Knights Templar was a thrill. If you're not familiar with the Knights Templar, they were Crusaders, a law onto their own, answerable only to the Pope. For an idea of their view of Christianity and those who didn't toe the line to their satisfaction, think of them as a Christian version of the Taliban or al-Qaeda. These were not nice, tolerant folks, and I wouldn't want to meet any of them. Even so, they are a significant element in European history.

Looking around La Couvertoirade, it's clear that it once covered a much larger area than what now remains. And what does remain standing is made up of parts that were built by the knights and other parts that are more modern (around 500 years old, as opposed to the 800 years for the parts the knights built). Then there are the shops built into some of the spaces, but that commercial aspect doesn't change the fun of walking through this slice of history.

Arriving at La Couvertoirade, one parks in a lot and then walks in. Walking in, the first prominent feature is this...

This is a pretty typical view inside...

See that kinda brown spot in the center of the walk? Here's a closer view...

I'm not sure, but I think he may be an original Knights Templar dog. It's that whole drinking-from-the-grail thing, like in the Indiana Jones movie.

No? Not buying it? Okay, fine. He belonged to one of the shop owners.

A path in one of the original sections

Part of the original fortifications

And if you really want to see the name of the game at La Couvertoirade, 21st-century style, here it is...

What's "show me the money!" in French? :)

Okay, next up, some shots from the south of France!

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Lovely! Reminds me of the medieval walled city we saw at Rhodes on our cruise of Greece and Italy last year.