Castles, Cathars and Crusades

The Occitanie region in the south-west of France is filled with the remains of a turbulent history, cultural heritage and proud traditions. Troubadours sang about the Grail in the medieval fortress of Carcassonne, heretics were burnt on the stake by the hundreds and politically, it was ruled in turn by Visigoths, Franks, Merovingians, Moors, Angevins…

South of France with Kids: Châteaux de Lastours

While we were in the Languedoc area in the south of France, we heard about the Chateaux de Lastours. The 4 castles date back to the 1200’s and were used as a stronghold during the crusades against the Cathars. Unfortunately after the crusades, the original castles were destroyed and rebuilt and then used as a French military…

South of France with Kids: Carcassonne

We rented a home from Airbnb for a week so that my husband could continue working while also having enough time to enjoy the area. Our first adventure was to check out Carcassonne. It was the 4th city (after Paris, Strasbourg, and Avignon) to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The…

France: The accidental rebirth of Occitania

An ancient region in the South of France has risen from the ashes and put itself back on the map. Occitania is an area doused in heritage, its name long entwined with the old hamlets, towns and cities that stud its hills, and the intriguing language marking out many of its inhabitants… There are vultures…