This article accompanies the fable
The Da Vinci Code and its home in Cathar country
But now it's a few years later and nobody cares?
Her legend has eroded like the fresco above has been eroded by humidity in the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. Hoaxes and forgeries have proliferated. Plus, once the historians got to work on the bloodlines theory, it didn't really hold up. But that was never the point really. Undermining the official story was just a lot more fun and we all need to dream. Agnostics believe the Christ story was only a dream in the first place.
But, if you want to believe in this stuff, then you need to visit the source in: Rennes-la-Château in Languedoc in the south of France. It was the story of Father Bérenger Saunière here in the late 19th/early 20th century that inspired articles in the late 1940s and in subsequent decades, that made their way into Gérard de Sède's L'Or de Rennes in 1967 and then The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail in 1982 and then The Da Vinci Code in 2003. Saunière allegedly had documents in his possession that proved Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and that their decendants were of the Merovingian royal bloodline. Below is the Tour Magdala at Rennes-la-Château, which was Saunière's library. Photo: Kurtsik.
Close by, to the southeast, is another New Age pilgrimage site: the mountain of Pic de Bugarach, which has taken on apocalyptic associations in the minds of some. French police had to block access in December 2012 when the Mayan apocalypse was expected. It is the highest peak in the Corbières mountain region. Photo: Thierry Strub.
The famous Cathar sites are all nearby. More here.