|Knights Templar Castles
a Deluxe, 7-Day, Escorted Tour of Discovery
April 7 - 15, 2008
Chartres Domme La Couvertoirade Larzac Plateau La Cavalerie
Albi Castle of Chinon near Paris
Fortified remparts and ancient sites, precious witnesses of a former
era to be explored in modern-day Southern France
For centuries, the deeds of the Knights Templars and their holdings in Southern France have been the subject of mysticism and legend.
The Templars made the most of their strategic locations as transportation hubs
leading to the southern embarkation ports for the Holy Lands. The medieval villages of the Larzac Plateau in particular, through
their exceptional state of conservation and preservation, reflect the former military power and the daily activities of the Templar Knights and the hospitaliers brethren, the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem.
$2,989.00 Cdn, per person, based on shared accommodation, plus airfare. Single accommodation, please add $950.00. Tour includes accommodation, daily breakfast and lunch and supper on last day.
A deposit of $1,000 Cdn, per person, is required at the time of booking with the balance due 60 days prior to departure.
Price is based on a minimum of 30 guests travelling. Contact Compass Rose Travel at 416 482-8610 or 1 800 510-9963. Please see Price, Inclusions and Terms, below.
Please book early to avoid disappointment as tour is limited to 30 guests due to accommodation limitations.
DAY 1 APRIL 7, 2008 (Monday) FLIGHT FROM TORONTO TO PARIS (B,D)
Depart for France on your chosen overnight flight to arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport (Terminal 2) in Paris the next morning.
DAY 2 APRIL 8 (Tuesday) CHARTRES
and THE TEMPLAR CONNECTION (B,D)
Arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France, and greeted by our tour guide in the arrivals area of your flight between 10:00 a.m. and 12 noon.
Today, our first day, our coach will take us to the town of Chartres, located to the southwest of Paris. We will then tour the Cathedral of Chartres, the best preserved
of the major French cathedrals, for centuries a site of pilgrimage in honour of the Virgin Mary, to whom the cathedral is dedicated.
This magnificent medieval Gothic cathedral has nearly 200 bright-hued stained glass windows dating back to the 12th and 13th Centuries.
The huge roseate windows above the cathedral's main entrances are particularly spectacular and justifiably world famous.
This cathedral, the largest in the world, became the model for all subsequent Gothic cathedrals. Today, it is popular to speculate about its master builders
and how the cathedral was funded. Did the Templars play a role? Was St. Bernard influential? What about the Black Madonna, the labyrinth, and the
Chartres may be a mystery,
but it's no secret. The cathedral speaks to us in many ways through its sacred geometry and symbolism, moving and inspiring us deeply.
The labyrinth, its stones worn smooth by
countless feet of pilgrims, connects us with the many who have come before.
M. Louis Charpentier in his book Les Mystéres de la Cathédrale de Chartres argues that only the religious orders of the day could have funded this huge undertaking. The Order of the Temple
(Templars) protected merchants and the movement of goods from robbers and from the great seigneurs. They also organized and warehoused resources and
financed projects in the public interest. One way or another, M. Charpentier maintains, the Templars were responsible for
underwriting the construction of the Cathedral of Chartres.
DAY 3 APRIL 9 (Wednesday) DOMME and THE DORDOGNE VALLEY (B,D)
We depart from Chartres for Domme early in the morning. Domme is set high on a promontory with breathtaking views across the Dordogne and Vézère valleys. It is one of the few
bastides to have retained most of its 13th century ramparts and three old town gates. The Porte des Tours, the most impressive
and best preserved fortified gate and towers, was used as a prison for the Knights Templars in the early 14th
Century. Their graffiti can still be seen to this day. Here, you will discover
the consuls’ and the goldsmiths’ houses, the old covered market and the governor’s hotel. Domme offers the green luxury of its
suspended gardens above the Dordogne valley.
Our home for four nights is the 4-star Hotel L’Esplanade with a completely medeaval atmosphere.
Hotel L’Esplanade offers a refined cuisine where lamb, foie gras, truffles, wild mushrooms and seafood go hand-in-hand.
Here, you will enjoy charming rooms, some with a view over the valley, others looking into old country residences in short,
all the pleasures of Périgord. Only 5 km from a golf course.
DAY 4 APRIL 10 (Thursday) CHATEAU CASTELNAUD (B,D)
Early in the morning we proceed to the historic fortification of Château Castelnaud. Although not a Templar site,
this castle played an active role in the 100 years war and is one of the best examples of a fortification of
Château Castelnaud is possibly the most impressive of the 300 medieval chateaux surrounding Sarlat in the Perigord Noir.
It has unrivalled views of the Dordogne Valley and no end of battlements, hiding places and winding staircases.
It boasts unusual features such as working smithies and its own medieval tavern Château Castelnaud’s impressive collection
of ancient weaponry includes all manner of fiendish contraptions include the mangonel – the gigantic catapult used for
hurling boulders. The collection inspired director Ridley Scott’s battle scenes in the Oscar-winning film Gladiator.
DAY 5 APRIL 11 (Friday) LA COUVERTOIRADE (B,D)
Today, we return to the time of the Templars with a visit to the medieval
village of La Couvertoirade. La Couvertoirade was built in 1249 by the Templars and for seven centuries
sheltered them and their "heirs", the Hospitaliers , who took possession of Templar property after 1312.
That year signalled the abolition of the Templar Order, following the plot hatched against them by King
Philippe-le-Bel. Exceptionally well preserved, the village of La Couvertoirade is a veritable example of a medieval town.
La Couvertoirade was of strategic importance to the Templars and their control over the region due to the grain plantations to the south.
In honour of the Templars, the region was eventually baptised "la plaine du temple" The Temple Plain.
DAY 6 APRIL 12 (Saturday) LA CAVALERIE (B,D)
Situated at the strategic junction of ancient trade and pilgrimage routes, La Cavaleries in the 12th century was a Templar (and later)
Hospitalier holding. La Cavalerie is not immediately obvious at first glance since its richness can
only be discovered after entering the fortified interior reached through an imposing gateway. Inside we find 15th century houses, 17th century mansions and a astonishing 18th century
church in which the vestiges of the original Templar church have been piously preserved.
DAY 7 APRIL 13 (Sunday) ALBI (B,D)
At 9:00 a.m. we travel to the town of Albi between mountains and the river Tarn to learn about the Cathars. The Cathars were the precrussors
to the demise of the Templars. But, long before the Templars, the first human settlement in Albi was during the Bronze Age.
After the Roman conquest of Gaul in 51 BC, the town became "Civitas Albigensium", the territory of the Albigeois, "Albiga".
However, archaeological findings have not yet revealed traces of Roman buildings, which seems to indicate that Albi was at most a modest
In 1040, Albi went through a period of expansion with the construction of the Pont Vieux (Old Bridge). The city grew in wealth at this time, thanks to trade and commercial exchanges,
and to the tolls charged for using the Pont Vieux.
In 1208, the Pope and the French King joined forces against Cathars, who developed a separate version of Christianity
(a dangerous heresy under the dominant Catholic faith). Repression in the form of the Albigensians crusade against the Cathars
was severe and many were burnt at the stake. The area, until then virtually independent, was reduced to a state that
enabled it to be
annexed to the French Crown. After the crusade against the Cathars, the bishop Bernard de Castanet,
in the late 13th century, completed work on the Palais de la Berbie, a Bishops' Palace with the look of a fortress,
and ordered the building of the impressive cathedral of Sainte-Cécile starting in 1282.
DAY 8 APRIL 14 (Monday)
CASTLE OF CHINON (B,D)
This formidable romantic ruin comprised of three fortresses and a chateau, dominates the town of the same name and the Vienne river. It is nearly 1300 feet long, and 230 feet wide and is composed of the vestiges from three fortresses fort St-Georges, the Château du Milieu and the Château du Coudray.
The Château de Chinon became famous thanks to Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc met with the "Dauphin" (the future Charles VII) in the Chateau and from there she set out on her famous journey which would take her to Reims to crown the king.
The fortress is surrounded by a fortified outer wall, of which the oldest portion dates back to the 10th century.
In the early 13th century, following the Capetian annexation of Anjou, a cylindrical keep similar to those at Rouen and Paris,
was added by Phillip II Augustus, King of France, to the entrance of the Fort du Coudray.
In the keep or donjon, called the Tour de Coudray, Templar knights were imprisoned during the brutal suppression of the
Templar Order that occurred in 1307. Some of the prisoners carved odd symbols into the walls of their cells: Hearts,
Stars of David, grids and other geometrical patterns. It is unknown if they were random symbols, or represented
a code of some type.
DAY 9 APRIL 15 (Tuesday)
RETURN TO PARIS FOR OUR FLIGHT HOME
Pricing and Final Itinerary
Prices and Final Itinerary: Prices are accurate at the time of printing and are based on current exchange rates, hotel room rates, fuel prices and 30 guests attending. We reserve the right to alter prices any time prior to departure in the event the size of our group changes or exchange rates change adversely, subject to limitations imposed by law.
Reservation & Deposit: Non-refundable deposit of $1,000 Cdn due at the time of booking. Cancellation insurance must be taken out at the time of the deposit. Balance due as specified above.
Form of Payment: Cheque or cash preferred (payable to Compass Rose Travel), Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Diners Club also accepted.
Booking and Reservations: Please call - 416 482-8620. Book early to avoid disappointment due to accommodation limitations. Price is based on a minimum of 10 guests travelling.
All transfers and coach service
Daily breakfasts and suppers
Flight from Toronto to Charles de Gaulle Airport and retrurn, baggage handling, gratuities, all beverages, lunches, museum entrance fees, taxes, service charges, travel and cancellation insurance, optional tour costs (payable 24 hours in advance). Guests late for pick-up must return at their own expense.
Terms & Conditions
Advanced reservations required. (See Reservation & Deposit, above.) This offers are not combinable with any other package. Date restrictions apply. Rate plus taxes and service are based on availability. Package is applicable to new reservations only. Guests must be above the age of eighteen (18) years. Other conditions may apply.
Luggage: Limit of one suitcase and one small tote bag as hand luggage per person. Porterage is not always available.
Escort / Host: Tour is accompanied by an experienced Canadian escort who will personally meet you at
Charles de Gaulle Airport and remain with you until the end of the tour.
Handicapped Persons: Handicapped person must be accompanied by a companion able to administer necessary assistance. Please notify us of any special requirements including any dietary restrictions.
Responsibility: It is understood by Battlefield Legacy Tours, its suppliers and client guests that Battlefield Legacy Tours and its suppliers will not be responsible for
a.) Any inconvenience, loss of enjoyment, upset, disappointment, distress or frustration
whether physical of mental however caused.
b.) Non-performance on the part of any hotel or any other accommodation for any act of
omission that cannot be directly attributed to the neglect of Battlefield Legacy Tours
who reserves the right to decline any person, as a member of the tour should such
person’s presence be considered detrimental to the interest, comfort and enjoyment
of the other tour members. Persons leaving the tour during operation will not receive
a refund if services are unused. By booking a tour and making a deposit, you agree
to the above terms and conditions.
Identification: Canadian citizens require a valid passport to travel on this tour which must be valid for the period 6 months after the start of the selected tour. It is the guest’s responsibility to have the proper travel documents. Failure to have proper travel documents is not covered by any cancellation insurance.
Insurance: It is strongly recommended that cancellation and medical insurance be purchased to cover unplanned cancellation and/or emergency, such as illness to you or a family member before OR during the tour. In the event insurance is not purchased, you will be responsible for any costs relating to hospitalization and early return home. Complete details of coverage and exclusions are available from Battlefield Legacy Tours.
Booking Information: Battlefield Legacy Tours may be contacted for booking or inquiries
at 416 482 8610 or Toll free: 1 800 510-9963. e-mail: email@example.com
By booking a tour or making a deposit, you agree to the above terms and conditions.
CONTACT US FOR DETAILS
416 482-8610 1 800 510-9963
September 21, 2007
BATTLEFIELD LEGACY TOURS
477 Mount Pleasant Road, Suite 105
Toronto, Ontario M4S 2L9
tel. 416 482-8610
fax 416 482-6113
toll free 1 800 510-9963
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