"The land of Oc" Top 5 Page for this destination France Things to Do Tip by 807Wheaton

France Things to Do: 1,479 reviews and 1,983 photos

  View of Carcassone from the highway
by 807Wheaton

Driving west from Nimes we drove through the Languedoc - Roussillon area of southern France to Carcassonne. Here we find the stories about Louis IX and The Cathars a 13th Century sect critical of corruption in the established church. Their story includes over a century of ruthless killing and torture.
Languedoc is the language of Oc. "Oui" is for yes in the North part of France and "Oc" is for yes in the South of France. This Languedoc is now a dialect. The area west of Nimes has low scrubby vegetation but quite a few vineyards start appearing and eventually turn into vistas of grapes. Far in the distance the town of Narbonne can be identified from the enormous palace and cathedral complex that dominates the center of Narbonne. It is near this area that we crossed the Canal du Midi, a remarkable feat of engineering that provided the link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterrean Sea. This area also has many chateaux and because we were there in September we saw a lot of grape pickers working in the vineyards. They had large tractors with trailors nearby to hold the grapes. Closer to Carcassone there are sheep grazing on the hillsides. This is also where olive trees grow.
Each country has a different way of classifying olive production, like wines.
Louis IX was an exceptional King, being crowned King of France when he was 11 years old in 1226. He was known for his piety and kindness toward the poor. He fought in two crusades, both of which ended in failure. During his return to France he died of dysentry.
He was canonized as a Saint in 1297. Many places today are named after him, e.g. St. Louis, Missouri and Louisville, Kentucky to name two.
Kate Mosse has written a novel, "Labyrinth" about two women in different lifetimes in this Cathar -Languedoc area of France - in the genre of time-travel.

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  • Updated Aug 25, 2008
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