"Meet Rimbaud, your local Crusader!" Top 5 Page for this destination Orange Things to Do Tip by CatherineReichardt

Orange Things to Do: 42 reviews and 101 photos


Over the intervening period of 900 years, it's difficult to appreciate why noblemen and peasants alike scampered off with alacrity to be butchered in the Holy Land at the end of the 11th century. The prospect of confronting the Moorish hoards on their home turf in a harsh and hostile climate where field conditions lent themselves to the spread of epidemic disease hardly sounds enticing, but a persuading factor may have been that there were magnificent papal indulgences on offer (essentially celestial brownie points that guaranteed time off for good behaviour from the fires of Purgatory) on offer in return for the liberation of the Holy Land from the infidels.

The political factors which triggered the First Crusade were immensely complex, but ultimately the balance was tipped by a plea for assistance from Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos. Mindful of the recent Papal Schism between the Eastern and Western Church, Pope Urban II agreed to lend the Emperor assistance against the Turks as a gesture of reconciliation and consolidation between the two regions. This is sadly ironic, given the Western Schism between the Rome-based Pope and Avignon-based Antipope that tore the church apart barely two centuries later.

Rimbaud was Count of Orange and is famed as being the liberator of the strategically important city of Antioch and was also present at the liberation of Jerusalem. Like so many of his peers, he never made it back home, dying in the Holy Land - an honour that brought with it enormous kudos ... and further papal indulgences.

Rimbaud's distant forebears are the royal House of Orange, which went on to rule the Netherlands (the best known of whom is probably is William of Orange, who ascended to the British throne in 1689).

Non French-speakers may not immediately recognise that Rimbaud is pronounced 'Rimbo' - any similarity to more recent action heroes is totally coincidental!

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 31, 2013
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Comments (1)

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    the time and all the hassles that they went through for even a promise of of a bit of a break in getting into heaven is so hard to fathom really

    • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
      Aug 31, 2013 at 5:21 AM

      Well, speaking as a Catholic (well, was until I divorced and remarried and had children, making me - as I was succinctly informed - an adulteress with bastards), I have to concede that it's been a pretty effective control mechanism! :)
      Given the little that I've read, I have hopes that Papa Francisco may be a little more sympathetic to the millions of us Catholic divorcees in a similar position, though I try not to be too optimistic.

    • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
      Aug 31, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      i'm not sure that Papa Fransisco actually intends on changing the doctrine that much. however, his style is so different. I'm glad to see what he is doing and cheer him on


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