Rosicrucian Tour of France 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

  

Mystical France October 16 to November 14, 2017

Join Grand Master Julie Scott, other Rosicrucians, and friends on this mystical journey through France, spending time in Paris, the Chateau d’Omonville (headquarters of the French Grand Lodge of AMORC), Chartres, Lyon, Arles, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Lourdes and Rocamadour.

Together, we will experience the mysteries of Paris and the south of France including those relating to the Black Madonna, Mary Magdalene, and the Cathars, and explore the influence of these streams on the Rosicrucian Tradition in France.


Rosicrucian Tour of France 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017 - Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Detailed Itinerary

Monday, October 16 – Paris

Arrive in Paris – La Ville Lumière (the City of Light) – on your own. Check into the beautiful Hotel Novotel Paris les Halles, centrally located at Les Halles. Our tour begins with an evening Seine River dinner cruise for our group. Overnight in Paris. (D)


Tuesday, October 17 – Paris

We will begin the day with a panoramic City Tour of Paris (by coach), driving past the major sites, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and Tuileries Garden, the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees, and the Musee d’Orsay, followed by a free afternoon to explore on your own. This evening we will visit the Rosicrucian Espace Saint-Martin – with the Rosicrucian Temple, bookshop, and Cultural Center. Overnight in Paris. (B, L, D)


Wednesday, October 18 – Paris

Today we will explore Paris together on foot, visiting a number of mystical and historic sites including Notre Dame Cathedral, the Church of San Sulpice (featured in The Da Vinci Code), Sainte-Chapelle Royal Chapel, and the Musee de Moyen Age (the Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages), with its mystical “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestries. Overnight in Paris. (B, L, D)


Thursday, October 19 – Paris – Omonville – Chartres

This morning we will depart Paris for the Chateau d’Omonville – the headquarters of the French Grand Lodge of AMORC.  This beautiful castle in the Normandy countryside will be the setting for our private reception and lunch, hosted by the Imperator and French Grand Master Serge Toussaint. There is plenty of time to enjoy this beautiful and inspiring setting. Mid-afternoon we will depart for Chartres where we will check into the Le Grand Monarque or the Mercure Chartres Centre. Overnight in Chartres. (B, L, D)


Friday, October 20 – Chartres – Lyon

This morning we will tour Chartres Cathedral. This extraordinary cathedral is one of the most important sacred sites in the world. Its sacred well was worshiped by the Druids and Romans long before Christians arrived in the area and built this cathedral to house the revered relic of the Virgin Mary – the shroud that she wore when she gave birth to Jesus. Our visit will include the Crypt of Chartres Cathedral, the church beneath the cathedral, with its Black Madonna, if open. This afternoon we will travel from Paris to the historic city of Lyon, where we will check into the Fourvière Hôtel located in a district classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight in Lyon. (B, L, D)

Saturday, October 21 – Lyon - Arles

In the morning, we will visit La Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere with its beautiful Black Madonna. We will then explore the Musee des Beaux-Arts, with its exceptional series of paintings related to the “Poem of the Soul,” by Louis Janmot, who was strongly influenced by Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin and Jacob Boehme. We will enjoy a delicious late lunch at the Restaurant de Fourvière in Lyon, the culinary capital of the world before continuing on to the ancient Roman city of Arles, where we will check into the Hotel Jules Cesar. Overnight in Arles. (B, L, D)


Sunday, October 22 – Arles - Saints Maries de la Mer – the Camargue

Today we will visit the small Mediterranean fishing village – Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (Saint Marys of the Sea), including a visit to the tiny church here with one of the most powerful representations of the Divine Feminine in the world – Saint Sarah (Sarah the Black), the patron saint of the Romani people. We will also experience the Camargue, with its wild horses (the oldest living breed in the world) on a boat tour through the area (weather permitting).  Overnight in Arles. (B, L, D)

 

Monday, October 23 – Arles

This morning we will visit the Archaeological Museum of Arles (with artifacts from pre-history to late antiquity) and St. Trophimus Church (from the twelfth century), with its beautiful cloister. This afternoon there will be free time to visit the Roman Cemetery and Amphitheatre on your own. Overnight in Arles. (B, L, D)


Tuesday, October 24 – Sainte-Baume – Arles

This morning we will visit the tiny cliff side village of Saint-Baume, where legend tells us Mary Magdalene spent the last thirty years of her life living in a cave. We will walk in silence through the forest to the cave. Overnight in Arles. (B, L, D)

Wednesday, October 25 – Arles -  Montpellier - La Couvertoirate - Pézenas – Narbonne 

This morning we will drive from Arles to Montpellier, where we will visit “La Negre,” the Black Madonna of Montpellier, one of the most notable of the Black Madonnas of France. She is said to have been performing miracles since 878 and is believed to have saved Montpellier from drought and plague. The Black Madonna is housed in the Museum of Old Montpellier, which also displays a collection of antique furniture and engravings. We will then explore La Couvertoirade, designated as one of France’s most beautiful villages. Built in the Middle Ages (from 1100 to 1400), this small Templar fortified village will take us back in time. Here we will visit the Templar Castle and Museum. After lunch in La Couvertoirate, we will visit Pézenas to experience the Notre Dame de Bethléem Black Madonna (from 1311), purchased by the Knights of St. John. Overnight in Narbonne at the Hotel La Residence. (B, L, D)


Thursday, October 26 – Narbonne

Today we will visit the Black Madonna of Narbonne and the Archaeology Museum in the Old Palace with its collection of artifacts dating from Paleolithic to modern times. Then we will visit Fontfroide Abbey, with its striking architecture and gardens. Founded in 1093, in 1144 it affiliated itself with the Cistercian reform movement. After many changes in ownership, in 1908 the artists Gustave and Madeleine Fayet d’Andoque purchased the premises to protect it from an American collector of sculpture. They restored it and used it as a center for artistic projects. Today it is still privately owned. Overnight in Narbonne. (B, L, D)


Friday, October 27 – Aigne - Minerve - Mazamet - Quillan

This morning we will stop in Aigne, the tiny, 1,000-year-old “snail village,” built in a spiral. If possible, we will enter the village church where a small Black Madonna was found in the wall in the eighteenth century. Then we will visit Minerve, one of the most important Cathar sites, where we will see the village church and the Cathar Museum, if it is open. This afternoon we will explore Mazamet, including the Catharism Museum, which will take us on a voyage to learn about the Cathars’ history, beliefs, and rituals. We will then drive to Quillan to check into the Domaine de l’Espinet, where we will spend ten nights in the heart of Cathar Country. (B, L, D)


Saturday, October 28 – Montsegur - Quillan

Today we will explore Montségur, the most famous Cathar castle and the site where hundreds of devout Cathars chose to die rather than convert against their beliefs. Climbing to the castle, visiting the Cathar museum, and seeing the Black Madonna will surely touch our hearts. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Sunday, October 29 – Puivert – Quillan

Today we will visit Puivert, which has strong links to the Cathars and Troubadours. We will visit the Museum of Quercorb, an instrument museum featuring the instruments and music of the Middle Ages and the Troubadours. Then we will explore Puivert Castle, designated as a Historical Monument since 1907. We will return to the Domaine de l’Espinet for a late lunch. Overnight in Quillan.

Monday, October 30 –  Gorge de Galamus – Puilarens – Peyrepertuse - Queribus – Quillan

Today we will walk through the stunning Gorge de Galamus and its Hermitage. A place of worship to the Mother Goddess in prehistoric times, it became a refuge for the early Christians in the second and third centuries. Later it would become a Hermitage. It was also a hiding place for the Cathars in the thirteenth century. We will also visit the castles at Puilarens, Peyrepertuse, and Queribus – the very last stand for the Cathars. We’ll enjoy a box lunch at one of the sites. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Tuesday, October 31 – Carcassonne – Quillan

Today we will explore La Cité, the Old City of Carcassonne (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest examples of a fortified medieval city still in existence), including the Cathar Castle and the Basilica of St-Nazaire with its famous Siege Stone, said to depict the 1209 Siege of Carcassonne by the Crusaders. Lunch in Carcassone. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)

Wednesday, November 1 – Rennes-le-Chateau – Rennes-les-Bain – Bugarach – Quillan

Today we will visit Rennes-le-Château, where, in the nineteenth century, a local priest found a treasure leading to fascinating theories about the site – from it being the burial place of Mary Magdalene to the treasure belonging to King Solomon himself – eventually leading to bestsellers like Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code. During our visit, we will follow some of the clues that paved the way for the Magdalen revival. Then we will experience sacred Mount Bugarach, the site of an ancient Essene community and the inspiration for Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, on our way to the charming village of Rennes-les-Baines. Nearby, we will have a special ceremony at the Throne of Isis, an ancient stone seat in the forest, and at the heart shaped Fountain of Lovers.  Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)

Thursday, November 2 – Cabrespine Cavern – Lastours – Saissac – Quillan

Today we will explore Cabrespine Cavern, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The “Giant Cave” is an immense crystal geode that is renowned for its rich formations. Then we will tour the Four Castles of Lastours, a center of Cathar activity during the thirteenth century, and the ruined Cathar Chateau de Saissac, which was already in existence in the tenth century. We will also visit the Musee de Vieux Mettiers (Museum of Old Crafts) in Saissac, if open. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Friday, November 3 – Foix - Quillan


This morning we will explore Foix Castle, one of the few castles in Occitania that was never destroyed. Foix was an important Cathar center, built on an ancient, prehistoric site. Then we will explore Niaux Cave, one of the most important prehistoric caves in the world. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)

 

Saturday, November 4 – Limoux – Alet-les-Bains - Mirepois – Vals – Quillan

Today we will visit Notre Dame de Marceille Basilica with another beautiful representation of the Black Madonna, near Limoux Then we will explore the abbey and church in Alet-les-Bains, founded in the year 813. Called “the Chosen Place” by the Romans, this Jewish settlement was built in the first century CE on the site of a much older sacred place, dedicated to the Mother Goddess. The town also sits atop the second largest underground fresh water lake in France. It has been suggested that this was the reason that Nostradamus came here in the sixteenth century looking for a cure for the plague. Later we will visit the church at Vals, built atop a large rock and containing murals dating back to early Christianity, including a very early depiction of a cherub. Then we will visit the charming market square of Mirepoix, with its half-timbered houses. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)

Sunday, November 5 ––  Arques – Lagrasse – Villerouge – Termes  – Quillan

Today we will visit the Chateau d’Arques (first mentioned in documents in 1011) and the nearby Cathar museum, if open. Then we will explore Lagrasse – designated as one of the most beautiful villages in France - stopping at its ancient Abbey, with its 7th century origins. The heart of the village features workshops and studios of artisan artists. After lunch in Lagrasse, we will visit Villerouge, an important Cathar center with its interesting Cathar Museum, on the way back to Quillan, we will visit Termes castle. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)

 

Monday, November 6 – Quillan – Lourdes

The morning will be free for relaxing and reflection. After lunch at l’Espinet, we will depart Quillan for Lourdes. On our way we will stop at the Templar Church in Montsaures, with its remarkable sculptures and esoteric murals. Then we will continue on to Lourdes, in the heart of the Pyrenees, and check into the Grand Hotel Gallia & Londres, located close to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. Overnight in Lourdes.  (B, L, D)

Tuesday, November 7 – Lourdes

Enjoy a full day in Lourdes on your own, to relax and experience the power of its healing energy. Visit the grotto and sanctuaries, the baths of healing waters, the beautiful Basilica, and participate in the evening candlelight procession, if you like. You can also visit the nearby hilltop Chateau Fort for a great view of the area or enjoy a walk along the rushing Gave de Pau river. This is a day for renewal and introspection. Overnight in Lourdes. (B, L, D)

Wednesday, November 8 – Lourdes – Toulouse

This morning we will leave Lourdes early to travel to Toulouse, driving by the Toulouse cemetery with its interesting Egyptian architecture. H. Spencer Lewis modeled the obelisk at Rosicrucian Park after the obelisks at this cemetery. Following lunch at our hotel, the Grand Hotel de l’Opera we will we will visit Notre Dame de la Daurade, with its outstanding Black Madonna and the eleventh century Basilica of Saint-Sernin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest Romanesque building in Europe. In the evening, we will gather in the seventeenth century mansion, the Hôtel d'Assézat, the meeting place of the modern members of the Academy of the Jeux Floraux (founded in Toulouse in 1323), for a special Rosicrucian Attunement Period. Overnight in Toulouse. (B, L, D)

Thursday, November 9 – Toulouse

This morning we will visit the Hall of the Illustrious – where H. Spencer Lewis was guided to the final step of his Initiation. In the afternoon, we will journey to Old Tolosa for a view of the site of H. Spencer Lewis’s Initiation. In the evening, we will visit the Toulouse Rosicrucian Lodge where the Grand Master will lead the Council of Solace meditation. Overnight in Toulouse. (B, L, D)


Friday, November 10 – Toulouse – Albi – Cordes-sur-Ciel

Today we will visit Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the medieval city for which the Albigensian Crusade (also called the Cathar Crusade) is named. We will visit St. Cecile Cathedral with its beautiful statue of Mary Magdalene with child, the medieval Pont Vieux (Old Bridge), built around 1040, and St. Salvi Cloisters, if it is open. Then we will have a leisurely stroll through nearby Cordes-sur-Ciel, founded in 1222 by the Count of Toulouse and famous for its Gothic residences built between 1280 and 1350. Overnight in Toulouse. (B, L, D)


Saturday, November 11 – Toulouse – Rocamadour 

This afternoon we will drive from Toulouse to the cliff side village of Rocamadour – famous for its healing powers and an important stop on the pilgrimage path to Santiago de Compostela in Spain where we will check into our hotels –L’hotel les Esclagies, La Belvedere, or the Hotel des Troubadours. Overnight in Rocamadour (B, L, D)

Sunday, November 12– Rocamadour

This morning we will visit one of the most important shrines in France -  the Shrine of Our Lady of Rocamadour, with its beautiful Black Madonna. Rocamadour is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as part of the St James’ Way pilgrimage route. The afternoon is free to enjoy this medieval village or hike through one of the nearby nature preserves. We will have dinner at a local truffle farm.  (B, L, D)


Monday, November 13 – Rocamadour – Limoges - Paris

Today we will travel from Rocamadour to Limoges for lunch and then on to Paris where we will check into the Hotel Novotel Paris les Halles for our last night in Paris as a group. (B, L, D)


Tuesday, November 14 – Paris – Home

Reflecting on the experience of a lifetime, this morning we will say “Adieu” to friends, old and new. (B)

Included:

All Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner – beginning with dinner on Monday, October 16 and ending with breakfast on Tuesday, November 14.

Hotels (29 nights):

Paris: Hotel Novotel Paris les Halles – 4 nights (3 nights at the beginning and 1 night at the end of the tour)

Chartres: Le Grand Monarque or the Mercure Chartres Centre – 1 night

Lyon: Fourvière Hôtel – 1 night

Arles: Hotel Jules Cesar - 4 nights

Narbonne: Hotel la Residence - 2 nights

Quillan: Domaine de l’Espinet - 10 nights

Lourdes: Grand Hotel Gallia & Londres– 2 nights

Toulouse: Grand Hotel de l’Opera or the Crown Plaza Toulouse – 3 nights

Rocamadour: L’hotel les Esclagies, La Belvedere, or La Hotel des Troubadours – 2 nights

Entrance fees for all visits mentioned in the itinerary

Motorcoach Transportation

Train from Paris to Lyon

English Speaking Guide
 
Not included:

Airfare to France

Visa if needed

Travel Insurance

Personal items and expenses

Ground Transfers – Since people will be arriving at different times and dates, you will make your own arrangements for meeting us at the hotel. 

Tips to guides and porters

Please note: This itinerary is subject to change and any changes made will be to enhance your experience!

 

Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • Cost

    Paris to Paris (30 days - October 16 to November 14) - $9,750 per person Double Occupancy 
    (Single supplement is $2,000)



    Paris to Arles (10 days - October 16 to October 25) - $4,500 per person Double Occupancy
    (Single supplement is $800)



    Cathar Country (13 days - October 25 to November 6) - $5,250 per person Double Occupancy 
    (Single supplement is $1,000)
     


    Cathar Country to Paris (21 Days - October 25 to November 14) - $7,750 per person Double Occupancy 
    (Single supplement is $1,500)

    The registration fee includes:

    All Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner – beginning with dinner on Monday, October 16 and ending with breakfast on Tuesday, November 14.

    Hotels (29 nights):

    Paris: Hotel Novotel Paris les Halles – 4 nights (3 nights at the beginning and 1 night at the end of the tour)

    Chartres: Le Grand Monarque or the Mercure Chartres Centre – 1 night

    Lyon: Fourvière Hôtel – 1 night

    Arles: Hotel Jules Cesar - 4 nights

    Narbonne: Hotel la Residence - 2 nights

    Quillan: Domaine de l’Espinet - 10 nights

    Lourdes: Grand Hotel Gallia & Londres – 2 nights

    Toulouse: Grand Hotel de l’Opera or the Crown Plaza Toulouse – 3 nights

    Rocamadour: L’hotel les Esclagies or the Hotel Du Chateau – 2 nights

    Entrance fees for all visits mentioned in the itinerary

    Motorcoach Transportation

    Train from Paris to Lyon

    English Speaking Guide

     
    The registration fee does not include:

    Airfare to France

    Visas if needed

    Travel Insurance

    Personal items and expenses

    Tips to guides and porters

    Ground Transfers – Since people will be arriving at different times and dates, you will make your own arrangements for meeting us at the hotel. 

































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