Dan Brown has a lot to answer for. While the upper echelons of the bestseller lists may be enjoying a respite from The Da Vinci Code, a small village on a hill in southern France is having no such luck.
Nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Languedoc region of France, the tiny hamlet of Rennes-le-Chateau is being overwhelmed by camera-wielding tourists. There was a time when you could drive up the narrow road that winds carefully to the village without passing another car. Nowadays, the odds are you’ll be trailing a convoy of coaches crammed full of amateur historians.
All of which is a bit strange given that Rennes-le-Chateau is never actually mentioned in The Da Vinci Code. Where it is mentioned, though, is in The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail the book from which Dan Brown took many of his most controversial claims. First published in 1982, it never enjoyed the same stratospheric success as The Da Vinci Code, but it still made the bestseller lists and caused a maelstrom of controversy among church figures.
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