The place is the former Carolingian Empire (France, Germany, Belgium).
If you live in the West, Charlemagne is the reason you are not saying “Allahu Akbar” today. Charlemagne unified what is today Europe and facilitated the spread of Christianity there when Europe was threatened by an imperialistic Islam. His rule also spawned the Carolingian Renaissance.
Godfrey de Bouillon was a leader of the First Crusade, who sold practically everything he owned (and he was quite wealthy) to finance an army to defend the Christian Byzantines against Muslim attacks and liberate Christians living in and traveling to Jerusalem from Muslim persecution. You may recall from the GSB Israel Tour Journal that we saw Godfrey’s sword at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem earlier this year.
This Thursday, August 23, 2012, we will leave for Paris. After arriving in Paris we will head for Normandy and Mont Saint Michel. We will go from there to Reims to see the great Reims Cathedral and other sites.
Next we will head to Bouillon, Belgium, where Godfrey’s castle still stands, and finish the day in Aachen, Germany, the seat of Charlemagne’s government, site of his tomb and where the Palatine Chapel has stood since the time of Charlemagne. There is also something else we will see in Aachen, which for now I will let remain a mystery.
Along the way, we will enjoy French food and wine (including a trip to the Champagne region for some tastings), see the sights and search for Kingdom truths from this fascinating age that can be applied today.
Like the other GSB travel journals, I intend to blog daily with fresh pics and insight from the journey.
Pack your bags, metaphorically speaking, because we leave Thursday.
Tomorrow I will post our reading list for the trip. GS