I have to admit that by the time we visited the city of Girona in Northern Spain, we were all getting a little ‘churched out!’ It was clear we were tired and I clearly needed a break from intellectual stuff as I spent most of the day huffing and puffing around two churches and up and down hills in the intense heat.
Girona is a city with connections to Rennes Le Chateau where we had just been the week before. It is thought that while Berenger was building his church in Rennes, he made regular trips across the border to Girona, secretly staying with a Frenchwoman behind the cathedral there. He modelled the “Tour Magdala” that he added to his church exactly on the tower on her property (old photos of the tower in Girona and architectural plans he drew up prove this).
In her book ‘The Portal’ Patrice Chapin talks about the relationship between the two locations. In an interview in 2007 she says,
“But really the essence of the Rennes-le-Château connection is that the priests came to Girona to conduct their rituals. Saunière received his inspiration for the Tour Magdela while in Girona. And he measured and copied it with some precision. More importantly, it was all about what was between the two towers; Canigou, the sacred mountain of the region. It was all about Spain, really. Rennes-le-Château was secondary. It’s very interesting – Isis and Nephtis represent the North and the South in the Kabbalah and the South always becomes invisible – it disappears.”
So we were curious to see what we’d find. Although we didn’t see the tower, we did enjoy visiting the last two churches we’d see for a while and did a little bit of light shopping! While huge, the main part of Girona Cathedral seemed robbed of life. The Black Madonna there was not in place on the altar but rather in a glass box in the museum surrounded by lots of other examples of sacred feminine iconography that had been relegated to the museum rather than sacred prominence. Somewhat sad to see this.