What is the holy grail

Where is the Grail?

The appearance of the Grail was described differently by each author. Was it a clay pot or a bowl? Or even a precious stone like the one Wolfram von Eschenbach portrayed? Allegedly, the sacred cup helped its owner to power, wealth and supernatural powers.

The desire for the Holy Grail dominated emperors, kings and popes in the Middle Ages. Since the Grail Castle in the novel of Chretien de Troyes was in the Pyrenees, they suspected the Grail followers at the beginning of the 13th century there as well. The Cathars lived in the Languedoc region in southern France at that time. They formed a wealthy religious community, which the official church, however, was considered heretical.

Pope Innocent III In 1209 AD sent an army of 30,000 men from northern France to the region, supposedly to find the Grail. The Albigensian Wars lasted until 1229 AD and razed the region to the ground. The search for the Holy Grail wasn't the main reason for the war, however. Rather, the Pope wanted to teach the heretical Cathars, who had made themselves economically and mentally largely independent of Rome and the rest of Europe, a lesson. It was also an opportunity for the French crown to assert its power in the southern part of the empire. The search for the Holy Grail should only be an incentive and make the mission attractive. It is not known whether it was successful.

At the beginning of the 14th century, Philip the Fair, King of France, ordered the destruction of the Temple Order, a spiritual knightly order. It was believed that the Knights Templar guarded the Holy Grail. The order was very powerful, had immense wealth, it was even said to have supernatural powers. In Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, the Knights of the Grail wear white cloaks with a red cross on paws - and this is exactly what the Knights Templar wore. Perhaps that was why the story of the Holy Grail persisted beyond the Middle Ages. Could surviving Knights Templar continue to hide and guard the Grail?

The Nazis were still looking for him

The search for the Holy Grail never stopped. The Viennese orientalist Joseph Freiherr Hammer von Purgstall published an extensive study in the 19th century that accused the Knights Templar of heresy. They were the leaders of an ancient pagan association that fought against ecclesiastical constraints and state tyranny. Although the Knights Templar originally served the Catholic Church, Purgstall was able to convince many intellectuals of his theory. The assumption that the Knights Templar were the keepers of the Holy Grail came back to the center of attention.

Finally in 1933 Otto Rahn wrote the book "Crusade Against the Grail". Heinrich Himmler then brought him into the SS in 1936 to work at the “Ahnenerbe” research office. Rahn was sent to Languedoc several times by the National Socialists to find the Holy Grail and bring it to Germany. However, his search was unsuccessful. In 1939 he was expelled from the SS at his own request, presumably on charges of homosexuality. He committed suicide that same year. Rahn was probably the last fatality that the myth of the Holy Grail claimed.