Rosslyn and the Da Vinci Code
We have stayed at several Landmark Trust properties but wanted to do something really special for our twentieth wedding anniversary. Rosslyn Castle did not disappoint. It is true that getting the car across the bridge (in both directions) constituted two of the most stressful experiences of my life. But, we managed it – I had to place my total trust in C (aaarrgghh) – without a divorce and without damage to the car. But you really do have no more than an inch’s clearance either side. If you have anything bigger than an X3 or a Q5 park at the Chapel – you will not get across the bridge and you will not be able to turn around. So, you better be the best reverser in the world or you are S-T-U-C-K!!
The castle is mostly a ruin thanks to General Monk in the Civil War and what remains looks innocuous and cottage-like from ground level. But, upon entry you are immersed in a gothic, oak-panelled, tapestry-bedecked piece of history, myth and legend and welcomed into the home of one of the most amazing and intriguing families and lineage in Scotland, the UK and the world. The descendants of Jesus Christ no less. Possibly. Thank you to the Sinclairs (St. Clair) for sharing their ancestral home and the many personal photos, paintings and memorabilia which grace this graceful home.
A home which extends to four levels beneath the ground, extending down the cliff. A fortress worthy of a secret.
To stay here is to experience history – a history linked to the discovery of the New World, the Holy Grail, the Knights Templar, the Da Vinci Code and the truth about Christianity. Upon returning home we re watched the Da Vinci Code. The film does not spend enough time at the Chapel nor on the amazing St Clair family. And, Hollywood is “creative” with the scenes beneath the Chapel. But, the final scenes are filmed at the Castle and on that bridge. How they got all of those cars across I will never know.
We stumbled across the castle when researching the Chapel. We are well into the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and the mythology which underpinned the Dan Brown books (he plagiarised). I think you need to ask yourself what is more believable – that Jesus was the son of God, died on the cross and came back from the dead to cleanse us of our sins, or that he was a man who married Mary Magdalene who got pregnant and was smuggled out of the Holy Land…..and the line eventually ended up in Scotland?
Visit the Chapel even if you have never read a book by Dan Brown or seen the Da Vinci Code. It is a charming medieval chapel with an interesting history. But, if you are an advocate of the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail then, like Rennes Le Chateau and Montsegur, this is a must see. It is a memorable experience.
You will find Templar Knights and Freemasonry behind every Apprentice Pillar. You will find evidence that the Americas were discovered one hundred and fifty years before Columbus. And you will hear varied tales of secrets hidden beneath – or are they? Or is the bloodline of the Sinclair family the secret itself?
On the back of the Hollywood movie and a significant influx of tourists, the Chapel has been professionally restored and an excellent visitor centre has been recently opened. The tour is interesting and informative and the interactive technology in the visitor centre brings the ornate carvings and exceptional history of a place of secrecy alive. And, the hot chocolate and paninis in the coffee shop aren’t bad either.