So, I went to Scotland for New Years, to celebrate with my girlfriend and her family, and the day before New Years Eve we decided to take a trip to Rosslyn Chapel; the 15th Century medieval chapel which features in the final scenes of the Da Vinci Code movie. The chapel is up on a hill in the middle of the Scottish countryside, surrounded by fields and forests. Up until a few years ago hardly anyone ever went there, and it was sort of a forgotten relic, and entry was free. Then the Da Vinci Code movie came out and suddenly tourists started flocking there and they had to start charging for tickets and implementing rules and stuff. In fact, the day we visited happened to be the last day EVER that photography was allowed in the chapel - from January 1 this year it is no longer permitted, because tourists were falling over stuff and clambering around trying to get good shots, and also they were worried that certain flash photography was detrimental to the old building. So anyhow, I tried to get some cool photos, but honestly these can't even come close to expressing just how incredible and beautiful this place was:
(Those last two pictures were taken in the crypt; the room that Tom Hanks goes into at the end of the movie. It was really dark in there and difficult to get a decent photo).
As you can see, the place was pretty breathtaking - it's not a huge chapel, but the intricacy and detail of the architecture was pretty unique, and such a mix of styles, and so well preserved. It blew me away.
So since my visit I decided to do some reading into the background of the chapel and why it was built etc etc, and I was wondering if any of you know anything about this stuff.
I am not a religious man at all but the historical side of this stuff intrigues me. Here is what I understand, from what I have read so far:
-There is no doubt, historically, that Jesus Christ was a real man, and a prophet, who travelled around spreading the word of god and doing good deeds, etc, etc.
-He got a huge following, and all of these people started to follow his beliefs, and became Christians.
-This worried the Romans, because people were moving away from their old beliefs and their old gods and the empire was losing power, so they came up with a plan: the decided to acknowledge Jesus and write him into their own scriptures, to entice his followers back (most other religions also did this).
-Jesus was then crucified. When he was put on the cross he was handed a cup, with some liquid in it, for his final drink (this is mentioned in the bible). He drank it, and then passed out. The people thought he was dead, but actually the drink contained a herb which acted as a sedative and anaesthetic, and Jesus was simply asleep.
-He was removed from the cross and taken away. When he recovered, he was set free, on condition that he leave the country quickly and not tell anyone.
-He left, with Mary Magdalene. They eventually had a child together, so his bloodline was continued, and that is what is now referred to as the cup of Christ.
-Jesus died in India and is now buried in a tomb in Kashmir.
-A fellowship was set up, by the few people who knew the truth of his identity and the events which surrounded it, to protect the truth, and his bloodline, and each other. They called themselves the Knights Templar (the Vatican recently reluctantly released documentation which acknowledges the existence of the Knights Templar). This fellowship later split into two groups, one of which was known as the stonemasons, and is today known as the freemasons (this in particular interests me, as my grandfather was Grand High Master of a Freemasonry Lodge, and he would never talk about it to anyone. All I knew was that it involved a lot of secret meetings and weird handshakes).
-These fellowships contine to this day, to pass down the secrets of the story, and to protect the identities of those involved; places like Rosslyn Chapel were built by them as places to worship and to welcome their fellows and to bury and remember them and keep any artefacts.
Is that all correct? Did I miss anything important? Can anyone else shed any light on any of this for me?