Mystery Explored: The Holy Grail
Expedition Dates: October 25 – November 6, 2004


For all its fame, the Holy Grail remains shrouded in mystery. Was it real? Could it have survived to this day? And what exactly was it? To Christians, it is the holiest of objects, the cup from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper, also believed to be the chalice that Joseph of Arimathea used to catch Christ’s blood as he died on the cross. Though now thought of as a goblet, the actual word “grail” comes to us from the Latin word gradalis — a flat dish or shallow vessel brought to the table during various courses of a meal. Interestingly, the story itself did not originate until Medieval times, when it helped inflame the Crusaders’ quest. On a quest to learn its true meaning and power, I followed the Grail’s trail from the Holy Land to medieval French castles to a dark chapter in the Nazi saga, when Hitler financed a search for the Grail to unite a secret society of knights.

Sponsoring Institution: The History Channel

Experts involved:
Dr. Gabriel Barkay, Archaeologist
Dr. Eliezer Stern, Archaeologist
Dr. Michael Rudd, Historian
Mr. Richard Barber, Historian
Dr. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Historian
Mr. Laurent Galiner, Weapons expert
Mr. Yann Signoret, Weapons expert

Locations Visited:
Jerusalem, Israel
Acre, Israel
Foix, France
Montsegur Castle, France
Puivert Castle, France
Church of Vals, France
Wewelsburg Castle, Germany



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