The Pyrenees: Matthew Carr on Europe’s savage frontier

Matthew Carr

The Pyrenees is one of the great European landscapes.

It cuts across the mouth of the Iberian peninsula, forming the border between France and Spain.

It’s been a place of beauty and of terror; a passage for refugees, dissidents and resistance fighters; and the cradle of both religious heresy and religious pilgrimage.

This fascinating region is too often overshadowed by the romance of the Alps. But as you’ll hear in today’s podcast, it has its own very different set of stories to tell.

I’m joined by Matthew Carr, author of Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History, Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain and Sherman’s Ghosts. He’s also written for a variety of publications, including The New York TimesThe Observer and The Guardian. 

You can follow his writing on Substack and Twitter.

We spoke about medieval troubadours, Cathar castles, and Second World War escape routes from Nazi occupied Europe. 

These are the books we mentioned in the podcast:

We also mentioned:

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About the author

Ryan Murdock

Author of A Sunny Place for Shady People and Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Writer at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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