The strange history of the castle of the Wolves
View of the inundated rooms underneath the castle
"In approximately the year six hundred and sixty five, a gentleman named Valdebert, lord of Lupé (which is a castle and an old place of the Forez called Luponium in Latin) extremely virtuous and fearing God, a good friend of St Ennemond archbishop of Lyons, was charged by this saint to come see him and comfort him in persecutions which Ebroin made…" This text of J Marie of Walls, translated in 1674, reports an event going back to the 7th century and shows the importance of the lords of Lupé.
The Wolf speaks…
The Lupé are one of the rare families in France to carry in their blazon the symbol of the Wolf (Lupus). Paradin in "History of Lyons" names the site "Villam Lupoïcum", that is to say "Villa of the Wolf". We will only give summary overview of the symbolism of the wolf. We note that the wolf is the light, the sun, the warrior and the mythical ancestor. Greek and Scandinavian myths are in agreement on this point. Let us also note the female wolf of Monnolycée, feeder of Achéon… also nothing that Hades, king of Hell, was covered by a wolf’s skin garment. There is the god of the dead of the Etruscans, with his wolf’s ears. The resurrection of Osiris is envisaged in the shape of this animal (according to Diodorus Siculus). Zeus takes the features of the wolf to receive those offerings that are intended to create rain.
The Lupé family
The oldest document mentioning this
family goes back to 662 or 665 and is quoted above by J.M. de la Mure. Other
writings show the importance of the Lupé, who maintained their own
army. They were also close advisors to the reigning kings and princes, who
often referred to them as “cousin”… Such an appellation
is very rare, even more so as in combat, they often would go even in front
of the kings, which made them one of the first and most ancient noble families
of France, whose origins went back to a direct line of descent from Merovee.
Their importance would be maintained until the reign of Charlemagne. At that time, the Lupé seem to have played a capital role in an operation of which few details are known. The only information we have is that the Lupé family sheltered an extraordinary deposit.
The Falatier and the Great Bear
In the 10th century, the Falatier family took possession of the lands of Lupé. It is at this time that the castle takes the form that we know today. Certain documents, including those of G.M. of Waldan, report that the towers of the principal building and the turrets of the secondary enclosure were constructed according to the projection of constellation of the Great Bear… with the principal axis being the pole star. In this case we notice that the plan of this seigniorial dwelling reproduces a seven-sided polygon.
... under the authority of the Templars!
At the end of the year 1274, the pope, the king of France, the archbishop
of Lyon and the bishop of Vienne stayed in Lupé, without anyone knowing
the true reason for this unusual visit. This surely must have been of capital
importance to justify such a displacement.
- Guigue de Falatier and his sons belong to the last reinforcements sent on royal order to the crusaders last cut off in St Jean d' Acre…which are under the orders of Guillaume de Roussillon, their neighbour country and husband of Beatrice de Roussillon, the founder of the Chartreuse de Ste Croix. Only Guigue would return from this suicidal mission. Let us note in passing that the mission of this ultimate and hopeless expedition was to put oneself under the authority of the Knights Templar… "with the only goal to save as much of the essential as one can"; We can still wonder of what this “essence” was composed of.
Alliance with the house of Arques
Castle of Arques (Aude)
the domains of the Lupé passed by alliance to the Gaste.
A very curious fact about this family warrants further explanation. We are at a period in time when the Templars have fallen. However, one document attests a transaction, made in Puy-en-Velay, between Guillaume de Gaste and the Templars of Marlhette (the only fortified house of the Templars in the Pilat). Though the transaction does not have anything extraordinary, it should be noted that the document is dated to 1339. specify that the document is gone back to 1339. For those not familiar with the history of the Templars: the order of the Temple was suspended since 1312… the date of the Council of Vienne, at the foot of the Pilat.
The famile de Gaste were representatives of the judicial system, by royal favour, because they were the lords of Lupé!
Other strange facts: the double alliance between the de Gaste and the Joyeyse.
- Anne de Gaste marries François de Joyeuse.
- Claude de Gaste (brother of Anne) marries Francoise de Joyeuse, aunt of the Cardinal de Joyeuse.
Let us recall that de Joyeuse were once the lords of Arques, close to Rennes-le-Château. Why was there such a need for this double alliance with the lords of Arques… whose fields are more than 500 km away and are thus outside the scope of a possible territorial annexation or extension with the de Gaste holdings. Unless, and this seems obvious, there was a major and pressing requirement that justified such an alliance. This had to be the case, but what was the reason?
The enigma of Urfé
the union of Claude de Gaste and Francoise de Joyeuse four children would
be born. One of them, Marguerite de Gaste, would be sung about by Anne d'
Urfé, who was madly enthusiastic.
The Urfé, whose name derives from Ulfe and Wulff… once again more wolfs, but of German origin this time!
Honore d' Urfé would write "Astrée", of which so many passages refer to wolves, whether disguised or not: the Volces Tectosages, Lycidas, Olympe, the daugher of Lupeandre… identified as Marguerite de Gaste Lupé! Reading Astrée, it is undeniable that the Urfé family was in the possession of a very high initiatory level that was appreciated by those who frequented the place.
December 19, 1598. Catherine de Millon, dame de Lupé, marries Rostrale du Baume, Count de Suse. She will negotiate the repurchase of the "Lacombe Stronghold"with Polycarpe of the River, prior of the charterhouse of Ste Croix (built by Béatrice of Roussillon). This place had an open mine shaft for the extraction of lead… work that was carried out by skilled workers that had come from Germany for this sole purpose. These facts are confirmed by Blumenstein, who in 1741 was charged on royal order to estimate the Carthusian mines. Blumenstein worked at the same time for the Urfé family as well. Let us finally note that the mine of the "Lacombe Stronghold" was also called "The Hole of the wolf"!
The time of the Wolves and the Wolf cubs
On a letter addressed to Polycarpe Catherine de Meuillon entrusts the following, this to justify the imperative purchase of that ground: "the time of the Wolfs and the Wolf cubs in the country is near…" What time and what aspect is discussed in this letter, which the prior seems to have understood perfectly well? Moreover, "Wolf cubs" (with a capital letter) will later apply to the members of a "discrete" company, which will also have, in its time, interests in part of this enigma.
The lands of the Lupé (Loire)
It is at this time that Polycarpe de la Rivière was prior of the charterhouse of St Croix, in the immediate vicinity of the Lupé. Though his charter name is Polycarpe de la Rivière, his real identity is an enigma which no-one has been able to resolve until now. Still, we know he was an educated man, from 1586 to 1605, an education that occurred at the court of the Urfé, in the castle of Usson (spelled the same way as the castle in the Corbières) where someone else was also lodged, namely Marguerite de Valois, this for reason of safety. She strongly advised him to enter the order of the Carthusian monks, where he would be allowed almost at once to rise to the rank of prior, which is a remarkable exception.
A "priceless treasure…" (see Polycarpe de la Rivière)
his arrival at Ste Croix, Polycarpe would quickly describe something as
a "priceless treasure", which would have enabled him to finance
the almost total rebuilding of this charterhouse… after having destroyed
a part of it and having considerably modified its principal axis. He would
nevertheless safeguard the most important hermetic and symbolic details.
It seems that he especially updated those documents which would enable him
to write a new genealogy of kings de France and a "true history of
the origins of the religion". The whole would firmly be censured by
the Vatican, who prohibited him to go further in this serious "criminal
heresy". This warning would be matched by firm threats of imprisonment
and a lawsuit by the Inquisition. What formidable truth warranted such measures?
He would nevertheless have the time to begin his work of more than 2000 pages… on one of which he highly recommends the restitution of a certain "Roy Denys" and speaks about certain "a fabulous treasure"…
The modifications of Philibert Delorme
In Usson, Polycarpe met another scholar, a friend of Nicolas Poussin and of Charles Perrault, namely the celebrated architect Philibert Delorme. He considerably modified, during the refurbishment work of Ste Croix, certain underground parts, as well visible structure, of the castle of the Lupé: there was the demolition of the old entrance, the secondary defences, filled in the ditches at the level of the underground chambers, as well as part of the interior court… thus, he was forever erasing the layout of the constellation of Great Bear and the axis directed towards the Pole Star.
A very old place
if the structures of the castle underwent significant modifications, the
external accesses and the topography remained unchanged and remained charged
with a mysterious past dating from the megalithic and druidic era, with
specific symbolic connotations: Belin, the Belin dish, the Hermitage, Sallecroix…
Lupé (42) is in the south-west of Vienne (38), above St Pierre de bœuf and near Maclas. The vestiges that are still visible in the village attest to the importance of the old fortifications of the place. One of the first doorways of the Provence, the Lupé defended and locked the ancient route going up the Haute-Loire.
Once again the Templars!
The Order of the Temple regularly used this route to discretely and safely transfer money, lead and gold coming from their mines in the sector of Bourg-Argental… as well as other strange metals which were less metallic but more spectacular, such as minerals that were slightly radio-active, and which at the time were little-known. The famous cut “d’Embertauld” proves that the Templar house of Marlhette held jealously on to these…But the object would disappear before the arrests of the Templars in 1307. It is said that it is kept in the walls of the castle of Lupé, and the story states that it has the potential to kill by creating strange burns… though on the contrary, it is also said to miraculously heal irremediable illnesses, depending on the side of which one is advised to place the lips.
Mary Magdalene and the forgotten house
The pentacle on the window (Champailler)
From the castle leads a small road which in itself is unimportant. It curves around hamlets and farms, all belonging to the Lupé, to a chapel of Mary Magdalene. If we continue on this path, it passes by the “la Pierre des Morts”, the Stone of the Dead. We arrive at the hamlet of Champailler. Here time stops. There remains an enormous house with openings in a pure Gothic style. One of the windows was decorated with a strange sculpture in the form of a pentagon. There are three decorations on the inside: an anthropomorphic and cruciform silhouette constitutes a kind of axis. On both sides two smaller beings balance the unit. That on the right-hand side is kneeling, his arm and hands touching the cross. The type of clothing would suggest this is a woman. On left, the other character does not touch the cross, features on its back suggesting they are the wings of an angel.
What was hidden...
But the most curious aspects can be found inside. This building contains another one, which is smaller and which resembles a nest of dolls. A case inhibits passers-by to clearly see it. What was the principal entrance of this house was framed with extremely rich and intact sculptures that have various esoteric Gothic symbols: crescents, truncated pyramids… the whole was completed on a cross. The cross surmounted what one could take for a lily, but which in reality is a gardener’s spade… which is also the casein Stes Maries de la Mer. Infrared photograph of this building has revealed that there are several blocked cavities.
In his writings, Jean-Marcel Blandenct (1876) confirms that this construction defended the road of St Magdalene. The thickness of the walls confirms this assertion, though the location itself does not justify any such sort of defence, which was established to defend a straight mountain path which lead to a modest pilgrimage place which was visited only once a year, and only by the local people. It seems clear that there is a discrepancy between the defence and what was defended… unless we do not know the full story of what exactly it was that was defended here…
A chapel and a painting for Bérenger Saunière
this strange halt, let us continue our tour along locations that are named
"Purgatory", "Paradise", "The Hermit", "Hell",
etc. We finally arrive at "La Trève du Loup" and at the
end, without any exit, of our road: the chapel of Mary Magdalene. Once again,
this small building void of any specific style does not justify such a luxurious
protection. Inside, one painting is worth looking at. It is a representation
of Mary Magdalene… we know that this was the inspiration for Bérenger
Saunière and his painting of Mary Magdalene that he placed on his
altar in his church of Rennes-le-Chateau.
The poor chapel has been the victim of several plunderings. Strange plunderers who were satisfied to only take an ex-voto with them… these were thieves interested in old stones that have no value. But were they robbers without any knowledge or… were they informed amateurs? What is clear is that the last plunderers were well informed, as they took off with the Mary Magdalene painting…
The stolen painting of Mary Magdalene
Underground galleries and threats
The small hamlet right in front of the chapel has been the place of quite curious research. It was known that the place marked the start of several underground galleries. At the beginning of the 20th century, one of the corridors was found and explored. A former peasant that had lived there remembers that as a child, his father spoke initially about the visit of two priests, followed by several "Misters" who hired him to open the access to the gallery. Once completed, he was requested that he would not re-enter the place, because of the risk of collapse… nevertheless, they continued to work for a further two days, and made the entire structure collapse before leaving. The strange diggers had found a kind of "case with handles and several packages of writings in tubes" which they told the inhabitant of the hamlet were without any value whatsoever…
The secret of the Charlemagne Division
let us return to the castle of Lupé… which had sheltered two
famous characters: François Rabelais and… Michel de Nostredame.
We can only wonder why they came here…
But it lasted until the Second World War before the Lupé castle would have its most bizarre episode. It is in this castle, under the impulse of Mgr Mayol de Lupé, that the famous S.S. "Charlemagne" Division was created.
The purpose of this division was to unite, after the war, an aristocracy of which the unavowed and "secret" goal was neither more nor less than the attempt to reconstitute the Holy Germanic Empire. Mgr Mayol de Lupé was Grand Chaplain of this Waffen-SS division, whose number was 33…
One is in right to ask why this "exceptional creation" occurred in the Lupé castle, and nowhere else, as the place had been forgotten, was not famous or did not conform with any of the known military practices or imperatives of the Nazis.
The latter behaved very discreetly in the village… almost clandestinely. And then there were the German topographers who accompanied the German officers, to carry out strange measurements, in certain places adjoining the castle. Historians and experts in archaeology attest that Nazis were actually stationed within the walls of the castle. To devote themselves to what type of research?
Discoveries and a well
About ten years ago, significant work occurred in the Lupé castle. Engravings and paintings were restored. On this occasion, documents concerning very old work would also be found between the beams of the ceilings.
The descent into the well, with the help of the fire brigade
discrete mural from the 17th century does show how the castle and its grounds
were cleaned and studied. It did not represent Lupé or another known
proprietor. Certain experts would recognise in the reproduction an old field
from the sector of Roussillon!
Finally, on January 15, 1988, with the authorization of the owners and the assistance of the Fire brigade, a descent in the large well of the court that was renovated by Philibert Delorme occurred. What one believed was a well when viewed from on top, was in effect no such thing. More than 10 meters lower, the cavity that had been emptied by the powerful pumps of the fire bridage, was actually an old arched room with an access to the very old "low parts" of the old castle. These walled parts went in two directions. One of masonries seemed to be of more recent origin and was comprised of some old symbolic signs and runes made in a dark ochre colour. Why and for whom Philibert Delorme preserved this underground section dating back to Visigothic times is an important question… as is the question whether the Nazis were unaware of this when they arrived here…