The megaliths of Rennes-le-Château
Part 2 : Another altar stone near Rennes-le-Château
altar stone currently in Rennes-le-Château comes, as mentioned, from
an area near Rennes-le-Château. It is however not the only such stone.
Between Rennes-le-Château and Blanchefort is the hill of Siala. It
sits mid-distance, and is largely of the same height, as the hill of Rennes-le-Château
and the Château de Blanchefort. The hill does not appear to have anything
of interest and in the “Foret Domaniale du Rialsesse”, we are
indeed confronted with a dense forest, one that is virtually “off-limits”
Still, it was here that in the early 1990s, following his discovery of the underground network of Notre-Dame de Marceille, Jos Bertaulet’s interest was directed towards, because, if there was any sacred geometry involved in the area, the fact that Le Siala was mid-distance between the two infamous hills could be worth a closer look.
Climbing to the altar
site is hard to access. Crossing the river Sals in the valley in front of
Coustaussa, a track rises up the hill. Soon the track stops and it is then
a steep climb, on foot, towards a patch of rocks, from which Bertaulet had
to take readings of orientation, before climbing the final seventy metres,
which brought him to an altar, in the middle of the forest. In short, it
is not easy to locate.
This is what Jos had to say about it: “We went there, once, twice and several times more, and each time, we got lost in the dense vegetation, on a mountain that is very difficult to climb, without paths, with ravines to negotiate and trees that obstruct every effort to orientate oneself, despite the presence of a compass. The only advantage of these excursions was that step by step, we became familiar with this capricious mountain and there is nothing better for one’s health than a walk in the countryside!”
then began a process of clearing the site: “To get a better idea of
the site, my first task was to remove the cover of moss and the thick cover
of ivy which had wrapped itself around the structure on all sides. It was
as such that I was able to make certain discoveries, which were, to say
the least, curious.”
Bertaulet labelled the stone on this site a “druid’s altar”, inspired by Boudet’s numerous references to cromlechs in the area. However, this was a site that Boudet had not spoken of – for the reason that the site is largely impossible to discover.
The area is indeed strewn with boulders and some would argue that this stone altar is just a freak of nature. But there are several indicators that this is not the case.
table is rectangular in fort, measuring 2.20 metres in length and about
one metre wide, and 1.30 metres high. On the west side, we can see a second
stone, flat, placed at the base of the large stone at a distance of approx.
15 centimetres. It measures 8 to 10 centimetres in thickness, is forty centimetres
high and its length is the same as that of the table.
To quote from Bertaulet’s notes: “Everything suggests that the stone is placed there by human hands. It is true that Nature can sometimes be capricious en create intriguing curiosities, but a detailed examination seems to have excluded this possibility. A plate, which became detached from a large mass because of ice, falls flat and does not lodge itself in the ground vertically. And, after verification, we have been able to note that the plate is lodged in the ground to a depth of half a metre, where it rests on a flat stone. In short, we need to exclude the possibility that this is due to luck. Another curious detail: the plate, as well as the altar itself, is orientated perfectly North-South.”
If we look on its eastern side, we note a white patch, which resembles a crescent moon. This is the result of a small amount of white rock has is somehow encrusted in the rock, which itself is brown-grey. It is located on the lower left of the stone. It is however unclear how old this erosion is – even though it looks somewhat recent.
On top is a small basin, that too in the form of a crescent moon. As the stone has at least one and perhaps two crescent-shaped marks, the stone was selected for an altar, perhaps linked with the lunar cycle. Still, the crescent moon basin on top suggests that libations could have been poured in here, offerings perhaps to the moon?
One altar is very much like the other
is clear that we are here confronted with an artificial altar, the composition
of which could enlighten us about the original situation of the altar stone
currently in Rennes-le-Château. There are several correspondences
between both stones:
- their shape and size
- their location in an area around Rennes-le-Château
- the presence of a basin on top of both
- the presence of other inscription, either a moon or crosses, as well as information that the altar stone of Rennes-le-Château apparently had a connection with the setting of the sun
The altar stone of Siala could provide important information about the true implantation of the altar stone of Rennes-le-Château. Did it too have a slab of stone perfectly positioned in front of it, along its length? Was it too orientated towards the cardinal points?
Both altar stones suggest that the area of Rennes-le-Château was once part of a sacred megalithic landscape, a conclusion that Henri Boudet would have greatly appreciated. Though Boudet situated this landscape in the vicinity of Rennes-les-Bains, it is clear that there is a megalithic presence in the area around Rennes-le-Château. And when we note that there are two surviving altars… perhaps there are more hidden elsewhere?