|The mystery of Rennes-le-Château|
The cisterns of Rennes-le-Château
In part 1, André Douzet speaks about his expedition into the cisterns of Rennes-le-Château, and more on an underground network of tunnels underneath the village. In part 2, the siting of the castle itself is also bizarre. In part 3, there is the presence of a natural fault line underneath the village. Finally, in part 4, we see how Saunière had specific attention to these cisterns when he erected his villa - and might have found important information inside.
The presbytery of Rennes-le-Château
The presbytery of Rennes-le-Château has escaped many's attention. Nevertheless, it would remain the headquarters of Saunière's operations. First, let us delve a little bit into its background. We then start our descent into the underworld, where we find the presence of underground tunnels, explore in the time of Saunière. Finally, we invite everyone to check it out for themselves.
Forgotten secrets of the church of Rennes-le-Château
It is in the church that Saunière is believed to have found his wealth. But where? First, there is the baluster, with a secret compartment in which he apparently found some documents. Then, we look at the enigmatic Visigothic pillar, with another secret compartment. Next up is the main altar and the Knight's Stone, which completes our survey of the "mystery elements" around which the story of the priest's fortune is based. In the final part, we review the various elements of the puzzle, add a further piece, and see where they all ended up.
A secret part in the church of Rennes-le-Château
Inside the church of Rennes-le-Château, there are two parts that visitors seldom get to see... Quite often, they fail to notice they exist!
A church entrance
The church entrance is an often overlooked part of the building. And in the case of Rennes-le-Château, it is no exception to this rule. And though we might think we know everything about it... do we really? For example, do we know where the stone slabs used for it come from?
The Wayside altar
Next to the cemetery entrance is a small, delapidated building, which seems without any intrigue whatsoever. Nevertheless, appearances can be deceiving... and in the case of the "wayside altar", as the structure is called, it could be one of the key sites in the enigma of the village.
The old altar of Rennes-le-Château gave the mystery its Visigothic pillar. But what is the true importance of the legends... and how do they compare to the truth?
The viewing room is not the only site with strange markings on it. The same applies to the church and presbytery of Rennes-le-Chateau.
The sour apples of January 17
Though one of the best known phenomena of the mystery, in essence, there is no mystery at all to the phenomenon of the Blue Apples, said to occur at noon, each January 17.
Enigmas of the cemetery of Rennes-le-Château
Throughout the mystery, the cemetery is one of the most intriguing parts, if only because it was Saunière himself who carried out some bizarre works inside. In the second part, we begin to look into the enigmatic tombstone of Marie De Negre d'Ables - de Hautpoul. In the third part, we uncover the original state of the cemetery, before Saunière's desecration. In the fourth part, we take the story to an altogether different conclusion than what so many have seen as occuring in this cemetery.
The crypt of Rennes-le-Château
The crypt - and its existence - is one of the most hotly debated issues of the mystery. Some even question whether it exists. But there can be little doubt that it does. Furthermore, it becomes quickly obviously that the crypt of Rennes-le-Ch´teau shares much in common with that of Perillos.
The Coumesourde Stone
The Coumesourde Stone is one of the most hotly contested topics in the enigma. For one, it is not even known whether or not the stone exists. Furthermore, what it is supposed to show, exists in several versions. Then there is the question as to how the discovery was made, and the role of its discoverer, Ernest Cros. Finally, we reveal the discovery of the stone and the inscription it reveals itself.
A strange manuscript, which mentions Rennes-le-Château
handwritten document, probably dating from
the beginning of the 18th century, compiled in Latin, divided into twenty-two
quatrains, each one starting with a letter of an ancient alphabet, was recovered.
The text seems to have been carefully written in the style of prophecies of Nostradamus… Admittedly, the hermetic content (22 quatrains…) of this document is interesting from other perspectives beyond the obvious mystery of why such a document would be created.
However, most would not have given the document a second thought had it not been for the inclusion of the ancient name of Rennes-le-Château and Bugarach mentioned within the document, as well as the name of Mary Magdalene.
A preliminary analysis of what the document may try to hint it is the first step towards a possible explanation, to which Stephen Anderson adds his comments.
The megaliths of Rennes-le-Château
Right next to the mayor's office sits a megalithic stone, which few have valued for any potential importance it may have in the story of the village. But, of course, we cannot (and neither have others) left this stone unturned. The discovery is not the only of its kind, as a similar stone was found by Jos Bertaulet on the nearby hill of Siala.
Comrades in arms?
In 2004, an incident occurred in Southern France, in which a "secretive society" was found to possess several weapons, apparently stashed twenty years ago... as the organisation was set to defend the Holy Grail, which was apparently secreted in the village.
A forgotten pillar
By complete coincidence, a pillar in a bookshop leads to further insights into what happened thirty years ago at Las Casteillas, a "castle" very near to Rennes - and which at some point might have been directly linked with it.
The stones of the end of the world
Certain rock formations have been linked with an end of time prophecy. According to Robert Charroux, such a story can also be found near Rennes.
The Knights Templar and Rennes-le-Château
George Kiess delves into the controversial subject of the Knights Templar and their link to the enigma. In ill-consulted archives in Toulouse, he finds new evidence that strengthens the claims.
Saunière’s Rise to Fame
Revisiting the early years of the life of Saunière, a quick overview of his first years in the village makes it clear that the mystery of his wealth began earlier than most popular accounts have stated so far.
One of the most controversial topics in the story of the priest, is his trial. Both sceptics and believers have a warped understanding of the true accusations and requests had to subject himself to, as well as his stubborn behaviour to make sure he would make the life of his superiors as difficult as possible. But why?
Million dollar priest
In the final years of his life, Saunière apparently was about to get his hands on an enormous fortune. What could a semi-invalid do that would warrant the equivalent of 120 million dollars?
“John 23” and the enigma of Bérenger Saunière
The alleged last words of Saunière, "John twenty-three", are for the first time ever subjected to a detailed analysis... leading towards results that may challenge more than just the enigma of the village priest itself.
Bérenger Saunière in Lyon
One area of research that has been uncovered by the Société Perillos is evidence of Saunière's presence in Lyon. In the first part, we look at the evidence that backs up his presence there. In the second part, we explore his motives for lodging where he did. In the third part, we look towards his visit into the nearby Pilat region.
Saunière and the "good food" guide to Durban-Corbières
Saunière not only went to Lyon, he also frequented Durban-Corbières, most often on his way to or from Perpignan. What were the true reasons as to why he dropped by?
A Spanish connection?
In a new book, British author Patrice Chaplin opens up a new dimension into the mystery of Saunière. She argues that the priest spent time in Girona, Spain, and that the design of his Tour Magdala was inspired by a tower in that town. In part 2, we explore the magical dimension that is slowly developing as a central ingredient in Saunière's lifestyle. In part 3, we find another connection between the two sites: the presence of a megalithic altar stone. In part 4, we look into Saunière's alliances to the world of Freemasonry, and one order in particular.
More of Saunière in Spain?
Is it possible that the story of Saunière goes further south into Spain than Gerona - in fact... all the way to Jaén in Andalucia? That is the claim that a Spanish researcher has made.
Another Tour Magdala?
On the Spanish island of Mallorca, a French emigrant constructed a tower... which looks remarkably similar to the Tour Magdala.
Building the Tree of Life
Patrice Chaplin's book argues that Saunière was interested in the Kabbalah. A closer look at his garden and the design of the cemetery indeed reveal that Saunière was constructing them according to the model of the Kabbalah. However, there are intriguing parallels with modern inscriptions. And is it possible that he also constructed a Tree of Life inside the church itself?
The case of the devil
In his search, Saunière ordered a specific statue, of a devil, to stand next to the entrance. Though well-known, no-one has done a detailed study of the statue... the first custom made object Saunière ordered for his church... thus being the opposite of the model, which was the last custom made item he ever ordered. In part 1, the background of the statue, its restoration and its identification of Asmodeus are explored. In part 2, similar depictions of Asmodeus in other churches are investigated. In part 3, the contributions of Gérard de Sède are put in the spotlight. In part 4, we note how de Sède manipulates the devil to suit his own purpose. Issac Ben Jacob & Jean de Niort interpret the inscription on the devil's wing. Part 5 takes us away from Asmodeus, but towards Satan... and more inversions by our priest. In part 6, we meet yet another candidate, Lucifuge, who sits in between the two other demons - and has some intriguing links with the village of Perillos. Finally, in part 7, we take a look at Asmodeus and his "track record", but in part 8, we have to pose the question: is this Asmodeus, or Eurynomus?
When one Mary Magdalene hides many more
A lot of ink has been spilled on trying to identify the origins of Saunière's altar piece. Apart from elements of a chapel in the Pilat, the depiction of the Magdalene is identical to two known statues, one at Belpech and the other at St Zacharie.
A Mary Magdalene in black and white
A photograph of a statue of Mary Magdalene provides some interesting parallels - and differences - with the statue of the Magdalene of Belpech.
The possibility that Saunière was a Freemason has been one of the most hotly disputed debates. But recently, proof has emerged that the priest was indeed a Freemason.
The Chefdebien enigma
The de Chefdebien family is one of the key families involved in the mystery, yet few researchers have focused on the role Alfred Saunière played in this aspect.
The Habsburg Dynasty
The first extra-priestly income Saunière laid his hands on, came from the Countess de Chambord. But it is not the only time that the Habsburg family made contact with Saunière - or gave money.
The AA: a secret society to protect “The Secret”
Was Saunière "controlled" by his work? If so, who was behind him? Many possibilities have been proposed, but amongst the candidates, one organisation known as the "AA" is one of the best candidates.
Saunière’s Rennes-le-Château: Refuge for a terrorist movement?
A chance encounter with an IRA sympathant leads to certain intriguing observations about Saunière's estate and the manner in which he constructed it.
Saunière and the occult
Guy Patton explains how Saunière was most likely exposed to several occult societies and their thinking.
Saunière in Lyon
The church of Couiza
Just down the road from Rennes-le-Château is Couiza, whose church may have been the direct inspiration for Saunière's church interior.
The Head of the Saviour is one of the artefacts that has become woven into the enigma. Rightfully so, or not? And the same question needs to be asked about the Devil's Armchair. But the town is specifically famous for its many curative springs.
Brenac: Inroads into the enigma of the Courtades
The small village of Brenac sits within viewing distance of Rennes-le-Château and is home to the Courtade family, who form a vital link between the mystery of Saunière and Perillos. The church has many intriguing parallels with Saunière's. The village also had a notorious son: Pierre Amiel. The most enigmatic aspect of the village, however, are the frescoes in the church, including those in the choir.
Notre-Dame de Marceille
the name of the village suggests, the central focus is a Virgin Mary - but
in the case of this village, it is an enigmatic Black
Madonna, whose history is more enigmatic than most. It is not the only
mystery of the site, as an enigmatic hermit
settled on the site, not to seek refuge, but more to guard over it.
Furthermore, there is an enigmatic link between this church and St Vincent de Paul, whom, the Priory claimed, studied alchemy here, as well as the enigmatic memorial stone of Gustave Vison.
Golden rains over Alet-les-Bains
In the 17th century, it apparently rained golden coins over a field in the county of Alet. A true miracle, or a convenient cover story for what might truly have occurred?
Espéraza: the curiosity church of Rivière
The church of Espéraza is rarely included in the gamma of churches that are included in the "enigma". Still, it is the church where Rivière, the man who took Saunière's confession, "ruled". Did he leave a legacy in his church too?
Bugarach: the magic mountain
Bugarach, an impressive mountain near Rennes-le-Château, has been the origin of rumours of alien bases as well as a mysterious death. But what is at the origin of this mountain's magical connotation?
An enchanted valley
Taking the road up from Rennes-les-Bains, we enter the Col de la Fage, the Domaine de la Salz, and, via the Route St Marie, end up in Cubières. All of these sites may appear to be distant from the actual mystery, but have all been visited by key players - and many of them left their imprint in this area.
The Galamus hermitage
The Galamus Hermitage sits at the end (or start) of the impressive Gorge of Galamus. It is a main tourist attraction, but comes with its own set of mystery, including legends of accesses to subterranean realms - ruled by mammoths?
Embres and Castelmaure
The community of Embres and Castelmaure is tucked away in the hinterland, on the French side of the "Mount of Olives". It is a community that should be remembered for the presence of Dr. Courrent, one of the key players in the mystery, but whose role - and presence - is often demoted. Why? Furthermore, Dr. Courrent is not the only enigma linked with this village; there is also a clear presence to Jacques Cholet, the only person ever to excavate in Rennes.
The tiny community of Palairac is not at all what one would expect when confronted with the reality that this area once had some of the most important mines of the region, if not France. In fact, one mine received a most mysterious visit of King Louis XIV himself.
Saint-Félix-Lauragais: the alpha and the omega?
The town of Saint-Felix-Lauragais is of paramount importance to Catharism in France. It is the very castle that was bought by Noel Corbu after the Villa Bethania. But there is more...
Mary Magdalene of Pezens
In the middle of a road, just outside of Pezens, sits a small chapel, dedicated to Mary Magdalene. It underlines the importance and role this saint played in the region.