To many, Rennes-le-Château commune will go on attracting attention for the various claims and mysteries surrounding its existence. The small hilltop village has drawn wide-reaching attention for the conspiracy theories connected to it and the 19th-century priest, Father Berenger Sauniere. Since mysteries and secrets draw lots of attention, it is not surprising then to find documentaries, films and popular TV crews visiting the area to discover things for themselves in the village. The story about the village spread so much that about 700 books have been written about it up-to-date. The village, as expected, has continued to attract as much as 120, 000 tourists from all over the world for a visit every year.
What could be hidden in this small village or what secrets are about to be revealed that many are so interested in its setting? A closer look at these puzzling questions will be a point of interest for all. It is thus appropriate for an article in this direction to help some understand the basics about the mysteries and conspiracy theories surrounding the village.
Rennes-le-Château is a little village about 5 km or 3 miles south of Couiza in southern France, specifically in the Aude area in Languedoc. It is a French Hilltop community that is today a beautiful place that many will love to pay a visit for its conspiracy theories. People might know much about the conspiracy surrounding this little village but it is also an area that boasts of high cultural values, natural landscape, and history. Sited in the upper enclave of Aude Valley and some 40km to the south of Carcassonne, the small village offers adorable views of the south-located Pyrenees Mountains and the east-sited Bugarach mountains.
The village is uniquely built with stone houses to still maintain its classic Roman outlook of the past centuries. The small hilltop village has beautiful surroundings with picturesque narrow streets, a museum, local shops where sales of incense, crystals, esoteric reading materials, and alternative artifacts are predominant. Rennes-le-Château also has many lovely restaurants for visitors to relax, wine and dine while on a visit to the village. Agriculture in terms of organic cultivation is also a tradition in Rennes-le-Château. Rennes-le-Château doesn’t look like the local village anymore but has kept on changing into a modern municipality in its corner.
The Mysteries Of Rennes-Le-Château
The excitement about Rennes-le-Château cannot be separated from the church at the small village, Father Berenger Sauniere and the purported treasures hidden underneath in the land. The conspiracy theories, sudden wealth of Father Sauniere, among other things in the village of Rennes-le-Château are pillars notable writers in the 1980s and later in early 2000 rest on to get their inspiration. Some books like the Holy Blood and The Holy Grail which became a bestseller after its release is one that has kept people wanting to pay a visit to catch the excitement live. Recently in 2003, Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code still remains fresh in the minds of its readers. It touches on the mysteries, conspiracy theories and the treasures secretly hidden deep inside the soil of this small village.
The small community of Rennes-le-Château got its attraction from various claims made in the 50s and the 1960s. This involves the Blanche of Castile, the Knights Templar, the Merovingians, the Cathars, and the treasures of the temple of Solomon which holds the treasures of the Visigoths. The Visigoths are believed to contain the Ark of the Covenant, and the candlesticks in Jerusalem’s temple which has seven branches (the menorah).
The mysteries continued in the 1970s and additional claims were made about the Priory of Sion, the Holy Grail, Rex Deus, sacred geometry alignments, ley lines, Mary Magdalene settling in the village with her offspring and the remains of Jesus Christ. Some notable French Authors have given some clues about the mysteries of Rennes-le-Château including Maurice Leblanc and Jules Verne.
The Mysteries Surrounding Father Berenger Sauniere’s Riches
Father Sauniere was posted to Rennes-le-Château at age 33 as the parish priest with no much money to spend. Those days, he would be regarded as being poor. He earned only about 900 French francs then. But suddenly, he was seen spending lots of money more than he could ever earn performing the duties of a parish priest.
Before this time, his carefully kept record books showed he was in debts. He was accused of mass trafficking or Simony in the religious terms by the bishopric and was tried, found guilty and suspended.
His expenditure at some point was claimed to have grown to as much as several hundred thousands of French francs which he also failed to declare its source at the trial. This all raised some suspicion about the source of Sauniere’s wealth. For a Priest who would spend that much but official earns 900 francs annually should have a huge supply from which he suddenly had much money to spend. He often gives the explanation that it was a gift from people but this leaves much to be accepted as being true.
According to findings, the locals reported he and his loyal housekeeper, Marie Denarnaud would dig at nights in the graveyards. There are records to the municipal council filing complaints about his diggings and troubling of the dead by digging on their graves. When Father Sauniere died in 1917, interactions with Marie, his loyal housekeeper, who also was involved in assisting Father Sauniere during the digs, suggested some treasures might actually be hidden somewhere. After about 36 years after Sauniere died, she told Noel Corbu who bought the estate from her in 1946 she would reveal a secret to him only on her deathbed that will forever make him rich and powerful. Unfortunately, her condition left her unable to speak or even write because of a serious stroke she had prior to her death. She and her master took the secret and the mystery of Rennes-le-Château with them to the grave and the search continues from there thereafter.