The mystery of the small hilltop village of Rennes-le-Château began with Father Berenger Sauniere, a Catholic priest that was posted to the village in the late 19th century and served up to the early 20th century before his death. At the time he came to Rennes-le-Château he was about 33 years of age.
The small hilltop church was in a poor state at the time and the little village located in the south of France was hardly known by people outside of it let alone globally as it is today.
The Transformation Of The Church
The impact of Father Sauniere in the small village of Rennes-le-Château began right from the church he oversees. Though the source of the priest’s funds is still a controversial one till date, the massive reconstruction works and the redecorations he made added a lot of beauty to the entire community. The church which was in ruin at the time of his arrival got a new look. He renovated the church of Saint Mary Magdalene, built the Tour Magdala and the Villa Bethania. The construction of his estate in the village after purchasing some lands made a great impact in the village as well.
The Hidden Treasure
The real deal why over 120, 000 tourists visit Rennes-le-Château annually is the surrounding mysteries of the village including a large number of treasures of gold purportedly buried in the land. This yet to be unraveled mysteries linked to Father Sauniere brought more dramatic changes to the village more than the construction works done by the priest in his lifetime in the village. The conspiracy theories about the buried treasure became more popular after his death attracting many to the area to boost its economy.
Father Sauniere, no doubt had a lot of contribution to the development of Rennes-le-Château but the secrecy with which he operated was what lead to the conspiracy theories surrounding him.