There is an interesting discussion HERE - on the Arcadia Forum - it is about the Tarot cards that Plantard designed and whether any useful information is encoded in them. This led to Wombat [nic-name of a poster on the forum] speculating about the placement of the Temple Rond as pictured above.
This discussion had set me thinking. I had always vaguely wondered how an underground temple would appear 'in the flesh' as it were. I mean, how can you look for something if you don't even know what it looks like?
I had gained a semblance of other peoples' ideas about this 'Temple'. Henri Boudet had described a pagan Temple in the Valley of the Sals .... and chronologically alongside Boudet's wrtings i had read about archaeological finds in the same local area. These finds talked of massive columns and other archaeological features. Dr Paul Courrent reported [in reference to the Hotel de la Reine at Rennes-les-Bains] that: "The hotel is also built on very old substructures. Repairs carried out to a house [near the Hotel?] in 1928, showed "large block foundations" that Mr. ROUZAUD, former president of the Archaeological Survey of Narbonne, attributed to ancient Roman buildings, temples and palaces" [my emphasis].
Boudet also had written at the time: "The southern countries of the Redones had long been part of the Province, and the Romans had built a temple in the valley of the Sals, and baths at the source de la Reine". He seems to be preoccupied with this pagan Temple which was later a Christian church. One he associated with the 'Head of the Saviour' & one which was 'set fire to'. We know that later Cherisey also wrote about a pagan temple which was set fire to and looted by Arab marauders.
This made me wonder - what would a 'temple souterrain' look like! In fact, what are Souterrains?
They are human made subterranean structures like quarries, mines, waterwells, road - and railway tunnels, underground aqueducts, catacomb's, military underground defence systems, troglodyte dwellings etc. The name Temple comes from the Roman templum which is a space separated from the rest of the world. It is a space on earth reflecting the heavens that priests have transcribed on the floor. This is sacred ground, inviolable and includes the building of places of worship built above as well as below ground. What is seldom known is that the temple is not only a building, but a significant portion of the actual space and dimension includes aspects usually only known to priests who were able to perceive it. This space was generally unknown to the faithful, which included the cemetery and rural chapels. These could have a much more considerable size geographically speaking.
It also includes the part of the temple below ground, where the crypts could be found, which sometimes had considerable dimensions such as the one in Apt, and other places of worship. These spaces invariably were without windows. This spiritual darkness helped to isolate the visual perceptions. It is for this reason that the contemplative orders use it. The capitals of the columns would have included no ornaments. The abbey church Valmagne (Hérault) is an example. In this way, the darkness and the silence enabled thought and reflection to enter and meet with the divinity. This silence of thought is also a kind of initiatory step, whether in the Eastern or Western traditions of religious thought.
There is alot of evidence for these type of underground structures. Here are some pictures below:
But by far the most spectacular example is the one pictured below. This seems to correlate with researchers' ideas about an underground Temple in the vicinity of Rennes-les-Bains.
This Church is carved into a mighty cliff overlooking the village. It is thought to have been carved around the eighth century [perhaps even earlier] & was considerably enlarged in the twelfth century by a community of Benedictine monks.
This large church found its origins in an ancient Mithraic sanctuary (this assertion is disputed by scholars ), and was probably transformed into a chapel by the early Christian communities. The original cavity is enlarged in the eighth century (if not before) and this period has remains of a baptismal pool carved into the rock, decorated with a Greek cross. The monolithic church at Aubeterre is a big rectangle of twenty-seven meters long and six meters wide, dimensions which make it one of the largest churches of its kind in Europe. It consists of an vaulted apse semi - cylindrical in shape - preceded by a wide nave, separated from a single aisle with a series of massive pillars an octagonal plan (at the base) to the plane square (at the top), and a long vaulted hall lined with crypts . Arches, cut into semicircular, total almost twenty meters .
At about fifteen meters, the church is surrounded on three sides by a gallery, a kind of triforium , which is accessed by a staircase carved into the rock. Formerly, this gallery was also accessible from the outside. A passage connected also to the castle church, located just above the top of a limestone hill overlooking the valley of the Dronne . The opposite wall, which reached six feet thick, is pierced by three large arched windows, allowing direct illumination of the sanctuary.
This cave church has a unique set comprising an imposing stone reliquary (6 meters), a masterpiece of Romanesque art, a pit of relics, an early Christian baptismal font decorated with a Greek cross and a crypt, prior to the Christian period (medieval stalls are still visible).
Enthroned in the center of the apse, the shrine draws inspiration no doubt from the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, as described by the first Crusaders. This monument, with two floors and its decorated columns and archivaults, in the purest Roman tradition.
Perhaps the Underground Temple alleged to be in the vicinity of Rennes-les-Bains is something akin to this church above? A massive structure hewn into the rock, dating back to Roman times, but used continuously up til modern times? If it is, it would also, according to Plantard and Cherisey be a very important burial temple because it is quite clear that there are important Roman burials there, as well as Christian burials as well as Arab manuscripts, the Gold of Delphi and the Gold of the Visigoths!
Below is a link to a virtual look at the massive structure at Charente: see HERE
Welcome to the blog of Rhedesium
My name is Sandy Hamblett, inspired and passionate researcher of the mysteries at Rennes-les-Bains.