'We can say without hesitation that there is a treasure hidden in an ancient necropolis’ (Georges BOYERS, 1967)
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Catholic priest Bérenger Saunière died in 1917, leaving behind the secret of his fabulous wealth. Only his housekeeper, Marie Denarnaud, knew the secret & she promised to reveal it to Noel Corbu on her deathbed. She said that it would make him very powerful.
Sadly she died without divulging the secret in 1953.
Speculation was rife after her death regarding the source of the priest's money. Was he a common law criminal selling masses illegally, or given the local history, had he found a colossal archaeological treasure, perhaps the legendary lost Visigothic gold? Or had Saunière been blackmailing the Church with some terrible secret? The evidence that points to the last possibility is Saunière's confession on his deathbed - so shocking that the priest who heard it allegedly denied him absolution and last rites.
A village 'elder' later confirmed that he had attended Sunday school in the village when he was younger. He said that Marie, after the death of Saunière, often taught Catholicism in the school. According to the elder, once after an hour of class, when she had finished, she closed the book, looked at the children and said, ‘My poor kids, if you only knew’ .
What ever did she mean?
This website was founded for the investigation into this very extraordinary story.
Like Saunière's colleague Henri Boudet we are trying to 'penetrate the secret of a local history by the interpretation of a name written in an unknown language'. All areas of Septimanian history, the old name for the Rennes-le-Château area, will be assessed - from the Roman occupation through to the medieval era and beyond to our modern time. Within these parameters we will dissect the region's local folklore and legends.
We will lay particular emphasis on the village of Rennes le-Château & it's fascinating sister village, Rennes-les-Bains. We wish to promote the study of the area's archaeology, art and architecture as well as its political and religious history.
It has to be noted that the subject area also has an esoteric dimension - with the prime meaning in our context being knowledge that is to be understood by those who are specially initiated or much more likely, knowledge that is of a rare & unusual interest. One must be alert to this not insignificant dimension.
The website quite naturally divides into the archaeological and historical investigations and then into those more esoteric pages. This seems to correlate well with the two 'sides' of the enigma - the archaeological history and the 'real' events of Saunière's life and the later possible 'ludibrium' of Plantard & Chérisey.