Found, the Lost Treasures of Jerusalem?
The wealth of ancient Judea, sometimes referred to as “treasure of King Solomon”, was once kept in the great Temple of Jerusalem.
In AD 70, the Romans seized this, now called Treasure of Jerusalem, and put on display in Rome. Since then it has been known as the lost treasure of Jerusalem.
The Visigoths became powerful, conquering much of Western Europe and in AD 410 they sacked Rome.
As the Visigoths power declined, a hilltop fortress by the name of Rennes-le-Chateau, in southern France became one of their last strongholds.
In time the Franks became a major power in the region. When the last of the Frank’s great leaders Dagobert 11 was assassinated, it is said that his son fled with the dead King’s treasure. The son soon died and was buried at Rennes-le-Chateau.
In 1885 a young priest took charge of a small church in a village named Rennes-le-Chateau. The priest’s name was Berenger Sauniere. He was poor and had to resort to fishing and hunting to support himself.
By 1891 he had been able to raise enough funds from his parishioners to move the altar in the church. In doing this a hollow pillar was revealed. In this were found ancient parchments, which seemed to be Gospels. On closer inspection there seemed to be a code within the writing. With the assistance of other clergymen in Paris, Sauniere was able to break the code, which seemed to indicate locations around the village.
In 1896 Sauniere started to spend money like a millionaire, not only on himself but also lavishly treating the villagers. He funded the restoration of the church which he personally supervised. On being asked where the money came from he would only reply, that it was from rich benefactors of whom he could not disclose details because of the secrecy of the confessional.
Some believe that the code had led him to the lost treasure of Jerusalem. Clergymen were bewildered by his choice of décor for the restored church. Such as a statue of the demon Asmodeus, which stands at the church entrance.
After his death in 1917 many treasure hunters visited the village, all to no avail. So many, that the villagers banned digging.
Did Sauniere really find the treasure? If so, then did he find it all or is there some still remaining? If he found it, who did he sell it to? None of the believed artifacts of the treasure have ever appeared on the open market.
Will we ever know the answer to these questions? Perhaps, as some believe that Sauniere himself left clues within the restored church. For instance, the scholarly amongst you will know that the demon Asmodeus was the legendary demonic guardian of the treasure of Jerusalem.