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La Pyramide de Couhard

Updated on July 20, 2012
La Pyramide de Couhard at night.
La Pyramide de Couhard at night.

La Pyramide de Couhard, Bergundy, France

Many people may know of the famous Glass Pyramid at the Louvre museum in Paris, but another, far more ancient and mysterious pyramid is located near the relatively unknown French city of Autun. This is in the French region of Burgundy.

Autun, then named Augustodunum, was founded in honour of the Roman emperor Augustus. Previously this was the capitol of the Celtic Aedui, who became early allies of the Rome Empire. At its height the city rivalled the splendours of Rome in its beauty and still possesses a number of Roman ruins. These include two ancient gateways and a Roman amphitheatre. It is from high up on this amphitheatre that another mysterious ruin can be seen.

La Pyramide de Couhard, also known as the Stone Couhard, remains a curious monument. Repeated archaeological investigation failed to provide any conclusive explanation for its existence and it is now virtually ignored. Any daylight tour of this location will lead the visitor to conclude that this is a fairly innocuous place, but at night the location takes on an eerie feel of menace. This may be the because the Pyramid stands on the summit of a very ancient cemetery known as the Field of Urns.

The height of the ruins reached 22.65 metres, but local legend claims that it was once much higher, covered with shining white marble and encrusted with black stars. It is said to be the tomb of an ancient warrior chief. A twisting stairway supposedly led to the top where, on certain ritual days, a bronze urn containing the ashes of the incumbent would be displayed as the centrepiece on the altar of ritual. Unfortunately, what has been left after treasure hunters and subsequent archaeological investigations provides no clue to the veracity of that story.

Records state that a large urn was discovered during one of the earliest excavations of the site, but whatever happened to the urn and its contents remains a mystery. A 2nd century lead tablet of execration was discovered during repairs in 1960. N records exist of any further discoveries.

As for the identity of the warrior buried here, some accounts say it is Cavare, ancient King of the Gauls but the most favoured view is that it is the burial place of the Gualish chief and a Druid priest Diviciacus. Diviciacus was also considered friend of Julius Caesar and the Roman philosopher Cicero.

Not only was Diviciacus a Druid priest, he was also recognised as a powerful magician and soothsayer with a deep understanding of ancient Druidic magic and ritual. He possessed a powerful knowledge of nature and mind control, not only of physical animals, but also of spirit animals from the nether realm. Another local tradition tells that a demon was trapped and buried inside the pyramid, though whether by Diviciacus or the story is a confusion with the account that his spirit still occupies this pyramid is unclear.

What is known is that this structure dates back to the 1st century after Christ. A tenuous connection is made to the Knights Templar with a hint towards the background to Dan Brown’s controversial Da Vinci Code, which I personally give little credence other than as fiction.

Legends, stories and visits during daylight are one thing; visiting at during the hours of darkness is another. Visitors daring this have reported finding themselves rooted to the spot as if held motionless by some strange power. Other reports include the sighting of a strange creature, described as being neither human nor animal but something in between. Other visitors report seeing a strange animal, something similar to a huge dog or cat prowling around in the surrounding undergrowth, but they can never say which. Whatever is seen is described as being more like a shadow, somehow there but not in true physical form.

Legend that tells of a strange being that is neither human or animal being set to guard the monument, but if you really want to feel the power of this place, visit on the night of a full moon as part of a psychic investigation. When there, call on the spirits, work a ritual or maybe carry out a séance, but if you do, be sure you are well prepared with a full understanding of using spiritual protection because the beast that roams this place is the nearest thing I’ve seen to one of the hounds of hell. As one local butcher advised, take it a bone.

Whatever you believe, La Pyramide de Couhard is magically powerful location that, like it larger counterparts in Egypt and South America, remains an enigma with secrets yet to be revealed.


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