Rennes le Chateau Hoax- South of France
Amusing Tale About Ex-Pat Life in France
About ex-pat life in the South of France. A highly amusing take on the activities of both the local community and ex-pat infiltrators in a small French village.
Rennes Le Chateau & The Perfect Pentagon
Rennes le Château sits at the top of a hill above Couiza in the Aude department of France and looks south towards the Mediterranean, you can't actually see the sea but you do get some fantastic views through the valleys and foot hills to the Pyrenees. Nostradamus is a famous name that I am sure you will recognise and who was born in this region of the foothills of the Pyrenees.
The Chateau is famous on two counts, the first is that it is one of 5 churches or sacred sites that were built on hilltops to form a perfect pentagon with the centre of the pentagon near the locally known megalithic sites of Balancing Rock and the Devil's chair. In Plato's time I would have been put to death for revealing this little snippet of information but I guess back then they didn't have the Internet and took life a little more seriously when it came to Druid secrets.
The other sites that make up the pentagon are Bezu, Serre de Lauzet, the chapel of Blanchefort and the megalith at la Soulane. The pentagon was designed by an ancient Druidic university that existed in the region until such times as Caeser and other emperors of Rome eliminated the druids as best they could from the area.
The Rennes-Le-Chateau Hoax
The 2nd main reason for the Chateau being famous revolves around Berenger Sauniere who, because of a hoax, it was suggested had discovered some documents inside one of the pillars in his church at Rennes le Chateau in the late 1800's. The documents it is said helped him discover the whereabouts of some royal treasure . The hoax was pretty elaborate and involved planting fake documents in the national library of France. It was those documents that mentioned a secret order called the Priory of Sion that was supposed to have existed for thousands of years but had actually been made up as an entity in the 1950's.
The hoax became the basis for the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail which expanded on the premise of the existence of the fake documents the Priory of Sion and implied that Jesus and Mary Magdelane (to whom the church was dedicated) were somehow connected to French royalty.
This was then further perpetuated by Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, which, although not actually mentioning Rennes-Le-Chateau, did refer heavily to the Priory of Sion as the guardians to the secret of the Holy Grail along with the Knights Templar, not forgetting of course that this book is a work of fiction.
Following the release of the book and subsequent film of the Da Vinci Code, Rennes-le-Chateau had a resurgence in its popularity as a tourist destination.
If you visit, you can find plenty of evidence of the people who believed the conspiracy theories and actually tried to tunnel under the chuch of Mary Magdelane in search of Sauniere's treasure, even resorting at times to dynamiting the rock to try and get through to the chambers they believed existed beneath the church.
Wikipedia have written a very good account of the hoaxes which you can find here at Rennes-le-Château.
Magnificent views and Rennes le ChateauClick thumbnail to view full-size
Panoramic Views from Rennes Le Chateau
Da Vinci Code
Couiza and white water rafting
If you are a bit of an adventurer at heart and would like to take in a little bit of white water rafting or other water sport after you have been to Rennes le Chateau then you will be well placed because Couiza that sits at the base of the hill where the Chateau is located offers hire of rafts and various other canoes and modes of transport for the river.
Just up the road at Alet les Bains and Limoux are other companies that hire out rafts as well, but you need to know that the trips are normally organised through reservations and are pretty much resticted to operating in the months of July and August when there is less water about and the rivers are not so full and fast flowing, otherwise things can become a little dangerous.
There are also a dinosaur and hat museum, separate museums not dinosaurs wearing hats, at Esperaza for the less adventurous of you that want to make this a bit of a day trip. Esperaza is about 10 minutes from Couiza and about 20 minutes from Rennes le Chateau.
This is a map centred on the Chateau courtesy of Google Maps
Rennes le Chateau on YouTube
Sauniere's Treasure - Rennes le Chateau
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