History of the mystery and treasure of Rennes-le-Château and Bérenger Saunière, the coded church of Mary Magdalene, and the secret parchments allegedly found near the church of Rennes. Discover the truth about the treasure of Rennes-le-Château, the mysterious Knights Templar, Mary Magdalene in the South of France, the Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade, secret codes, sacred geometry, and more.
Treasure of Rennes-le-Château
The most famous treasure in the South of France is the one found just over a century ago in the mysterious village of Rennes-le-Château by a French priest called Bérenger Saunière - a man whose life did not seem marked out for mystery, wealth, treasure or riches. But today the mere mention of the name of Bérenger Saunière conjures all these words and more. “Everybody loves a treasure story’”, a journalist said. But this is not a story. This treasure is real. This mystery is real. Bérenger Saunière is real. And his mystery still brings people from around the world to what was once a lost corner of the South of France.
Bérenger Saunière was born on April 11, 1852 in the little village of Montazels in the Aude region of the South of France just down the hill from Rennes-le-Château and her legends of mysterious treasure. The first-born of seven siblings, he was a bright, intelligent, vigorous, handsome, young man and chose the priesthood for his life. At the age of thirty-three he was made curé of the tiny church of St. Mary Magdalene in the peasant village of Rennes-le-Château, which crowned the mountain just across the valley from his birthplace. Bérenger had come home. It might have seemed that he had been abandoned to a dead end with little hope of advancement, but he was to make a mysterious mark on history which still resonates even today with historians and treasure hunters alike.
Saunière had grown up with the stories of treasure and mystery which were woven so richly into the world of Rennes during his childhood. But – like his flock – Abbé Saunière lived with poverty and hardship. Yet, before his death in 1917, he had spent millions. The word spread quickly – the curé of Rennes-le-Château had found a treasure. But what treasure?
In this land of history and mystery, there were so many possibilities for Rennes-le-Château … could it have been the Treasure of the Knights Templar? They certainly had castles and commanderies nearby. Could it have been the treasure of Blanche of Castille? There had always been hints and stories of the possibility. Could it have been the Treasure of the Cathars – which some thought included the Holy Grail? Could it even have been the Lost Treasure of the Temple of Jerusalem? And – amazingly – that seeming impossibility could also be true! There is a mysterious trail through history which brings that Holy Treasure closer and closer to Bérenger’s village Rennes. And a possible missing part was, indeed, found in the 1860s. Where is the rest of it? A mystery…
When Bérenger died he left the church of Rennes-le-Château covered in extraordinarily mysterious symbolism. What was he trying to tell us? His ‘housekeeper’ Marie shared his secret and had promised to pass it on before she, too, died. But in 1953, a cerebral haemorrhage left her paralysed and speechless. The secret died with her and the mystery and its rumours of treasure remain.
Now, countless books and films – fiction and non-fiction – have been made of the attempts to unravel the mystery of Bérenger Saunière or find the treasure of Rennes-le-Château. And countless more treasure-seekers labour in the shadows to nourish their dreams of gold. Hypothesis – fantasy – wishful-thinking and greed have been heaped upon the natural mystery of this extraordinary saga. But beneath it all lies a bed-rock of solid fact which cries out to be uncovered. The truth lies somewhere within reach.
The story of Bérenger Saunière is not a fiction. Legends of buried treasure and unsolvable mystery have obscured his truth. He lived with facts and – like so much of history – those facts have been hidden, forgotten or obscured. Nevertheless, they remain facts – and they await their time to return to the light of Understanding.