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Ben Hammott's research into Couiza Church where its Stations of the Cross are said by some to be the same as at Rennes-le-Chateau



Couiza Church

Ariel Photograph of Couiza Church

Tucked away in the back streets of Couiza, the church is surrounded by houses. It would never be called an architectural masterpiece, but its charm is its own. It seems to be a very old church by the date of 1657 that appears on the front. Due to its close proximity to the surrounding buildings, decent angles to photograph the church are difficult to come by. Like so many churches in the area, getting access to the interior is not that easy, as they are nearly always locked, Couiza church was no different. An enquiry about a key holder in the local bar situated at the end of the street, resulted in us being led to a house at the opposite end of the street by an extremely helpful and very pretty woman. It was here where we made contact with a man who held the key to unlock the church door. He was only to pleased to let us inside and for me to take some photographs. He was even more pleased when I gave him five euros for his trouble.


Couiza Church Belltower

The Bell tower, the Clock and the Entrance


The 1657 date

Notice the stone above the arched niche with the iron cross. Like so many churches in the area it looks as if a design or an inscription that once adorned the church has been removed.

The interior was somewhat of a surprise. As I entered I was greeted, not by the sparsely adorned white washed walls I had seen in some other churches in the area I had recently visited, here every wall was covered in patterns. It had a similar look to Sauniere's Mary Magdalene church, though this one is much larger and brighter due to the many stained glass windows. Also you won't find any hoards of tourist looking around this church.

Couiza church interior

Couiza Ceiling Design

Couiza church Ceiling

Couiza pulpit

The Pulpit

After a brief glance around the church, I walked over to one of the Stations, the reason for my visit. After looking at a few my first thought was, as some have said, they were the exact same design as Sauniere's Stations of the Cross. Now this was a bitter disappointment for me, if they were just common off the peg items then it was doubtful Sauniere's Stations hid any secret clues or codes to anything, let alone a secret or a long lost hoard of treasure. When I reached Station 14 I at last noticed a difference, something that did not appear in the Rennes-le-Chateau Stations, three crosses on a hillside. (see Station 14) I then re-examined the other stations and started noticing slight differences in some. I knew I would see more when I had the photographs of both side by side to compare, so I proceeded to take photographs of all the Stations of the Cross and the statues. The differences are discussed in detail here: Stations of the Cross.

It was then I noticed the monument. An impressive piece of sculptor which I duly photographed. Moving closer I noticed the makers name, it had been supplied by none other than H Giscard.

The Monument - position of H Giscard indicated by the red arrow.

Close-up view.

Giscard is the same manufacture who supplied the stations, statues, etc, that we can see in the Mary Magdalene church in Rennes-le-Chateau. This is perhaps proof that the Stations of the Cross, like some have said, even those trying to debunk the mystery, were supplied by the same manufacture, and so one can assume, like the de-bunkers already have, the same moulds.

This Giscard sign appears in Sauniere's church. It reads: GISCARD - TOULOUSE.

Rennes-le-Chateau Statue by Giscard

It is situated on the left side of the white plinth below the two figures.

Jesus and Demon Statue information here.

The H. Giscard company was founded in 1885 in Toulouse where several Giscard family members worked. The firm supplied religious statues, etc, to many parishes, including the famous Carmel of Lisieux.

So it can come as no surprise when identical stations of the Cross supplied by the same manufacture, in this case, Giscard, appear in different churches. I have no problem believing that the Stations of the Cross at Rennes-le-Chateau come from the same mould as Stations appearing in other churches. What cannot be argued with, and I am sure there will be some who will try, is that Sauniere changed certain details in his. The proof is in these pages.

So why would Sauniere go to the obvious effort and expense this would have caused him. And why so strange and seemingly unnecessary alterations? Did he need to change certain details because he wanted to embed a series of clues or a message?

Clues that when decoded would lead to some great Secret or Treasure he himself once discovered and took advantage of?

With what we know about Sauniere and the way he acted there can be only one answer, yes, exactly this.

To begin looking at a detailed comparison of all the Stations of the Cross please click the Station 1 link below.

Articles of interest:

La Fontaine des Amour near Rennes-les-Bains

Château de Cazemajou in Montazels Interior photographs

Rennes-le-Chateau Landscape Views


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