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Noel Corbu's Newspaper Articles - Original French Newspapers

Noel Corbu's Story Tape Text in English

Rennes-le-Château Film La Rue Tourne starring Noel Corbu as l'abbe Saunière

A short while ago I managed to get hold of a copy of the 1961 Rennes-le-Chateau film staring Noel Corbu as l'abbe Saunière, called La Rue Tourne.

Noel Corbu dressed as Berenger Sauniere the priest of Rennes-le-Chateau, for the film, La Rue Tourne

Noel Corbu as Bérenger Saunière the priest of Rennes-le-Chateau, for the film, La Rue Tourne

If Noel Corbu didn't write the script, he certainly seemed to have contributed heavily to the story portrayed in the film.

noel Corbu bt Rennes-le-Chateau Altar  n older Noel Corbu

A young Noel Corbu pointing at the Mary Magdalene church Altar and Noel older.

Noel Corbu was a hotelier in the small French village of Rennes-le-Château. In 1946 Noel Corbu purchased the former estate of the Abbé Bérenger Sauniere, the former priest of Rennes-le-Chateau between 1885-1909, and during Easter 1955 he opened a restaurant in the Villa Bethania, later also turned into a Hotel. The hotel itself faced some difficulties due to its fairly isolated location.

Noel Corbu Photographs

Between 12th and 14th January 1956, the local newspaper, La Depeche du Midi serialized an interview with Noel Corbu in which he claimed that Father Saunière had discovered the treasure of Blanche of Castile the wife of Louis VIII and the regent of the future Saint Louis. This story was repeated by other French newspapers, lending the hotel a mysterious reputation which made it popular.

La Depeche du Midi Corbu story

Noel Corbu's Newspaper Articles - Original French Newspapers that spurned the myth to a larger French audience

French Television later made a film casting Noel Corbu as l'Abbe Saunière called La Rue Tourne. The film covers Sauniere's arrival at Rennes-le-Chateau in 1885, to find the church and presbytery in a poor state.

Sauniere's arrival at Rennes-le-Chateau in 1885

Sauniere's arrival at Rennes-le-Chateau in 1885

Discovery of the Glass Phial

It is said that as Sauniere's bell-ringer is walking through the church when he notices notices something on the floor by the discarded Pulpit post. Walking over he picks it up to find it is a small glass vial with what looks like a piece of parchment inside. He then notices a small compartment in the baluster, and realizes the phial must have fallen out. Without realizing its importance, he hands it over to his priest, l'Abbe Sauniere.

Discoverey of the Glass Phial 1   Discoverey of the Glass Phial 2

Bell-Ringer notices something on the floor by the discarded Pulpit post. Walking over picks it up.

Discoverey of the Glass Phial 3  priest l'Abbe Sauniere

It is a small glass vial fallen from a secret compartment in the old wooden pulpit post. He gives it to his priest l'Abbe Sauniere.

Discovery of the Knights Stone

Much of the film showing the church interior before Sauniere's renovations, was filmed in San Salvayre church, as seen in the photograph below showing the discovery of the Knights Stone.

Workman begin digging infront of the altar

Workman begin digging in front of the altar

Workman discover the Knights Stone  Workman discover the Knights Stone 2

Workman discover the Knights Stone

Sauniere's Nocturnal Digging

After Sauniere's discoveries in the church, his nocturnal excavations begin. His housekeeper Marie Dénarnaud helps him.

Sauniere and Marie digging in the Rennes-le-Chateau Graveyard

Sauniere and Marie digging in the Rennes-le-Chateau Graveyard

Sauniere is digging in the grave marked by the Marie de Nègre d'Ables's tombstone with the strange inscription

Sauniere is digging in the grave marked by the Marie de Nègre d'Ables's tombstone with the strange inscription

Grotto Rocks

Sauniere with his basket of rocks collected from the Couleurs River

Sauniere with his basket of rocks collected from the Couleurs River

Sauniere allegedly collected rocks in a wicker basket, from the Couleurs River, to build his Grotto in the Rennes-le-Chateau Church Garden. However, no similar rocks that I could find remain by the Couleurs River and they would be far to heavy to be carried in a simple wicker basket, or for one man to carry some of the larger ones. In reality, they were probably delivered to the village by horse, or donkey, and cart.

Related Research Articles

Noel Corbu's Newspaper Articles - Original French Newspapers

Noel Corbu's Story Tape Text in English

Mary Magdalene Church Pulpit Baluster - Did it hold a Secret?

Alterations to Sauniere's original constructions by later owners

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