Research into Saunière's Mary Magdalene Church Interior
The Rennes-le-Château village church is dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. It has an interesting history and has been rebuilt several times. The earliest church of which there is any evidence on the site may date to the 8th century. Article includes a list of the past priest's of Rennes-le-Chateau.
Sauniere's Church is dedicated to Mary Magdalene. Three representations of Mary Magdalene's are located inside the church, one outside and one now missing.
Mary Magdalene - St. Roch
St. Antoine Ermite (St. Anthony the Hermit)
St. Germaine - St. Antoine De Padoue
Holy Water Stoup - Sauniere's Original Demon
Sauniere's Angels - Jesus and John the Baptist
St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary
St. Luke and Sauniere's Pulpit
The four angels above the Holy Water Stoup in Sauniere's Mary Magdalene church are situated above, depending on your preference, a Devil or a Demon and it is he who actually supports the basin holding the Holy Water. In 1986, Alain Féral who was at the time at the bookshop in Rennes-le-Château, found that the right-hand angel's head was hollow and stuffed with pages from German newspapers that dated from 1898, the year of the refurbishment of the church.
I recently acquired some postcards and two of them were of Saunière's original demon. The images are the best quality photos of the demon I have seen so far. Includes images of the vandalized demon and the demon reunited with his pitchfork.
There are two creatures situated below the angels and above the demon on the holy water font seen just inside the entrance to Sauniere's church, that seem to be the mythical Basilisks.
The painting of Mary Magdalene in a cave or grotto on the Altar bas-relief is the only artwork Sauniere is said to have personally worked on himself, and so presumably of more importance to the priest than the other decorations. If it was important to him, than it should be important to those attempting to solve the clues he may have hidden in his church decorations.
Saunière's Stations of the Cross Images, Research and Comparisons with similar Stations of the Cross from other Churches.
After dismantling the old altar, where he allegedly found some old parchments, l'abbe Sauniere directs the workman to lift the uneven flagstones that made up the floor of his church. After a large heavy stone slab is lifted, a carving is revealed on its reverse side.
The original Mary Magdalene altar support pillar seems to be, if the story is true, where everything began to change for Bérenger Saunière. Supposedly, he discovered one or more parchments, while carrying out repairs to the ancient altar.
The ancient altar in Sauniere's church was originally supported by two stone pillars, but now only one remains. The second pillar has disappeared, but I think I may have found it. Read the article and decide for yourselves.
Research into the baluster, or support post and the old wooden pulpit Sauniere had removed.
The 'baluster' researched here is important to the mystery as it is the second candidate for the hiding place of the parchment/s said to be associated with the Rennes-le-Château mystery. The other is the Visigoth Altar Pillar. But it is now commonly accepted by many Rennes enthusiasts and researchers, who believe parchments were discovered by Saunière, that this was were they were once hidden.
There is much to learn from this highly detailed Tableau. The Fleury Tableau, depicting the Sermon on the Mount, is the largest single piece of artwork in the church and is a three dimensional Fresco.
Coming Soon: The Fleury Tableau Buildings and Landmarks matched to Rennes-le-Chateau locations
At Mary's feet is a skull resting on an open book. Curious as to if there was any writing on it's pages, they may be another of Sauniere's clues, I took some photographs of the pages to find out.
Many people have sought the Crypt under the Mary Magdalene church in the small village of Rennes-le-Chateau, but little physical evidence of its existence has ever been presented. However, with the new scans taken with some of the latest available GPR technology, perhaps evidence of an entrance to the crypt has at last been discovered.
Paul Saussez has been officially appointed to prepare an application for archaeological investigations in the St Mary Magdalene church at Rennes-le-Chateau.
Publications Related To Abbé Bérenger Saunière and His Church
Printed and Digital Download Versions are Usually Available
The postcards sold for 10ct and seemed to have been place for sale in various places in and around Rennes-le-Château, including the nearby village of Rennes-les-Bains, where Saunière seemed to have done a brisk trade in selling them to visitors come to bathe in the thermal waters located there.
The postcards were purchased in an album from someone living near to Rennes-le-Chateau.
The size of the album is A5 with one of Sauniere's postcards reproduced on each page in excellent quality.
Size is A4 and features 39 pages of high quality full colour images of the Rennes le Chateau Church Decorations as listed below:
Berenger Saunière and Marie Dénarnaud
All 14 Stations of the Cross
The Church Statues: St. Roch, St. Germaine, St. Antoine l'Ermite, The Virgin Mary, St Joseph, St. John the Baptist, St. Antoine de Padoue, Ste. Marie Madeleine, St. Luke, The Holy Water Stoup (inc images of the original and modern Devil Statue)
Bas-Reliefs: The Fleury Tableau (inc full page images of the left and right Fleury paintings, the Altar.
Sauniere's Confessional - Stained Glass Windows
This publication has been said by some to be an invaluable research and resource guide. All of the images in this book were taken before the decorations were repainted in 2012 and so are how l'abbe Sauniere designed them.
Size is A4 and features 52 pages of high quality full colour images of Saunière's Domain -The Tourist Trail - Chateaus - Places of Interest that include:
The Tour Magdala, The Villa Bethania, Saunière's Mary Magdalene Church, The Church Garden, Saunière's Grotto, The Devil's Armchair, Local Churches, Pontils Tomb, Chateaux, the Ignace Paris hole, Boudet's final Cross, and lots more.
Many locations shown how they looked in the early 1900s compared with how they look today. Plus directions to the harder to find locations.
1 - Sauniere's Altar Grotto Discovered
2 - Sauniere's Bag of Gold, from the Fleury Tableau, Rock Formation Near Rennes-le-Chateau