The baluster, or support post, seems to have played an important part in the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery and l'abbe Sauniere's road to riches, as in all likelihood this is where the bell ringer, Antoine Captier, discovered a glass vial that he then handed to his priest, Sauniere. Inside the vial was a small piece of parchment. As it is only after this discovery that he begins searching the graveyard in the middle of the night, thus it seems that something on the parchment instructed him to do so. It is only after this event that he becomes wealthy and his grand building schemes begin.
If a glass vial containing a message was found in the secret compartment of the Baluster, then it could only be a very small one as the space is very small.
Top of the baluster showing the closed panel of the secret compartment, with a small glass vial I purchased laid on top to show the size that would fit inside.
Although the baluster is known to have supported the pulpit in some way, it is hard to visualize. That is until I entered a church and saw what must have been a similar pulpit construction as once existed in the Rennes-le-Chateau church on Sauniere's arrival in 1885.
Pulpit supported by a wooden post or baluster
Baluster pulpit support close up
I hope this helps you to visualize the pulpit as it may have once looked and how the wooden baluster may have been utilized.
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