Nestled in the beautiful countryside is a small medieval castle village in southwestern France. Rennes le Chateau brings tens of thousands of visitors to the area since the 1950’s when a local restaurant owner began rumors of a hidden treasure. Along with the mysteries of the so-called treasure are the speculations of a possible alternate view of religious history.
The story began when the restaurant owner claimed that Fathr Berenger Sauniere had spent large sums of money. The source of the wealth had long been a topic of speculation. Some believed the priest found a treasure, yet others believed he was a spy for the Germans during WWI.
Noel Corbu was the Restaurant owner who wanted to attract visitors and so began claiming that Berenger had found a royal treasure inside one of the church pillars in the 1800’s. Since that time, writers, philosophers and others have perpetuated their own ideas of mystery and riches in the once small town. Renes-le-Chateau remains a major tourist attraction mainly because the story told by Noel Corbu was in some ways substantiated by subsequent writers. Other’s claimed to have knowledge of parchments and secret societies involving Rennes-le-Chateau.
One of the most famous accounts of the story is the recently acclaimed book and film “The Da Vinci Code” although the book never mentions Rennes le Chateau directly. The story is the same as religious conspiracy theories that claim that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had decedents that were connected to French royalty by a secret society called the Priority of the Sun.