Rennes-le-Château –
60 Years of Nothing Anniversary

Paul Smith

18 November 2015

It was way back in Easter 1955 – 60 years ago – that Noël Corbu opened his ‘La Tour hôtel-restaurant’ in Rennes-le-Château that led to the legend of a treasure discovery by the Abbé Bérenger Saunière, priest of Rennes-le-Château 1885-1909.

However, no ‘60th Anniversary’ celebrations were held in Rennes-le-Château. Does this signify “Treasure Burnout”? “Mystery Fatigue”?

There should have been special displays organised in the village showing all the items of evidence pertaining to the treasure and the mystery – demonstrating to the world that mainstream archaeology and the French Ministry of Culture got it wrong in dismissing this interesting subject matter as being fantasy and rubbish. Rennes-le-Château after all was the secret capital of France during the nineteenth century and its priest Bérenger Saunière had discovered the secret of the ages that made him immensely wealthy – the Carcassonne Bishopric and the Vatican trembled at the mere mention of his name. This was not about wealth creation from trafficking in masses – it was about something much more interesting than that.

When the French regional newspaper La Dépêche du Midi started publishing articles about the proposed excavation of the Tour Magdala in 2001, we were expecting the discovery of at least an old pair of Marie Dénarnaud's shoes that the priest had hidden there in a game of hide-and-seek. But the excavation yielded something even more boring than that.

The excavation of the Tour Magdala on 20 August 2003 produced the discovery of a large stone, not any “treasure chest” – thus demolishing the claims of one Jean-Louis Genibrel and his (so-called) ‘family tradition’.

The story of the Tour Magdala sums-up the last 60 years of Rennes-le-Château's sad and pathetic history – echoing the final statement made by René Descadeillas in his 1974 book Mythologie du Trésor de Rennes, that the subject matter added up to nothing at all (Tout cela pourquoi? Pour rien).

Rennes-le-Château Timeline