The Baluster of Rennes-le-Château

Paul Smith

31 May 2017

The discovery in 1891 of the hidden vial within the baluster in the church of Rennes-le-Château by the bell-ringer Antoine Captier is itself only a legend, not verifiable historical fact.

It has been observed that the wooden baluster does not seem to date from 1891.

Also, this story was not committed to writing or given by interview anywhere by Noël Corbu. The story of the discovery of the vial in the baluster does not seem to have been mentioned in any magazine article or newspaper story during the 1960s or 1970s.

It seems to have been first committed to writing in 1985 in Corbu & Captier’s book L’Héritage de l’abbé Saunière.

However, a reconstructed discovery of the vial in the baluster in 1891 was featured in an early French black and white documentary, possibly from La Roue Tourne (1961) where Noël Corbu played the role of Abbé Saunière. If so, Corbu probably invented this story for the documentary and never used it again – until it was picked-up again by Corbu & Captier in their 1985 book.

Rennes-le-Château Timeline