The Knights Templar, originally the Poor Knights of Christ, remain among the most fabled groups of lore, literature and movies, and were thought to be anything but poor. The Knights held great wealth and military power for nearly 200 years in The Middle Ages. The Templar Knights who fought in the Crusades, known for their white mantles emblazoned with a red cross, were known for their bravery and battlefield prowess. Non-combat member of the Order were known for their financial and building skills. The entire Order is steeped in mystery involving treasure, the Holy Grail, and expert use of symbolism and coding. In every region of the world, the Knights Templar flags once flew above castles and houses there are myths and legend associated with each – England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Egypt, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic.
The Knights, noted in some sites in France as “Les Tempiers” or “Horse of God”, once a favored charity endorsed by the Catholic Church, lost support when the Crusades failed to win The Holy Land. Rumors of secret ceremonies created distrust. King Philip IV of France had many members in France arrested, tortured, and burned at the stake. Under pressure from King Philip, Pope Clement V disbanded the Order in 1312. The sudden disappearance of a major part of the European infrastructure gave rise to speculation and legends, which have kept the “Templar” name alive into the modern day. Some feel the mystery that surrounds Rennes-le Chateau…hidden Templar treasure…is not only probable, but proven while others feel that it can be debunked as a rouse.
RENNES-LE-CHATEAU, located in Languedoc, a former province in central southern France, in the present day Pyrenees, is shrouded in mystery, rumor, but based on fact. Documentation supports that in 1156 skilled workers appeared in the vicinity of the castle in order to explore local mountains in search for precious metals, which gave rise to rumors that this area became a source for some of the Templar silver and gold. One legend states that the Knights Templar, in attempt to save some of their possessions from the king, cast a large silver bell and hid it underground. Every year the knelling of this bell can be heard at night on the eve of October 13, when pale shadows appear from the graveyard and proceed to gather at the castle, mourning the demise of the powerful military order (source: KnightsTemplarVault).
MYSTERIOUS ALIGNMENT OF STRUCTURES: in ancient times, it was not uncommon for “sacred” sites to be built in locations chosen for a particular effect, for example the sun set shining through an aspect of the structure on dates significant to the builders, or forming a certain view from above. As previously noted, the Knights were known for complicated use of coding and symbolism in order to keep their secrets just that, secret. Rennes-le-Chateau, as well as Bezu Castle and Castle Blanchefort, form a triangle; Bezu Castle and Rennes-le-Chateau both are at 72degree angles to BC. Further, 2 other crags of significantly similar heights in the area; combined with the castles, for a pentagon – 5 being a sacred number in Templar symbolism. Some feel a pentacle, rather than pentagon, a point that will be explored further later in this article. One crag has a rock formation resembling the head of a horse, believed to be a reference to the Order as “Horse of God”. A fire lit on 1 of the crags can be easily seen from the others. Similar stars or pentacles, most importantly centered on the number 5, appear throughout the areas where the Knights Templar built structures, as well as within the architecture of these structures. The same is true of the horses.
The Knights Templar treasure was believed to have been rescued from Bezu Castle and moved to Rennes-le-Chateau under St. Magdalene Church. (source: Martha Neyman article on worldmysteries.com), others state it was buried on the cemetery of the same church. This treasure was thought to be obtained in Jerusalem during the Crusades. It was hidden then moved to protect it from King Philip.
HIDDEN CLUES: Further clues thought to be left regarding the location of treasure at Rennes-le-Chateau center around 2 parchments allegedly found within pillars of St. Magdalene Church, two paintings which adorn the church located there, with significant reference to the location and a seemingly out-of-place statue within the church. These clues are most difficult to follow; however, the clues from the three sources tie together closely. The parchments have been dismissed by some experts as a rouse to throw off potential treasure hunters. However, Neyman finds that, linked with the paintings, the structure atop Rennes-le-Chateau, and astronomical beliefs of the time, they bear serious consideration.
The parchments were reportedly found by a poor priest named Saunière in St. Magdalene Church on Rennes-le-Chateau. You will hear his name again. Decoded, there is reference a “key” in the two paintings, and features of them which hold great meaning in decoding the mystery. “Shepherdess no temptation” Neyman cites the translation as stating, “Poussin and Teniers guard the key…I by the cross and this horse of God complete this world guardian in the South blue apples.” This may seem to make no sense in modern times. However, remembering the knowledge of the times and the language being French, the words for blue apples were also used to describe the planets. This will come into play shortly. Translating further, Neyman finds reference to “the demon”. This could come into play in 2 ways: one, as Neyman feels, is by adding a space between letters in the original French we find “this world” as the translation. Another possible reference would be a reference to a statue within the church which is glaringly out of place – that of a demon, which will be addressed shortly as well.
Neyman believes that the parchments decoded reference a key given by two master painters. One painting “The Arcadian Shepherds” by 17th century artist Poussin is believed to be wrought with clues as to the whereabouts of the treasure. This painting has as its backdrop what bears a stunning resemblance to one of the crags forming the pentagon, or some say pentacle, of the three castles and two other crags. This painting also hides reference to the Hypaethral, roofless, construction which Templar used in the virtual temple construction which also includes Rennes-le-Chateau, the horse of God, and features the “Shepherdess no Temptation”.
The second painting, “Pas de Tentation” by Teniers portrays the torments of St. Anthony features reference to the “blue apples”, believed to represent the planets, as well as reference to the horse and the bearer of light, according to Neyman.
How does Mary Magdalene and the star/pentacle fit in? Mary Magdalene, reformed sinner and disciple of Christ, was associated by people of The Middle Ages with the planet Venus. Remember that at the time, the world was believed to be flat, the sun revolving around the earth. Planet rotation and revolution was as yet unknown. It was then believed that Venus formed a pentacle every eight years in its “travels”. It was common to attribute “as above, so below”. Hence the use of Magdalene with the pentacle formation of the 5 crags, the naming of the church after her, and the references to her in the parchments and paintings, not to mention the décor of the church’s interior.
Now for the demon statue inside the St. Magdalene Church. Shocking to most, to say the least! Looking at the demon, however, in profile one can see the profile of a chess style horse head…the knight in chess. Similarly, the floor tiles within the church were laid out in the style of a chess board, in reference to the Knights Templar, or Horse of God.
SO, IS THERE A TREASURE? The Abbot of St. Magdalene Church in the late 1800’s was Bérenger Saunière, who had found the parchments. In 1885, the priest was quite poor, living off hand-outs of his parishioners and villagers. In 1886, it is believed that he found the treasure, as he was suddenly quite handsomely wealthy, spending extravagantly. And so it seems that the treasure may indeed have existed, and the layers upon layers of codes, clues and keys deciphered by a poor priest.
Sources: Martha Neyman via world-mysteries.com, “The Holy Place” by Henry Lincoln, KnightsTemplarVault