Paul Smith completely dismisses the 'evidence' [such as it is] for a temple buried deep underground in the vicinity of Rennes-les-Bains. Smith writes;

"Pierre Plantard began promoting a revised version of the Priory of Sion during the 1990s, claiming there was an entrance to a former Celtic sanctuary called the TEMPLE ROND ... by the ‘Roco Negro’ that was located beneath the Château de Blanchefort – dubbed the ‘Roc Noir’ or ‘Rocher Noir’ (Plantard had purchased parcels of land around Blanchefort during the mid-1960s that included ‘Roco Negro’)". 

Plantard maintains that the entry to the Celtic sanctuary of the Temple is BY the Roc Negre, actually beneath the old chateau of Blanchefort  'dubbed Roc Negre'. As anyone on the ground knows, the ruins of Blanchefort are quite a walk further up from the Roc Negre. And why would Plantard try to confuse the issue calling the actual temple the Roc Noir? Why a Celtic temple? As Smith said he thinks "The original source of Plantard’s TEMPLE ROND can be found within the material of his group the Alpha Galates of the 1940s -Vaincre, Number 5, 21 January 1943". 

He cites other Priory propaganda ....:

"... the Tarot Cards are used in conjunction with the Knight's Tour in the decryption technique to the Large Parchment as part of the initiation process into the imaginary Priory of Sion – and clearly the concept of the TEMPLE ROND was Plantard’s invention of the 1990s that marked the completion of the initiation into the Priory of Sion (Plantard had previously mentioned similar things in relation to the chessboard, the Knight's Tour and the Temple). [Viz] - In the ORDER OF SION there are three stages through which one has to pass (namely the Blue Lodges, the Chapters and the Commanderies) before one reaches the Arch of the 13 Rose+Croix, i.e. THE ROUND TABLE. To reach the Round Table one must make the 64th transition, that which defies space and time. Only then does one become the MADMAN or the FOOL or the BISHOP, whose cap is the MITRE. There are only two ways of making this transition from 64 to 1: either via the square of 14 (Temperance) or via the square of 15 (the Devil) as found in the 22 trumps of the TAROT OF MARSEILLES (Marceille). The Round Table is located at Le Roc Nègre near Rennes-les-Bains in the Aude. This was constructed from 1780 to 1782 by Brother DUBOSC at 28 metres below-ground" in the old mines and underground passages. A superb square-mosaic paving covers the centre of the floor. According to some documents, all that Brother DUBOSC did was to hollow out a chimney to reconnect with the Round Table as the usual entrance had ceased to exist by 1780 (and, indeed, had not existed for more than a century before that date).” 

Smith finishes by referring to the latest publication to analyse the idea of this Temple Rond - Stéphanie Buttegeg book Les Mines Légendaires Antiques de Rennes-les-Bains (A la Recherche du Secret Perdu, Légendes d’Oc, avril 2013). Smith said that her conclusion for the source of the TEMPLE ROND at Blanchefort were also the 1989 articles in Vaincre.

So there it is! Sorted! In a nutshell! Clear! Plantard was blagging it again and taking us all for fools. All modern archaeologists and historians would laugh at us for thinking anything different regarding a structure beneath Rennes-les-Bains. But hang on a minute! I have the book by Buttegeg. It is not at all as clear cut as Smith likes to present. Buttegeg said that after surveying extensive evidence which included unpublished historical documents, archives from Colbert, archives of Dubosc, private letters of the Fleury family, Plantard archives and the works of Boudet one had to conclude that:

"Everything suggests that there is a dark secret lurking in the bowels of Rennes-les-Bains! But is it a simple gold mineral deposit, a former monetary deposit or a sacred or historical treasure of an ancient temple? To discover this all [we need to do] is go back in to the history of mining in this country ... Whether in ancient times, the Middle Ages, the 18th or the 19th century, the mining of Baings de Regnes appears recurrently! Marie de Negre d'Ables and the Comte de Fleury jealously guarded these mines and Boudet seemed to attach paramount importance to them and more recently Pierre Plantard even talked of an ancient Celtic temple! Through unpublished historical records, we will try to shed light on this mystery, where ancient legends and realities mingle! "(Stephanie Buttegeg)

Therefore we shouldn't simply dismiss the idea of something important buried in and around Rennes-les-Bains. Buttegeg says that the importance attached by some families and priests to a particular mine, to be specific a copper mine near Roc Negre, makes it certain that something important is [or at least was] buried there in the minds of these people. Buttegeg herself claims to have used 'unpublished historical records' so by the very nature of 'unpublished historical documents' it means there is more to be discovered. The nature of many of the origins of the rumours and legends surrounding 'a treasure at Blanchefort' emanate from private family archives - this makes it very difficult to know whether there is any substance to the legends themselves! But clearly some people thought there was.

Ancient Legends and Ancient Realities!

Read this very interesting timeline;

October 9th 1644  -  Antoine Delmas born 

23/11/1644 - the [in]famous testament of Francois Pierre d'Hautpoul is registered by the notary of Esperaza, Captier. 

1646 - Blaise Hautpoul, son of Francois, has the church at Rennes-le-Chateau restored and in this endeavour is helped by Nicolas Pavillon [Why was Pavillon needed?]

November 1661 - Blaise Hautpoul goes to court against Nicolas Pavillon, bishop of Alet, to prevent the Kings troops (Louis XIVth) searching and trampling over his lands and mines. Blaise's lands and possessions included Rennes, St Just, Le Bezu, les Bains (Rennes-les-Bains), Montferrand, Montazels and La Val Dieu.  This long and complex trial will end in Grenoble in April 1666 to the advantage of Nicolas Pavillon, but [only] after the King breaks the judgments in favour of the bishop. This historical fact deserves to be noted as  Louis XIVth and Nicolas Pavillon were particularly opposed to each other. Why then give a judgment in favour of his opponent?

December 1669  -  Antoine Delmas made a priest by Nicolas Pavillon

November 1672   - Antone Delmas made priest of Rennes-les-Bains

1678 - Louis XIVth's treasurer, Colbert, creates a mining company to prospect on the land of the Hautpouls.

1685 - Louis XIVth buys Poussin's 'Shepherds of Arcadia' from CA Herault.

1709 - Antoine Delmas publishes his manuscript on Rennes-les-Bains and the Great Roman. 

1832 - Auguste de Labouïsse-Rochefort publishes his book Voyage à Rennes-les-Bains, but possibly first written in 1803 - and mentions ‘The Legend of the Devil’s Treasure’. Labouïsse-Rochefort himself was admitted to the Arcadian Academy in 1832, commenting on the event: "A Shepherd of Arcady by the gentle inclination of my heart, I could not help but want to be a member of this illustrious Arcadian Academy".  He even referred to the land around Rennes-les-Bains as like Arcadia. Auguste de Labouïsse-Rochefort added [in regards to the legend of the Devils Treasure]  - "The annoying thing about this affair was that M. de Fleury, then Lord of the villages of Montferrand, Bains, Rennes, as well as the ruins of Blanchefort, wanted to bring an action against them for having attempted to violate his lands…" which echos suspiciously the trial of Blaise Hautpoul and Nicolas Pavillon some 200 years earlier! 

        The Delmas Report - about Rennes-les-Bains - which Delmas published in 1709 - showed that he had read William Catel (1560-1626) and his "Memoirs of the history of the Languedoc" [published in 1633]. Catel, well before the arrival of Nicolas Pavillon to Alet, noted the remains preserved in the church of Rennes-les-Bains. This proves the remarkable interest already expressed in Rennes-les-Bains in the sixteenth and seventeenth century's - with reports of ancient coins found on the territory of the commune. Catel had carefully reported an inscription on a cippus white marble stone which was engraved with the name "Pompeius Quartus." Later Antoine Delmas confirmed the presence of this pedestal in his office. The mystery of the Pompeius stone takes on an extraordinary importance - not only for Delmas - but also for Plantard and Cherisey in their researches about the so called 'treasure' at Rennes-le-Chateau.

         It was not just the local clergy who were interested in the area of Rennes-les-Bains. Outside of the circle of the local parish priest there were those such as Alexandre Du Mege (1780-1862) who reported that Abbe Bertrand Capmartin of Chaupy (1720-1798), an archaeologist born near Toulouse, had recovered more than 400 currencies of gold and silver coins in the region of Rennes! Abbe Bertrand also left some manuscripts on the Celtic civilization and human language - subjects that strongly interested Henri Boudet.  Du Mege, who had often stayed in Rennes-les-Bains, spoke of counselors at the Parliament of Toulouse who stayed at Rennes and found medals and coins. Jean-François de Montegut (1729-1794), from a family of collectors and a scholar himself, had more than 3,000 Roman coins including many from Rennes-les-Bains. He was also the owner of many paintings by masters including Rubens and Teniers which Delmas had personally seen. Delmas even offered a beautiful sepulchral lamp to the President of the Parliament of Toulouse, M. Caulet! 

         Paul Urban Villecardet, Count of Fleury (1778-1836) had a nice collection of coins and medals, objects that he had put into a small personal museum he created. He asked Mr. Du Mege to help him appraise all of the artifacts. In 1857, his son Henri-Paul Elie was awarded the Silver Medal of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, Inscriptions and Belles-lettres de Toulouse for his discoveries at Rennes-les-Bains - and his preservation of two wheels and various fragments of a bronze chariot found in the territory of the commune. 

         Finally, we should note that Alfred Sauniere [brother of Berenger Sauniere] was a member of the Archaeological Committee of Narbonne and that Henri Boudet knew Henri Rouzaud who was President of that Committee. Mr. Rouzaud made many study trips to Rennes-les-Bains and Boudet offered him several objects discovered on the territory of his parish: Vases, pottery and a beautiful gourd dated to the fifth or sixth century. How did Henri Boudet make such a find? (see HERE). In what context, archaeologically speaking, did Boudet make this find? One does not simply come across a fifth/sixth century gourd lying about the landscape that is so well preserved. 

In the Histoire du Trésor de Rennes-le-Château Pierre Jarnac (Michel Vallet) 1985, Jarnac writes; 

'It is known that the Abbé Boudet was heavily into archaeology, and because the village went back such a long way Rennes-les-Bains suited his passion admirably. Now a detail provided by the erudite Urbain Gilbert, who wrote about the Baths of Montferrand which became Rennes-les-Bains in a bulletin of the Societé d’Études Scientifiques de l’Aude 1973 volume t LXXIII, reveals a very characteristic psychological peculiarity of the Abbé Boudet. At the beginning of the century, during excavations at La Maison Chaleleau, a very beautiful staute of Venus was discovered. Seeing this goddess in her perfect nudity, the Abbé Boudet was horrified and would not touch it. An archaeologist from Béziers had to bend down to scoop it up and keep it as his own property'.

Blaise d'Hautpoul

       So we have the continued interest and obsessive behaviour of clergy and government officials trying to get access to the lands and mines of the local area. These people included Pavillon and Colbert [and in the case of Colbert the suggestion must be that King Louis XIVth was aware of these events on some level]. 

        The origin of the modern interest in Rennes-les-Bains seems to be with Blaise d'Hautpoul. Legends surface about a spectacular find of a hidden treasure in and around Rennes, linked specifically to Blaise and Nicolas Pavillon. Is this why Blaise goes to court against Nicolas Pavillon later to prevent the Kings troops (Louis XIVth) searching and trampling over his lands and mines? Did Pavillon learn something about the church of Rennes-le-Chateau when he helped Blaise restore it? One hundred years later Marie de Negre dies and a mystery begins around her burial stones. Perhaps importantly or not, she is the last in the line of the family which can be traced back to Blaise d'Hautpoul. 

            A link for Plantard in all this is certainly Henry of Hautpoul. Henry had been born around 1642 and died around 1695. His father was Blaise - by then already a significant person in the Rennes Affair. Not only was Blaise also involved in high level intrigues involving the Fouquets, Nicolas Pavillon and King Louis XIVth - he is also said by Gino Sandri to have been involved in the creation of the second incarnation of the fabled Priory of Sion. Sandri said;

"With regard to Rennes-le-Chateau, the Priory of Sion established its seat there in 1681. The Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement (Company of the Blessed Sacrament), with the involvement of Henri de Lévis, was dissolved in 1665. Some ..... [of the]  followers [of the Saint Sacrement] joined  the Priory of Sion. With this origin we find involved Jean-Timoléon de Negri d’ Ables assisted by Blaise d’ Hautpoul. ..... the names of the Abbés Andre-Hercules de Fleury and Jean-Pierre Cabanié [should also be mentioned]. New provisions are taken on September 19, 1730 by François d’ Hautpoul and Jean-Paul de Nègre himself  - related to the survival of the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement. If we return to the Priory of Sion - their files indicate deposits of various natures including documents or objects of which some are extremely old & also I think - certain engraved stones. The situation is very complex. During the French revolution between 1789 and 1792 the “clandestine” deposits are bound up in order to put invaluable files and notarial acts in shelter [away] from the vandals. .... With regard to the Priory of Sion, some of these acts were entrusted to Maximilien of Lorraine, archbishop of Cologne. At the beginning of the 19th century, parts remained in the hands of Hapsburgs who, a few decades later, establish contact with the Abbés Boudet and Saunière. Why? It is a question of the exchange of documents. Another deposit is made up at the Chateau de Lys close to Lille. In 1938, Gabriel Trarieux d’ Egmont is invited there by the count of Saint-Hilier, great-uncle of Philippe de Chérisey. In preparation for the war which had been announced, the files, entrusted to Gabriel Trarieux d’ Egmont are moved to Monte Carlo".(

         Blaise is a very special case. Just after the year 1645 there was supposed to have been a discovery of a fabulous treasure by the shepherd Ignace Paris, in one version, and a shepherdess in a second version, on land that he owned. A writer, Labouisse-Rochefort, told the legend of this treasure - associated with a mountain named Blanchefort - that was protected by the devil. The legend dated back to the late eighteenth century and takes place in the castle of Blanchefort, located a few miles from Rennes-les-Bains. 

       This devil's treasure was 19 & a half million gold coins and a shepherdess surprised him one day when he was counting out his gold coins. By the time the villagers were called to see the spectacle the devil and the treasure had disappeared. The farmers appealed to a sorcerer in Limoux to enter into a relationship with Satan to recover the treasure, which he accepted only on the condition that he be assisted by his countrymen, but the 'sorcerer' could not count on their support because they fled frightened, after hearing the noise made by the demon. The experiment was abandoned. Since then, a [or] the devil is always central to the treasure hidden in the ruins of Blanchefort. Another 'version' of the legend tells that in 1645 a shepherd of Rennes-le-Château named Ignace Paris had lost one of his sheep. When he saw that it had disappeared, he decided to go looking for it and thanks to the bleating of the animal, he spotted it in the bottom of a hole. He cautiously descended into the hole and found himself in a cave. The animal was there but so too were many skeletons and then the shepherd noticed that the ground was covered with gold. Paris, without hesitation, filled his pockets, his wallet and his beret and immediately went to tell his story to the villagers. After many questions, he refused to reveal the location of his find, and the people were perplexed by this story of rapid fortune, and they, believing he had done some trading with the devil, stoned him. The treasure of Paris remained buried deep in a crevice.  And yet another variation of this story says that Henry Hautpoul, eager to know where the treasure was buried - had the shepherd tortured to answer questions about the find but the shepherd died of his torture/injuries without revealing his secret. 

       So we have several legends concerning the Hautpoul family, specifically Blaise Hautpoul and Henry Hautpoul, father and son respectively. One revolves around Blanchefort and Rennes-les-Bains and a shepherdess, the other a shepherd and Rennes-le-Chateau. Interestingly it seems that Henry Hautpoul, according to the legend, did not know where the treasure was buried. We certainly have treasure stories and important people looking for it or finding it. Is there no smoke without fire?

Cherisey jazzed up these stories with the following assertions:

""The BEAUSOLEIL couple managed to persuade Louis XIV that there was a gold depot dépôt in ROCKO-NEGRO near Rennes-les-Bains, where stood the ruins of the famous Blanchefort castle belonging to Blaise I d’HAUPOUL. Nothing should have allowed the Royal power to dig up someone else's property. By chance, however, Blaise d’Haupoul had asked to reclaim the title of marquis de Blanchefort. Everything was set to proceed quickly on one side and very slowly on the other. In 1644, owing to Colbert's efforts, a team of German or Scandinavian miners landed at Rocko-Negro and started digging long tunnels which are still visible today. These workers spoke a language unknown to the occitans and [they] lived in camps on the spot: discretion was thus assured.

Meanwhile, Blaise d’Haupoul is informed that all is well regarding the marquisat of Blanchefort, but he is discretely dispossessed of Rocko-Negro where stands the BLANCHEFORT castle. On January 4th 1669, the Haupouls are made Marquis de Blanchefort. The trick had been to baptise "château de Blanchefort" - a mere pillbox measuring 2 by 3 m. at the top of a rock bearing the name Coume les Bains. The gold mining failed in 1667 and the miners decamped. In 1698, Abbé André-Hercule de Fleury, aged 46 and aumônier to the Queen, is offered Rocko-Negro with its mines and, as a bonus, the Bishopric of Fréjus. He will also become tutor to the future Louis XV and will thereafter be appointed Cardinal. His Eminence dies in 1743 and bequeathes all his estate to his sister Marie, wife of Bernardin de ROSSET, who receives the title of Duc de Fleury, as well as the land of Rocko-Negro. There is thus still hope of reopening the antique gold mines. Through a deed signed in Limoux on June 1st 1750, André-Hercule de Rosset, duc de Fleury, Pair of France, lieutenant-general in the King's army, governor of the city and citadel of STENAY, lieutenant-general of Lorraine and Barrois, seneschal of Limoux and Carcassonne, passed on to Jean XVIII des PLANTARD this famous Rocko-Negro. This famous Jean Plantard, it must be said, had married his niece, Madeleine de Rosset...

At the Révolution, through a deed signed in Limoux on February 6th 1792, the Plantards sell to the FLAMAND'S the right to exploit the lands of ROC-NEGRE. Through another deed signed in Limoux on January 26th 1967, Pierre PLANTARD, buys back his property. In 1767, Gabrielle de Haupoul-Blanchefort marries Marquis Paul-Vincent de Fleury -just a homonym of Fleury, the Duke - who, through his wife, will come into possession of Bains de Rennes and Montferrand. So, the names of Stenay and Rennes are once more joined together through the Duke of FLEURY."

What is interesting is that Marie, wife of Bernardin de Rosset links directly to the Fleury family at the heart of Rennes les Bains. In the book LES DESSOUS D'UNE AMBITION POLITIQUE ( MATHIEU PAOLI), in the original 1973 publication it states on page 37 (in relation to Paul Francois - Vincent de Fleury):

'the nobility dictionary indicates that the family of the Fleury is a Languedocian familly, with obscure precise origins. In the Spainish archives,  it is mentioned that a Fleury, was a commander of the Order of the Temple at  Carcassonne, at the beginning of the 14th century'.

   The other information given was the 'arms' of this family. This  was: d'or a trois roses de gueules, posees deux et un. A search on the internet turned up this family with these arms: 'D’azur à trois roses d’or posées'. This is said to be of a Fleury family which is listed in the '  L’Armorial de Languedoc '(i wonder if this is Paoli's Dictionary of Nobility reference?).  

And top of the list is this: FLEURY DE BLANCHEFORT. Information given is as follows:

I. Pierre de Fleury, Sgr de Dio,  au diocèse de Béziers, vivant en 1620, ép. Lucrèce de Rosset, dont il eut : 1.  Jean qui suit ; 2. Pierre-Moïse, chev., baron de Pérignan.

II. Jean de  Fleury, écuyer, Sgr de Dio, Valquières, Vernazobres, conseiller d’État 1661, ép.  Diane de la Treilhe, dont il eut : 1. André-Hercule, chanoine de Montpellier,  évêque de Fréjus 1699, aumônier de Louis XIV et prérepteur de Louis XV 1715,  archevêque de Paris, ministre d’État 1726, cardinal 1726, membre de l’Acadé-  111ie française 1717 ; 2. Gabriel, baron de Pérignan ; 3. Henri, Sgr de Dio,  Valquières, Vernazobres, Prades, qui testa le 5 1Hai 1713 et mourut sans enfants ; 4. Diane-Marie, supérieure des Ursulines de Lodève, morte au mois de janv.  1732 ; 5. Marie, alliée le 24 janv. 1680 avec Bernardin de Rosset, Sgr de  Bocozel et de Ceilhes. Jean-Hercule de Rosset, Marquis de Rocozel, qui naquit de  cette union, fut élevé par lett. pat. de Louis XV en forme d’édit, mars 1736, à la dignité de duc et pair de France, sous 1a dénomination de duc de Fleury.

the Rosset de Fleury family is listed too.

D’azur à la fasce d’or accompagnée en chef d’une hermine accostée de trois croissants d’argent mal ordonnés, et d’un château d’argent ajouré et maçonné de sable en pointe.

La maison de Fleury est originaire de Savoie. Elle vint s’établir en France vers le milieu du XIIe siècle et fût maintenue dans sa noblesse, « déclarée noble et issue de noble race et lignée, »  par arrêt de la cour des ajdes de Montpellier, le 24 novembre 1751. (Archiv. de  la cour imp. de Montpellier) Sa filiation authentique a été établie par l’arrêt  précité depuis.

I. Jean-Baptiste de Fleury, capitaine aux gardes du duc de  Savoie, ép. N... d’Alphonse, dont il eut :

II. Jean de Fleury, colonel dans  les troupes du duc de Savoie, chevalier du grand Ordre de Savoie, ép. le 6 mai 1593 Marguerite de Guicheneau, dont il eut :

III. Luc de Fleury, capitaine  dans les troupes de S.A. le prince de Piémont, passa en la même qualité au  service de la France, ép. le 13 sept. 1644 à Saint-Donat, en Dauphiné,  Philippine de Belle, dont il eut : 1. Françoise ; 2. Henriette ; 3. et

IV. Jean-Baptiste de Fleury, capitaine au régimentt de la  Reine 1689, ép. le 8 janv. 1697 Marguerite de Rosset, dont il eut; 

V. Paul-François de Fleury, co-Sgr de Caux, D. de Béziers, maintenu  en cette qualité par la cour des aides de Montpellier du 24 novembre 1751, avait  ép. le 26 juin 1731 Christine de Bedos de Celles, dont il eut : 1.  Marie-Christine ; 2 Marie ; 3. Jeanne-Gabrielle ; 4. Paule-Henriette ; 5.  Paul-François-Vincent qui suit ; 6. Charles-Joseph.

VI. Paul-François-Vincent de Fleury, co-Sgr de Caux, Sgr de  Rennes-les-Bains, Montferrand, Bézis, marquis de Blanchefort au diocèse d’Aleth,  lieut. au régt de la Couronne, assista au siége de Maestricht, ép. le 13 sept.  1767 Marie-Anne-Gabrielle-Élisabeth d’Hautpoul, fille de François d’Hautpoul,  baron de Rennes-les-Bains, Sgr de Montferrand, Bézis, marquis de Blanchefort, décédé sans postérité mâle. Il eut de son mariage : 1.  Christine-Fortunée-Victoire-Élisabeth ; 2. Paul-Luc-Melchior qui suit ; 3. Jean-Baptiste-Vincent-Éléonor, mort en Espagne ; 4. Henri-Prosper-Guillaume,  garde du corps du roi d’Espagne, chev. de Saint-Louis ; 5. Justine-Victoire ; 6.  Paul-Urbain, qui a fait la Br. B.VII. Paul-Luc-Melchior de Fleury, marquis de Blanchefort, chev. de Saint-Louis 1815, chef de bataillon, ép. à la Martinique en 1809  Suzanne-Claire-Rose d’Astorg, dont il eut :

VIII. Paul-François-Élie-Arnans-Prosper de Fleury, marquis de  Fleury Blanchefort, officier de cavalerie, membre du comité consultatif des  colonies, préfet de la Lozère, chev. de la Lég. d’honn., commandeur de Saint-Grégoire le Grand, ép. le 1er avril 1845 Claire-Hélène d’Hautpoul Félines,  dont : 1. Marie-Alexandrine-Sophie-Rose, née lé 11 janv. 1846 ; 2.  Marguerite-Claire, née le 10 octobre 1841 ; 3. Prospérie-Gabrielle, née le 25  juin 1849 ; 4. Marie-Dominique-Olivier, né le 15 mars 1851. Br. B.

VII  Paul-Urbain de Fleury, ép. le 21 avril 1818 Henriette de Girous des -Ondes, dont  il eut : 1. Henri-Paul-Elie qui suit ; 2. Alexandrine-Guilhelmine ; 3. Juliette  ;,4. Élie-Félix-Casimir ; 5. Zoé-Gabrielle-Prospérie.

VIII. Henri Paul-Elie de Fleury, ép. le 1er déc. 1857  Anne-Henriette de Castillon de Saint-Victor.

So the Fleurys of Blanchefort originated in Savoy, and from the  looks of it were still in service to the Princes of Savoy until the mid-1600s.  Look at the name of Paul-François-Vincent's grandmother -  Marguerite de Rosset. A quick check reveals her to be the  daughter of Bernardin de Rosset and Marie de Fleury, the sister of Cardinal  Fleury.  Ergo - although the two Fleury families have different origins,  there was a union between them by marriage. Paul-François-Vincent was thus  indeed the great-grandnephew of Cardinal Fleury - not via his Grandfather  Fleury, but rather through his Grandmother Rosset! 

        Among the many assertions here it can be seen that Cherisey is quite clearly referring to the machinations of various people trying to get access to the gold mines in the area of Roc Negre. One wonders if this is related to the legend? He writes  that the BEAUSOLEIL couple managed to persuade Louis XIV that there was a gold depot dépôt in ROCKO-NEGRO near Rennes-les-Bains, where stood the ruins of the famous Blanchefort castle belonging to Blaise I d’HAUPOUL. The  BEAUSOLEIL couple were Martine Bertereau & Jean du Chatelet, also known as Baron de Beausoleil and Auffembach (born 1578 Brabant/ or perhaps Lorraine - died around 1645, The Bastille, Paris). He was a mineralogist, mining engineer and dowser. In 1610 he married Martine Bertereau, the educated daughter of a noble family of French mine owners who accompanied him on his tours and at his work underground. 

At the invitation of Pierre de Beringhen, first valet de chambre to Henri IV , and controller general of mines, who had been granted the cession of the mines of Guyenne and the country of Labor , Baron de Beausoleil came to France around 1600 , where mining was almost abandoned. In this first trip, he no doubt confined himself to visiting the two provinces, to recognizing the nature of the mines and the expenses that their exploitation would require, then again traveled through all the countries of Europe.

At the end of 1626, the Marquis d'Effiat , successor of Beringhen, brought the couple back to go to the provinces to open mines in the name of King Louis XIII . The Beausoleil couple then returned to France in the company of German miners and founders. They will then travel the southwest, Languedoc , Provence and Brittany , identifying mines and deposits, starting a few operations, an adventure that they finance with their own funds. Jean du Châtelet published two works in Latin in 1627.

That same year, in Morlaix, they were to be the victims of a mishap about which the baroness complained for the rest of her life. Having left to prospect in the region, their home will be searched by a provost named La Touche-Grippé , derisively nicknamed Touche Grippe-Minon by the baroness in her writings. At the time, the methods and instruments used appeared to be suspect, bordering on magic or witchcraft . They will therefore be accused and then finally exonerated. However, all the seized business, jewels, samples of minerals, various papers listing the places of mines and the tests carried out, will never be returned to them. This will constitute for them a trauma of which they will still claim reparation in 1640.

In 1629, they left for Germany for a while and Jean du Châtelet had his position as advisor and commissioner of the mines of Hungary confirmed by the emperor, before being authorized to leave the Holy Empire . The eldest son replaces him in office. They returned to France in 1630 and resumed their prospecting activity in various regions.

Martine de Bertereau, baroness of Beausoleil, decides to write several works from 1632, including The Restitution of Pluto in 1640. She exposes her past, her way of working, her instruments and tools, her mining discoveries, her grievances. The work is addressed to the all-powerful Cardinal Richelieu . For any response and reaction, the latter had the Beausoleils arrested. Jean du Châtelet is imprisoned in the Bastille and his wife in the Château de Vincennes . They died there around 1645 and 1642 respectively.

The precise reason for these arrests has never been determined. Were there established charges that history has not upheld, was it the suspicions of witchcraft or the simple fact that the baroness's book could have offended or even shocked the cardinal, did the latter seize the opportunity not to reimburse the expenses that the Beausoleils had made and that they claimed, or did he even suspect the couple of spying on behalf of Austria? No one knows to this day. In any case, the exploration and the work of the couple, carried out at their expense, made it possible to revive the mining activity in France, which was strongly suspended during the Middle Ages . They will have discovered and listed a few sites whose exploitation will continue after them. Among these, the Pont-Péan mine in Brittany .

So Cherisey insists that the BEAUSOLEIL couple managed to persuade Louis XIV that there was a gold depot dépôt in ROCKO-NEGROAnd that Blaise d'Hautpoul - without realising it - was dispossessed of his land around Roc Negro and given a worthless title relating to land at Blanchefort on a mountain called Coume les Bains! Further in 1698, Abbé André-Hercule de Fleury, aged 46 and aumônier to the Queen, is offered Rocko-Negro with its mines and, as a bonus, the Bishopric of Fréjus.  Later, all his estates fall to his sister Marie!

      The Fleury's seem to be important because they received back the title of marquis de Blanchefort and married into the Hautpoul family. We know that searching for gold and other precious metals in the area goes back to pre-Roman times. And in fact Basville said: "The Romans had formerly excavated gold mines in these mountains. One can still see the openings in the rocks and their major works. But whether the mines were exhausted or that the art of finding them is lost, the treasures, if any, are now so well hidden that one does not think to look for them. " Lamoignon Basville (1685-1718). This pretty much sounds like this comment: 'Dialects and the names of people and places, appear to me like mines that are almost unexploited, which are the source of great wealth'. This is a quote by Joseph de Maistre, used by Boudet in his book, La Vrai Langue Celtique et le Cromleck de Rennes-les-Bains. In his book Boudet speaks of many things but we can say with certainty that the book is not really concerned with 'the true Celtic language' or with the imaginary 'cromleck' that does not exist in the region - which is referred to in the title of the book in question. Boudet later instructs us that what his book is really about is to 'penetrate the secret of a local history by the interpretation of a name written in an unknown language'.

        Boudet, that strange archaeologist priest who abhorred the finding of a naked statue of Venus in Maison Chalaleu and who was obsessed by an imaginary 'head' and an imaginary cromleck wrote: "the “tête du sauveur” [is] a menhir [i.e. a standing stone] preserved on this site [a hill above Rennes-les-Bains] and it is a [head] which is carved, in high relief, and represents a magnificent head of the Lord Jesus, the Saviour of Mankind. This sculpture, which has seen approximately 18 centuries, has given its name to this part of the plateau, Cap de l’Homme, the Head of Man, referring to the man par excellence, filius hominis. It is deplorable that we were obliged, in December 1884, to remove this beautiful sculpture from the location it occupied, to remove it from the ravages of a pick-ax of an unfortunate young man, who was far removed from being able to understand the significance and its value.” 

He seemed to confuse this head with another 'head' found on land owned by the Fleury family;

""Madame TIFFOUS,  born Alys GRIFFE, in 1886, at Rennes-les-Bains,  said: "Mr De GROSSOUVRE mining engineer in Bourges, Colonel TOUCAS, Périgueux, and my father Joseph GRIFFE of Rennes sought the veins of ore at the Pla de la Côte or Pla des Bruyères, on land owned by Count H. De Fleury. They found a boulder which seemed interesting, brought it to my father and the Abbe Boudet [of Rennes les Bains] to have it cleaned up and [we] saw it was a head. MARTIN, mason, on the order of Abbe Boudet placed the head at the place where it is still, [and] this happened around my twelfth  year, i.e. about 1898" and he wrote about his strange cromleck which didnt exist .... a cromleck which he insisted surrounds an ancient burial. In [1914] a British expert in megaliths - proposed a hypothesis that wherever one found a megalith it was often associated with a mine. Perhaps Boudet himself subscribed to such an idea, and was 'ahead of his time'? Might not Boudet be telling us that the true subject of his book is the secret of a mine bearing vast riches that can be located through a study of the local history, most notably by studying his Cromleck? And if you take together his meanderings in the local countryside and his falsifications perhaps in the cemetery at Rennes-les-Bains - we are indeed met with a priest with a message to tell. 

       His quote that his book is really about  'penetrat[ing] the secret of a local history by the interpretation of a name written in an unknown language' surely reflects the local history of people searching the mines in the area for something, whether it be gold or silver or lead or treasure! Boudet trudged the local mountain slopes removing something here, adding something there. He added and removed crosses. He even managed to carry off the above noted 'head' located on a menhir - because after all, do we really think an unknown young man hacked the face of a menhir that had already seen 18 centuries? [i.e. a date that would place the face on the menhir's origin back to the 1st century AD, the height of the Roman occupation]. There is a map in the back of his book, perhaps related to all the changes he had made in the landscape, detailing his imaginary Cromleck and grave, which he associates with the Resurrection. Boudet had written that menhirs are ancient graves and that a cromleck is always built around a menhir. So if we put things together Boudet is suggesting that:

1) there is a secret in the local history of Rennes-les-Bains.

2) there is an underground mine that is almost unexploited, which is the source of great wealth and might even house a tomb

3) his imaginary cromleck & menhir surround this ancient grave.  The grave, for him, is associated with the Resurrection.  

The actual Temple Rond

So now we come to the Temple Rond, that infamous "Round Temple located at Roc Nègre near Rennes-les-Bains in the Aude". Is the idea of an underground Temple in the area of Rennes-les-Bains only found from 1989 onwards and only with Plantard et al? Well it depends on how you interpret history. There is some evidence - archaeologically speaking - of structures underground, near to the spa area of the village that some thought might be the remains of temples and palaces. We know that Henri Boudet was aware of these archaeological discoveries in the area of Rennes-les-Bains - he himself found several artifacts, some of which he gave to his friends and furthermore, in his book he wrote he has a chapter called "LES ROMAINS ET LA SOURCE THERMALE DE LA REINE". In this chapter he writes:

"The southern countries of the Redones had long been part of the Province, and the Romans had built a temple in the valley of the Sals, and baths at the source de la Reine. A new village was built on the plateau of Villanova, overlooking the spa's north-east side. The Romans left many traces of their extended stay in the Cromleck, medals and coins of gold, silver and bronze, from the  triumvirate of Antony, Octavian and Lepidus, until the reign of the Emperor Gratian, whole amphorae, broken statues carved in white marble, capitals and bases of columns and carved inscriptions in stone".  

Boudet did not just pluck out of the sky the idea that the Romans built a Temple in the valley of the Sals. He based it on local archaeology and opinion. Dr Courrent reported that:

[…] M. Marius CATHALA, le savant archéologue et paléontologiste, ancien président de la Société 'Etudes scientifiques de l'Aude, croit personnellement à l'existence de la statue à laquelle appartenait la main à l'oeuf. Il situe même la présence de cette statue dans l'hôtel meublé CHALULEAU, à Rennes-les-Bains, au milieu d'une cour extérieure, où des sondages pratiqués par lui-même, ont amené de la poussière de marbre qu'il croit venir de cette statue. Nous désirons que le propriétaire de cet hôtel ne continue pas à s'opposer à toute recherche. Combien il serait intéressant, s'il est vrai que la statue existe, de la mettre au jour et de l'édifier sur la place de notre station! L'hôtel Chaluleau semble d'ailleurs bâti sur des substructions fort anciennes. Des réparations opérées dans cette maison en 1928, ont fait découvrir des fondations à gros blocs que M. ROUZAUD, ancien président de la Commission archéologique de Narbonne, attribue à d'anciens édifices romains, temples ou palais […]

"Marius CATHALA, the learned archaeologist and paleontologist, former president of the Society of scientific studies of the Aude, personally believes in the existence of [a larger] statue which [belonged] to the hand with the egg. The same [type of statue] was found in the furnished hotel Chaluleau at Rennes-les-Bains, in the middle of an outdoor courtyard, where opinions thought that the marble dust came from this statue. We wish that the owner of the hotel does not continue to oppose any research. How interesting it would be if it is true that [and?] we could uncover the statue and build on the place of our resort! The hotel Chaluleau seems to be built on very old substructures. Repairs carried out in this house in 1928, showed the foundations - in large blocks - that Mr. ROUZAUD, former president of the Archaeological Survey of Narbonne, attributed to ancient Roman buildings, temples and palaces....."

Remember what Jarnac reported; "Now a detail provided by the erudite Urbain Gilbert, who wrote about the Baths of Montferrand which became Rennes-les-Bains in a bulletin of the Societé d’Études Scientifiques de l’Aude 1973 volume  LXXIII, reveals a very characteristic psychological peculiarity of the Abbé Boudet. At the beginning of the century, during excavations at La Maison Chaleleau, a very beautiful staute of Venus was discovered. Seeing this goddess in her perfect nudity, the Abbé Boudet was horrified and would not touch it. An archaeologist from Béziers had to bend down to scoop it up and keep it as his own property'.

So Boudet was involved in excavations at the Maison Chaleleau! Under here were the structures that Rouzaud, archaeologist from Narbonne and who knew Henri Boudet and Alfred Sauniere had no doubt attributing to Roman temples and palaces! 

This finding of the statue of Venus was a source of contention. In a Priory document entitled "Au Pays de la Reine Blanche"  by Nicolas Beauséant (1967) it was reported:

"By collecting together sheaves of documents, historians were able to pinpoint exactly the location of a marble statue more than two metres high representing Isis. Here the evidence conflicts. There are those who say that probes carried out at the designated spot yielded white marble dust, others say that the goddess was dug up and reburied immediately afterwards. Others say that the research is entirely romantic. The owner of the house has not been heard because of the strong belief that a man has the right to bury Isis in his courtyard without consulting anybody else". 

Cherisey refers to the same event in his novel Circuit Chapter XIV published around 1971. Critias says: “There’s a statue of Isis, or La Reine Blanche (the White Queen), or Notre-Dame, or what you will. It was used as model for the Venus d'Ille described by Prosper Mérimée who says it was made of bronze although it is made out of white marble. The statue is two meters high but you cannot see it, as it is buried in the courtyard of a big house and the only proof of its existence is the marble powder which came from a probe". 

And finally from the book Rennes-le-Château Capitale Secrète de L’Histoire de France Jean-Pierre Deloux and Jacques Brétigny published in 1982 it says; "The importance that the baths of Rennes-les-Bains had under Roman domination can also be determined by the archaeological discoveries listed by the Abbé Delmas: a head of Jupiter, a head of Mercury, an arm holding a linen cloth, a hand holding an egg. Doctor Gourdon has an illustration of some of these coins in his Stations Thermales de L’Aude (spas of the Aude). They support the likelihood of the discovery of a statue of Isis, in the courtyard of the house of Chaluleau at Rennes-les-Bains that was reburied at once. Moreover they reinforce the hypothesis of an immense pagan temple constructed by Marcellus and which different authors locate either at the place called La Croix du Cercle or beyond the cemetery". 

Other finds on the commune include more than four hundred medals in gold, silver and bronze were collected in Rennes by abbé BERTRAND. Also found at the Fontaine du Cercle was a basin and some Gallo-Roman capitals. SAGE, in a paper read at the Academy of Sciences of Toulouse in 1746 reported [in the office of the late President CAULET] a "remarkable antique" - an object that was held by the priest Delmas. It was a sepulchral lamp which the Romans used." One wonders why it was a 'remarkable antique'! The Delmas cited here is the same priest who wrote about Rennes-les-Bains and the sepulchre of the unknown Roman. The fact that he [Delmas] had a remarkable sepulchral lamp that the Romans had used somehow conjures up images of Delmas already accessing some kind of dark crypt or tomb from whence he found this mysterious Roman lamp! 

The Hotel de la Reine of Rennes-les-Bains itself also appears to have been built on very old substructures. Repairs carried out to a house [near the Hotel] in 1928 showed "large block foundations" that Mr. ROUZAUD, former president of the Archaeological Survey of Narbonne, attributed to ancient Roman buildings, temples and palaces. Some of these structures were said to be under the current floor level. In 1799, when repairs to the source of the Reine were being carried out, a stone arch was found, collapsed in a pool -  16 feet long and 12 wide, and the bottom was paved with white marble and surrounded by a hard black shale and a beautiful polish. This vault was destroyed during the construction of the hotel de la Reine. At the entrance of Rennes, a little to the south of the spa station, a piece of land labelled Section B on the cadastral map of the town, in which, after some recent plowing, it was possible to collect fragments of pottery and vases of red clay of all forms and to which all had the characteristics of Gallo-Roman pottery. A little below the baths of Rennes, on the right bank of the Sals, there was also discovered the ruins of an old house with mosaic pavements, shards of old pottery and tile's. Collected from the slope opposite the Hotel des Bains de la Reine, shards of pottery of  various forms of crockery, glass perfume bottles, fragments of plaster of apartments, bones of edible animals, oyster shells and other shells. It is in this place that Louis PECH of Narbonne in 1844 guessed the location of a Roman house (left bank of Sals, at the upper entrance to the park). In the ruins of the house, crushed by a boulder, were further bricks, broken glass, animal bones, oyster shells of the Mediterranean, ancient manufacturing nails, a piece of thick greenish glass, similar to glass removed from the excavations of Pompeii.

So there are extensive archaeological vestiges and historical references to possible underground Temples or palaces perhaps beginning with a Roman origin. This is difficult to assess because up til now there has not been any official archaeological investigation's in the village.

In the recent work of Stéphanie Buttegeg [Les Mines Légendaires Antiques de Rennes-les-Bains (A la Recherche du Secret Perdu, Légendes d’Oc, avril 2013)] the author suggests that there is much more to the assertions made by Plantard regarding a place buried under a mountain. This is not just an invention of Plantard but concerns real life events carried out by Jean Louis Dubosc! Buttegeg wrote 'All indications are that a dark secret lies in the bowels of Rennes-les-Bains". Although a Temple Rond, Buttegeg notes, is not mentioned in the archives by name, there was some strange machinations in the mines under Roc Negre that she believes conceals more than just seems of copper. It would seem that Plantard had accessed these archives and developed a theme of Dubosc accessing a mysterious place under Roc Negre and combined this with knowledge he already had. Plantard even uses the measurements from the Dubosc archives to illustrate how far down it is in Roc Negre to get to that mine of importance!

And what of the antiquity of the legends in the local area? The oldest legends refer to the plateau of Lauzet. Lauzet encompasses Le Bezu as well as Rennes-le-Chateau and Rennes-les-Bains and the local traditions concern the fate of an ancient Visigothic treasure in and around Lauzet, particularly at Blanchefort. Medieval legends later involve the Templars of the area - who are said to have come to exploit and look for this Blanchefort treasure, or even to add another treasure to it! Along with these one may add new 'legends'. Lincoln et al reported in their book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, that Bertrand de Blancafort, a Grand Master of the Templars, conferred lands in the environs of Rennes-le-Chateau and Bezu to the Templars. In 1156, under Bertrand's regime as Grand Master, the Templars are also said to have;  "imported to the area a contingent of German-speaking miners. These workers were supposedly subjected to a rigid, virtually military discipline. They were forbidden to fraternise in any way with the local population and were kept strictly segregated from the surrounding community. A special judicial body, 'la Judicature des Allemands', was even created to deal with legal technicalities pertaining to them. And their alleged task was to work the gold mines on the slopes of the mountain at Blanchefort - gold mines which had been utterly exhausted by the Romans nearly a thousand years before. During the seventeenth century engineers were commissioned to investigate the mineralogical prospects of the area and draw up detailed reports. In the course of his report one of them, Cesar d'Arcons, discussed the ruins he had found, remains of the German workers' activity. On the basis of his research, he declared that the German workers did not seem to have been engaged in mining. In what, then, were they engaged? Cesar d'Arcons was unsure - smelting perhaps, melting something down, constructing something out of metal, perhaps even excavating a subterranean crypt of some sort and creating a species of depository. Whatever the answer to this enigma, there had been a Templar presence in the vicinity of Rennes-le-Chateau since at least the mid-twelfth century. By 1285 there was a major preceptory a few miles from Bezu, at Campagnesur-Aude. Yet near the end of the thirteenth century, Pierre de Voisins, lord of Bezu and Rennes-le-Chateau, invited a separate detachment of Templars to the area, a special detachment from the Aragonese province of Roussillon. This fresh detachment established itself on the summit of the mountain of Bezu, erecting a lookout post and a chapel. Ostensibly, the Roussillon Templars had been invited to Bezu to maintain the security of the region and protect the pilgrim route which ran through the valley to Santiago de Compastela in Spain. But it is unclear why these extra knights should have been required. In the first place they cannot have been very numerous not enough to make a significant difference. In the second place there were already Templars in the neighbourhood. Finally, Pierre de Voisins had troops of his own, who, together with the Templars already there, could guarantee the safety of the environs. Why, then, did the Roussillon Templars come to Bezu? According to local tradition, they came to spy. And to exploit or bury or guard a treasure of some sort. Whatever their mysterious mission, they obviously enjoyed some kind of special immunity. Alone of all Templars in France, they were left 83 unmolested by Philippe le Bel's seneschals on October 13th, 1307".

Stéphanie Buttegeg mentions a mine near Blanchefort in her book. She says "... pourtant sur le montagne de blanchefort non loin du roc negre sous le bloc erratique du veilleur  se trouve bien l'entre d'une autre mine tres ancienne. c'est la plus importante a notre connaissance sur cette montagne et elle apparait aussi de facon recurrente dans les archives du dossier felury-dubosc. cependant il ne s'agit pas d'une mine d'or, mais de cuivre - comme le prouvent les nombreuses pierres bleues et vertes jonchant le sol des galleries et la couleur bleue de ses parois. les textes ancien la nomment le minier d'ivry". 

"...Yet on the Blanchefort mountain near Roc Negro -  under the boulder of the watchman [Veilleur] is to be found another very old mine. This is the most important [one] to our knowledge on this mountain and it also appears to be so [for others] as it appears recurrently in the archives of the fleury-dubosc folder. However, it is not a gold mine, but copper - as evidenced by the many blue and green stones littering the floor of galleries and the blue colour of its walls. The ancient texts call it the mine of Ivry". 

[One wonders if the 'pommes bleue' may even be these blue green stones that litter the floor of the galleries!]. This mine has aroused so much passion in the past that it is certain, says Buttegeg, that it houses more than just copper minerals. But what? After all we know that the Roc Negre & Blanchefort mountain are the ones that gives birth to fabulous legends!!

Le bloc erratique du veilleur - one passes this as you walk up towards the summit of Blanchefort

Le Vellieur, also sometimes known locally as the Grand Roman, is located somewhere near an ancient mine called IVRY - and it is this mine which is suggested to have something more special buried beneath it.

Buttegeg continues;

"we do not know from where Plantard got his claims regarding [an underground Temple]. [Was it] an occult group working in the shadows to conceal everything behind the character of Plantard? In the official documents there is no trace of this temple, but Dubosc - why would he do such work then shortly after declare this seam poor? Would there be a share of truth in the revelations of Plantard? Was Dubosc looking for something in these places? Nothing really allows us to assert this with any solid element that will verify this assumption - only perhaps if we note the Fleury family preventing anyone from being able to work [these] mines. ..... if the only copper mine visible in our day is Roc Negre with [its] five galleries, of which the vein is oriented west northwest ............. the existing well to enter these galleries measure between 4 and 5 meters.... Would Dubosc have cleared the blocked well to try and recover the mine and then try to conceal the access to the temple, the Marquis de Fleury [following] in his footsteps? In these various documents, Dubosc would have started his mining operations at Rennes-les-Bains and more specifically Roc Negre at the end of 1781, according to Plantard this drilling for a well happened in 1780. There is therefore an obvious problem of matching dates. In 1780 Dubosc was elsewhere

     Perhaps Plantard had trawled through these archives? Why? Because Plantard in his Priory mythology [continued by his son Thomas] talks about wells, shafts and blocked entrances to a place of importance in Roc Negre, exactly as Dubosc had been doing. This 'place of importance' in the mine of Ivry involves the Fleury family and the de Negre family. As Buttegeg reported:

"On 24 February in a letter drafted by Fleury and most definitely addressed to Perraud, it is reported that Jean Louis Dubosc had made considerable work on two separate mines on the land of the Marquis. Fleury then drew up a memorandum for the conservation of his rights that he addresses to the Steward, hoping for acceptance. He explains that the copper mine is located in the mountainous part of or follows from the sources of the Bains, and he fears that their operation is [interfering with the source?]. The ancestors of the same Fleury were opposed to working the mine for the same reason"

    Buttegeg wonders if  "the ancestors of Fleury would refer to Marie de Negre, who was the mother of Marianne Gabriel Elizabeth d'Hautpoul de Blanchefort? Would there be a reason why Marie de Negre d'Ables and her family opposed the excavations of this mine? Let us not forget that the funeral stele of the Marquise was oddly coded and that this family is very important in the history of Rennes-le-Chateau, [said to be] possessing a great secret. Did they strive to prevent access to these mines? Would the family secret be hiding in the underground of Roc Negre?"

In one of the Priory documents Plantard reports: "We have completely reproduced the article of our F.·. NORBERTO, but however, we believe it useful to give some clarification on the DUBOSC affair.  Actually there are two DUBOSC affairs with Rennes-les-Bains:

        - one concerning the mining of the jet (jais/jayet) mines with Borde Neuve and that of the gold mines in Pech CARDOU pertaining to the Marquis Paul-François de Fleury of Rennes by his marriage with Gabrielle d' Hautpoul.

      - the other, of "work known as mining" for drilling of a well on Roc Nègre which lasted from 1780 to 1782, from which came the hot spring which formerly fed the Bains Doux (memoires of 1787 of the Doctor SOULÈRE, physician of Sournia), and which flows nowadays into the river, before the northern entry of the village of RENNES-LES-BAINS; the object of DUBOSC, was to remake a "way" of communicatiing  and joining the old undergrounds of the antique Celtic sanctuary, known as the ROUND TEMPLE.  Contrary to the legend, there exists in this place, neither gold coins, neither ingots, nor any treasure.  On the other hand, it is true that on the Roc Nègre there are two mines, one of copper and the other of gold, but the very small quantity of the ore cannot be exploitable.  Only the gold mine of Cardou seems to have an interest for the Company of Salsigne.

      Therefore, the Spanish documets on which NORBERTO drew his research, are the memories of the Abbot François-Pierre Cauneille, with the files of the Commandery of Barcelona (affair Fleury/Dubosc - 1780/1789). According to this document, it was a question of replacing the importation of jet coming from Spain and used at Sainte Colombes, by that of Rennes.

                                                                                                            M. Sangia

(from the Sept. 1989 issue of Vaincre, page 19)

Mention of those such as Cauneille refer us to other Priory information. Abbé François-Pierre Cauneille, a close friend of the Abbe Cabanié, had some involvement in the Rennes 'affair' & was especially mentioned in the Sennier letter, as one who witnessed on 11 Feb 1781 Bigou's memoire authenticating the discovery of  the tomb of Constant I by one Catherine Planel. This is the origin [according to Sennier] of Labouïsse-Rochefort's legend of the devil's treasure. In 1789 Cauneille is also said to have arranged for the removal of the Reddis Cellis stone from Les Pontils [cemetery?] by Guillaume Tiffou (after Cabanié had told him about the secret's of the stone). Cauneille was later exiled to Spain with Bigou, Mgr Cropte de Chanterac (last Bishop of Alet) and other clergy in 1792. Now we read that the memories of Cauneille are the documents that Norberto drew on for his research for the Dubosc affair. What a strange claim to make! 

Rather bizarrely, a text from the magazine Vaincre, numbered 3 and published in September 1989 - entitled 'The Legend of the Paris Meridian' again gives a somewhat different pedigree of the Reddis Cellis stone. Among other assertions this text alleges that;

"...the inscription on the dalle between Serres and Arques must go back to the Humanist Circle of Arcadian Shepherds of Lorenzo de Medici and Politian. It can be dated without risk of error between 1490 and 1502 like Arcadia by Jacopo Sannazaro or the work of Lucas Signorelli, The Kingdom of Pan, [see here], discussed by Fritz Saxl in 1927. The document of 1808 gave the Priory of Sion [after years of research both on site and in Paris and provincial libraries] the solution to the problem that arose at the time of the French Revolution in 1789. In it one reads: Confronted in the year 1780 by certain curious events, i went to Bezu to visit my colleague Cabanie who, like me, had just been appointed to this place. He told me about an engraved stone at Pontils being re-located to the cemetery at Rennes-le-Chateau on the orders of the Marquise. Tiffou was put in charge of the transfer by horseback in the autumn of 1780. My colleague Cabanie, who was an extremely cultivated man, confided in me the secret of this stone which, according to him, went back to the time of the Templars of Rousillon and had been under the protection of Pierre de Voisins". 

By the dates and connections has this something to do with Dubosc affair at Roc Negre in the minds of members of the Priory of Sion? 

       Lets us not forget that another hypothesis was attempted by Abbe Antoine Beaux, cure of Campagne -sur- Aude and friend of Sauniere when he was trying to fathom the mystery of this Reddis Cellis stone. Did Beaux have some knowledge about the Aniorts, Templars and Campagne-sur-Aude?  I am also reminded that the Reddis Cellis stone is interpreted by some to refer to the 'depot, at Rennes, of the King'. And in fact, both Plantard and Cherisey, in their own respective works, labour the point about the treasure of the Reine (read Queen but phonetically Rennes-le-Chateau or perhaps Rennes-les-Bains) and that of the King. Are they separate? Or linked in some way? 

         The researcher "Yves Maraval confirmed that he had documents.....his knowledge was based on the stories and traditions of his family of the Niort of Sault. Yves Maraval who has been deceased for several years, was convinced, according to the document he possessed that the treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau came from the treasure of the Templars of the Kingdom of Majorca (which included the Roussillon and the Balearics, with Perpignan as its capital). He also believed that the Pierre dressée des Pontils (ie the Peyro Dreto) was part of a triangle of reference (SAE-SIS ) detailed on the Coume Sourde stone discovered by Ernest Cros in 1928 on Hill 532".

         Michel Valet comments on the Maraval connection. He says in his "History of the Treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau" (1985 - p. 307): "... Indeed, through the research of Father Mazieres, we know there is a document of venerable antiquity which is indicating a point from the ""Pierre levée des Pontils". It was known from Count Yves Maraval, because his family seat being the chateau of Niort de Sault (Aude), an eighteenth century mansion [where his family archives were held?] .... Abbé Mazières explained to me that in the archives of Aniort was a document of the tenth century, in which it was indicated that the "Pierre levée des Pontils" looked to the cellars and attics of the king. " I have not however, personally seen this manuscript."

         What are the cellars and attics of the king? And which king? Does it mean the cellars and attics of a building, a castle, a chateau?  Or perhaps does it mean cellars in a natural cavity in one of the hills or mountains that the 'Pierre levee des Pontils' overlooks? It is interesting to note that in 1990 Plantard wrote to a researcher the following comment - 'I have not undertaken any  researches in the Caves de la Reine (in the Rennes district), nor in the  Souterrains du Roi ("underground chambers of the King"), so there have not been any researches or investigations on my own property'  which perhaps sounds uncannily similar to the 'cellars and attics of the King' in the Maraval document. Plantard bought property around Roc Negre and he says here that no-one had dug on his property where the caves of the Queen and the chambers of the king were to be found. If there is/was any truth to an ancient document in the archives of the Aniort family about the Pierre levee des Pontils guarding a particular area it would seem that the stone was looking towards Roc Negre & Blanchefort!

The abbé Mazières, historian of the Aude, and cited often by Franck Marie as having access to private documents held by the Aniorts - had confirmed that he received information from the archives of the House of Aniort which suggested a family document dating from the tenth century which said that "la pierre levee Pontils regarde des attics et aux caves du roi ". What is fascinating is that this document is said to link in some way to another document whose origins are seen with the Abbe Cabanié, abbé of Le Bézu. This might be interesting in view of the fact that abbé Mazieres later wrote about the legends of the Templars at Bézu. He also wrote a paper, "Historical Research in Campagne-sur-Aude" which has a bearing on later excavations at Campagne-sur-Aude, a small village associated with the medieval Templars as well as the Aniort family. Did Mazieres stumble upon information during his research?

         The new ‘version’ of the Priory of Sion referred to above with its founders Jean-Timoleon Nègri d’Ables and Blaise d’Hautpoul (d.1694) and Abbé André-Hercule de Fleury (d.1743 and who is the brother of Marie de Fleury who married February 1680 Bernardin de Rosset of Rocozels (? -1720), lord of Rocozels Bouloc and Ceilhes and whose later descendant was Paul-François-Vincent de Fleury) is said to be ‘a more or less direct successor of the Children of St Vincent and (probably) of the Company of the Blessed Sacrament founded in 1629 by Henri de Lévis’. The de Nègre line married into the Levis family.

        It is said that ‘In the spring of 1645, a shepherd called Ignace Paris found an unknown quantity of golden coins on the lands of Blaise d’Hautpoul, whose territory included Rennes. Blaise was an ancestor of François d’Hautpoul-Rennes, whose wife Marie de Nègre is believed to be at the origin of the mystery of Rennes-le-Château. Local legend says Paris was killed after refusing to tell where he had found the coins. What followed was a long fight between the Jansenist bishop of Alet Nicolas Pavillon, Blaise d’Hautpoul and the brothers Nicolas and François Fouquet. Nicolas was Louis XIVth’s treasurer, François became the bishop of Alet’s neighbour… Nicolas Fouquet wrote the famous letter to [his brother] describing a meeting with Poussin in Rome

“He and I discussed certain things, which I shall with ease be able to explan to you in detail – things that will give you, through Monsieur Poussin, advantages which even kings would have great pains to draw from him, and which, according to him, it is possible that nobody else will ever be able to rediscover in the centuries to come. And, what is more, these are things so difficult to discover that nothing now on this earth can prove of better fortune nor be their equal”.

        In September 1661, Jean Loret, who ran a magazine called ‘La Muze Historique’, wrote of a treasure found in the diocese of Alet (les-Bains), roughly in the same area (you can see the relevant pages of this magazine here: Loret worked for the Fouquets and the Duchess of Longueville who maintained an extensive mail relation with Pavillon.  In 1666, Colbert, who had succeeded Nicolas Fouquet as French minister of Finance, founded the ‘Compagnie Royale des Mines et Fonderies du Languedoc’ with the intention to start mining on Blaise d’Hautpoul’s land. In return Blaise was granted a status ‘de ne dépendre que du roi’: he was now only answerable to the King alone’ 


       Jean-François de Nègre, lord of Lacan (or Lacam), Jean Timoleon Nègri d’Ables - son of the precedent, was a priest and a member of the Academy of Science and Letters of Montpellier. François de Nègre, one of the brothers of Jean-François, lord of Niort, had a daughter, the celebrated Marie de Nègre d' Ables (1714-1781).  She married in 1732, François d' Hautpoul, marquis de Blanchefort, lord of Rennes and became famous following the strange tombstone which was allegedly left after her death. Jean de Nègre d' Ables was the last of the family (?) and he was uncle of the marchioness of Blanchefort. He fled in exile after having been accused of being an accomplice to the murder of Bernard Mongé, parish priest of Niort-de-Sault. He [Jean de Nègre] had been sentenced to exile but most probably remained in hiding in his château in Niort. The sentence was rescinded a few months later. The poor murdered ecclesiastic was found by the populace lying close to the church of Niort. 

          By her wedding to Francis of Haupoul, the Marquis de Blanchefort, Baron de Rennes, Lord of Bézu, Granès, Bains and Saint-Just, in November 1732, Marie de Nègre brought a dowry to her husband which was the chateau of Niort. Francis of Haupoul died May 15, 1753. Marie de Nègre, from this time, as a widow experienced a very difficult financial period. In 1756, Marie sells the lordship of Niort to François-Dominique Fonds, of Limoux. Marie de Nègre died in turn, January 17, 1781. The last rites were administered by Father Antoine Bigou, priest of Rennes. All of the securities and documents of the family of Aniort (which had remained for many centuries in the chateau Aniort) were moved to the castle of Rennes, in 1732, with the wedding of Marie de Nègre. Twenty-four years later in 1756, the archives of the family and those of the Aniorts fell into the hands of Fondi de Niort who then added their own archives. Since 1910, these records were to be found in the hands of the Maraval family, presumably because Yves Maraval's father had married a daughter of Marcian Fondi de Niort.

        It seems Plantard truly was chasing something under the Roc Negre. His son took over the reins, with an article published in Le Cercle as follows:


by   Jacques d’Arthuys.

The second paragraph says: the ARCH was posed on the surface of the water which appeared as the sign of PEACE and WISDOM in the turmoil, it was the token of the covenant, the guardian of the very essene of the tradition, its form was the true representation of the Hebraic letter: [Cheth] the generating movement of life, its number is 8, it is the "fence" of defense, the sum of its three sides is 22, its center is the way which guides the ARK towards the STAR.

        The ARCH was the origin of the foundation of the PRIORY of SION and represents its summit nowadays. Its composition is of thirteen members, the ROSE+CROIX, which meet in the round temple of the Black Rock,[1] according to the legend this place was formerly a temple of MITHRAS, its form is that of a half rings of 12 toises[2] 15 having 13 stone seats. Each seat is engraved of a letter, that is to say: AB URBE CONDITA. On the ground is a GOLD SUN of 1 toise 52 bearing these letters: MM CD XXX IV which is 2434 in Roman numerals, it seems recent, undoubtedly engraved by a HAUTPOUL towards the end of the 17th century. The old entry is obstructed for more than [number illegible] toises, a drilling opened an entry in the south. Nowadays the ARCH radiates on a great part of the world, it is to its summit that the chiefs of the States will come to seek PEACE.

PARIS, MAY 21, 1989

Would this seem to correlate with the Dubosc archives regarding opening up an old passage under Roc Negre; It seems certain that Plantard found out some information, whether from archives through years of researching, or from some personal information he received. He certainly believed this information and acted on it, buying up plots of land and a plot in the cemetery at Rennes-les-Bains. He left a trail to follow - as did Cheirsey. I can finish only with the quote by Buttegeg.

""Everything suggests that there is a dark secret lurking in the bowels of Rennes-les-Bains! But is it a simple gold mineral deposit, a former monetary deposit of a sacred or historical treasure of an ancient temple?"

For Buttegeg the galleries beneath Roc Negre, as from descriptions in the Fleury/Dubosc archives would resemble the picture below: