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Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Occitanie  /  Aude  /  Rennes-le-Chateau

Rennes-le-Chateau

4.2
Rennes-le-Château is a small commune approximately 5 km south of Couiza, in the Aude department in Languedoc in southern France.This small French hilltop village is known internationally, and receives tens of thousands of visitors per year, because of various conspiracy theories, about an alleged buried treasure discovered by its 19th-century priest Bérenger Saunière, the precise nature of which is disputed by those who believe in its existence.HistoryMountains frame both ends of the region—the Cevennes to the northeast and the Pyrenees to the south. The area is known for beautiful scenery, with jagged ridges, deep river canyons and rocky limestone plateaus, with large caves underneath.Rennes-le-Château was the site of a prehistoric encampment, and later a Roman colony, or at least Roman villa or temple, such as is confirmed to have been built at Fa, 5km west of Couiza, part of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, the wealthiest part of Roman Gaul.Rennes-le-Château was part of Septimania in the 6th and 7th centuries. It has been claimed that it was once an important Visigothic town, with some 30,000 people living in the city around 500-600 AD. However, British archaeologist Bill Putnam and British physicist John Edwin Wood argued that while there may have been a Visigothic town on the site of the present village, it would have had "a population closer to 300 than 30,000".
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