France Archive

In the footsteps of the Marys in France

Feature Articles –   In the footsteps of the Marys in France Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the ‘Saint Marys of the Sea’, is a small fishing village located on the French Mediterranean coast. Once every year, it transforms into a cult centre, as people come here in the belief that Mary Magdalene and her closest friends and family came to France. Legend… or fact? by Philip Coppens Archaeological excavations …

Rennes-le-Château: Building the Tree of Life

Feature Articles –   Rennes-le-Château: Building the Tree of Life Is there a hidden meaning to the work that Saunière carried out in the small village of Rennes-le-Château? Can one see the tree of truth through the forest of theories that have been created in recent years? And is the answer… a tree itself? by Philip Coppens Saunière spent a fortune on restoring the church and …

The Cryptogram of Rennes-le-Château

The Cryptogram of Rennes-le-Château  Available for Amazon Kindle, iPod/iPad iBookstore, Sony and Barnes & Noble eReaders   SYNOPSIS The small village of Rennes-le-Château has been the center of an enigma ever since a century ago a local village priest, Berenger Saunière, spent millions of dollars on decorating the church and surrounding buildings. For decades – despite claims to the contrary by some authors – no-one …

Mont St Michel: Gateway to the Otherworld

Feature Articles –   Mont St Michel: Gateway to the Otherworld Seen as one of the wonders of the world, Mont St Michel has a history that stretches back much further than the apparition of the archangel Michael to a local bishop. Legends and archaeology show that this tidal island has been seen as a gateway to another dimension, the land of the dead, for thousands …

Glozel: the fraud or find of the 20th century?

Feature Articles –   Glozel: the fraud or find of the 20th century? From 1924 to 1938, a total of some 3,000 artefacts, variously dated to Neolithic, Iron Age and Medieval times were unearthed from Glozel, a hamlet some 17 km from the French spa town of Vichy. For some, it is one of the greatest archaeological discoveries ever; for others, it is one of the …

Archaeological Trench Warfare at Glozel

Feature Articles –   Archaeological Trench Warfare at Glozel When artefacts unearthed at Glozel, France, in the mid-1920s didn’t fit the accepted scholarly explanation of human prehistory in that region, archaeologists engaged in a bitter battle that has still not seen a clear winner. by Philip Coppens The excavations near the French village of Glozel, a hamlet located 17 kilometres from the French spa town of …

Gisors: the cutting of the Priory

Feature Articles –   Gisors: the cutting of the Priory The French town of Gisors is believed to be – and was – the cradle of the Priory of Sion. The question is: why… and have we all been staring in the wrong direction? by Philip Coppens Gisors, 1188. A place and a date that with the publication of “The Da Vinci Code” has attained mythic …

Dynamite, Father de Coma and his abbey

Feature Articles –   Dynamite, Father de Coma and his abbey The region of Foix is notorious for being the Cathar heartland, identified by the citadel of Montségur. Some kilometres to the west of the town of Foix sits Le Baulou, a small village that seems to be as far away from the hustle and bustle of Rennes-le-Château as could possibly be… yet Baulou was the …

Chartres: the Virgin Mary’s Seat on Earth

Feature Articles –   Chartres: the Virgin Mary’s Seat on Earth Chartres Cathedral is seen as one of the most important Gothic cathedrals. It is a mystical place, where alchemists and symbolists have tried to unveil its mysteries – and pilgrims have come for thousands of years, even before the Cathedral was erected. Does that explain why Chartres, a rather small, unimpressive town, was seen as …

Carnac: A Promenade of Souls

Feature Articles –   Carnac: A Promenade of Souls The enigmatic stone rows of Carnac, on the shores of Brittany, have defied a comprehensive explanation. What could be the purpose of thousands of stones, aligned in rows? Maybe their very straightness is the answer? by Philip Coppens The furthest western point of Brittany is called Finistère – Finnis Terre – the End of the World. Beyond …