The aude leaves 2

By Paula Smith


This place is more than a village on another hill. It was originally part of an ancient walled city called Rhedae, who, with Carcassonne, was an important city in ancient times. He also played a role in the legends of the Holy Grail and the Arc of the Covenant, as well as in the stories around the lost kings of the Visigoths and the Merovingians. The gold of the Templars was hidden in several of the many caves in the area. In the village church and the Magdala tower, new discoveries have been made. People from all over the world are studying the enigma of Rennes-le-Château. The area is dotted with ancient remains from the Celtic and Roman times. The interesting Madeleine Church in Rennes-le-Château reveals the symbolism of forgotten times, double meanings, secret abbreviations … Buying a brochure from the village bookstore is definitely worth it. Discover the enigma of Rennes-le-Chateau and visit the museum on the mysterious life of Abbé Saunière. Finally, the view from the top of the Magdala tower over the valley, where many historians, scientists and archaeologists still wonder, is unforgettable. Especially when you can see the snow over the Pyrenees on a clear day.

You can cool off at the Jardin de Marie, near the ancient and mysterious Rennes castle, sometimes called the Arc of the Covenant temporary resting place …


Rennes-les-Bains, located on the other nearby hill, preserves the remains of an ancient Roman bath. There is also a new bath house, where you can enjoy a wellness program. The small town is picturesque and on the Place des 2 Rennes, you will find a bar and a pizzeria.

In Rennes-les-Bains, lived and worked the most important person in the enigma of Rennes-le-Château, Father Henri Boudet. Its church is right next to the main square. His book “The True Celtic Language and the Cromleck le Rennes-les-Bains” has deceived many in the last hundred years. Some believe that there is a complete Kabbalah-type tree of life, carefully placed in the valley surrounding Rennes-les-Bains, including the basic principles of Hermetica. This ancient knowledge was threatened during the 1500 early years of Christianity and at the time, it was believed that by concealing its principles and knowledge in the landscape, like a tattoo on the skin of the mother goddess herself, she was the only way she could survive the ages.


There are two good reasons to visit this city. The first is due to its beautiful and dismal remains of the 11th century abbey. In 1318, the Benedictine Abbey of Alet became a bishopric and the church became a cathedral. In 1577, the buildings are badly damaged during the wars against the Huguenots. The second reason to visit Alet is the authentic medieval market square with its beautiful half-timbered houses and 12th century ramparts.. Nostradamus lived in Alet for some time, his house is still located around the corner from the market square. In the hotel, you can stop for a drink or a good ice cream.



Limoux is famous

Limoux is famous for its sparkling wine, “Blanquette”, often considered as the precursor of Champagne. The carnival, celebrated in spring, also attracts many visitors. Like in Venice, the main objects of the carnival are the masks.

Limoux is a pleasant place to shop and have lunch on one of the beautiful terraces of the main market square. It also has a charming museum called Le Musée des Automates, where animated puppets steal the show.

A little out of town, there is a nice garden to visit. Just behind the garden center behind M. Do-it-yourself (near LeClerc), you follow the road that leads to the Bouichère garden / Domaine de Flassian. Well worth a visit!


In Esperaza, you will find an interesting dinosaur museum, where you can learn a lot about these prehistoric animals and about evolution itself. It’s also great for children. In the Saint-Michel church, you will find a cave with the body of Jesus. If you bring a torch, you can see her eyes are slightly open. The statue and the cave were placed there by Abbé Rivière, the priest who forbade Saunière de Rennes-le-Château his last sacraments.


The ancient Gallo-Roman oppidum Kilianus was a strategic point in the Upper Aude Valley. In this location, you can watch the pass and the Pyrenees crossing road towards Carcassonne. Since that ancient time, Quillan has always been inhabited. The Visigoths also recognized the value of the ancient Roman fort and rebuilt it to meet their own needs in the early 8th century.. The old remains of the fortress of the Visigoths watch over the current Quillan, which constitutes an excellent starting point for excursions in the Pyrenees or the magnificent mountainous landscape.

The Tourist Office is located in the old bathhouse on the main road. Here you can pick up brochures and information on day trips in the region. Wednesdays and Fridays, there is a market. Wednesday, the market stretches from the small train station to the end of the city center. Try some churros, a typical dish from the south of Languedoc. And when you like pizza, so Quillan is the place to be. However, the Auberge du Chalet on the road to Perpignan, at about 3 km south of Quillan, serves local dishes and, while you are there, drive a little further towards Axat to see the spectacular gorges of Pierre Lys.

You can follow the Aude to the source near Font Romeu, an incredible mountain trip with castles and caves in ruins, ancient villages, winter sports centers such as Les Angles and a magnificent view. A visit to Mont-Louis, now inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is a “must”.


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