The Devil's Armchair (Fauteuil du Diable) is situated in Rennes-les-Bains, a few kilometres from Rennes-le-Chateau. Fashioned from a large boulder into the shape of a armchair, it has for many years provided a resting place for the weary traveller to sit and rest. Unfortunately the view one may have seen in time gone by is now blocked by trees. Some say that when sitting in this armchair you would be facing a location that may be the hiding place of a long lost treasure. But there are many of these stories spoken in this area, some may be true and some may not.
Rennes-les-Bains Source of the Circle with the Devil's Armchair in the background
The chair's surface is covered in lichen and some carvings, many now too worn and indistinct to make out, are evidence of the many people that have passed by, no doubt stopping to sit in the chair for a while before continuing on their journey, perhaps up to the Trembling Rocks or down to the village road. One of these symbols that can still be made out is of an Ankh. By whom or why someone thought it was worth the effort to carve this symbol here is unknown. Nor is it known how long it has been here.
Ankh and a Strange Star of David Symbol drawn on the back of the chair
On one visit to the chair I, found a strange carving drawn on the back of the chair and also scratched on the ground in front. It looked like a Star of David made from two 4's. Also three letters, LVX. (Perhaps The Gnostic Church of L.V.X. or a Latin "U" is written as a "V", so the word becomes "Lux", which means "Light") The sign is still there today, or was last time I visited.
(left) View of the Devil's Armchair seen from the track leading up from Rennes-les-Bains, (right) View from the opposite side of the armchair looking back towards Rennes-les-Bains
The Devil's Armchair (Fauteuil du Diable)
The Devil's Armchair is of interest to the Rennes-le-Chateau Mystery because as Saunière's church dedicated to Mary Magdalene is entered the first thing seen is a Devil. This somewhat strange sight is unusual enough but on closer examination we notice the Devil, or Demon's posture, it is as if he is sitting in an invisible chair. Is Saunière hinting here that we should look for the missing chair? If so the Devil's armchair fits the bill nicely. I believed this to be a possibility.
The Devil's posture seems to be mimicked by the Jesus and John the Baptist statue a few meters away from the demon in the church. Also, Jesus and John are so alike they could be brothers, or twins perhaps?
Although he has been identified by some as Asmodeus, the legendary guardian of Solomon's Treasure, and that is the name Sauniere's Devil is commonly referred to nowadays, there is no proof that this was Sauniere's intention. But it is a great story and of course it could be true.
Devil sitting in his Armchair
Conveniently a few meters from the armchair rock is another local landmark that can be associated with the the Devil statue in Saunière church, a small trickling spring in the shape of a circle, named Source of the Circle (Source du Cercle).
Source of the Circle and a view of it from above
The association between the two is that the Devil's right hand is formed into a circle. This is because this hand once held a trident or pitchfork, later removed as it kept snagging on visitors clothes as they passed by and is now missing. This hand though, like the face and right arm from the elbow of the Devil, is not the original that was vandalized in 1996. The hand and the circle formed here seems to be slightly larger.
Close-up of the Demon's right hand forming a circle.
Further credence that the Devil's Armchair is important to the mystery, is that it seems Saunière has included it in the Fleury tableau. He has also placed it as near to the Devil Statue as possible in the bottom left corner.
The Devil's Armchair in the Left-side of the Fleury Tableau
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