When I came into possession of an old postcard album a few months ago, as well as Sauniere's original 33 Rennes-le-Chateau postcards, there were also many other postcards. Some of them were of the Rennes-les-Bains area and one was of Fontaine Ferrugineuse du Circle, commonly called Source of the circle - (Source du Cercle), but it bore no resemblance to the Circle source near the Devil's Armchair - (Fauteuil du Diable).
Fontaine Ferrugineuse du Circle (Ferrugineuse means water rich in iron or one of its compounds.)
Above is the Rennes-les-Bains Source du Cercle we all visit today. However, if it is compared with the old postcard above, it is not the same Circle Source that tourists to Rennes-les-Bains visited in the early 1900s.
Rennes-les-Bains Source of the Circle with the Devil's Armchair in the background
Rennes-les-Bains Source of the Circle from above
If the Source of the Circle near to the Devil's Armchair is not the original Source of the Circle, I wondered where the old one was and if it still existed. While I was at Rennes-les-Bains in October 2009 with a few friends, we searched for this old water source and Pat eventually located it.
Fontaine Ferrugineuse du Circle 2009
Although parts of the original source are missing and it has suffered from neglect over the years, it is obvious from the curve of the structure and the rocks used in its construction, that the old postcard and the new 2009 photographs, depict the same object.
Fontaine Ferrugineuse du Circle closer view 2009
Rennes-les-Bains Fontaine Ferrugineuse du Circle now re-named Source of the Circle
Perhaps the modern Source of the Circle took over when the old source dried up. The Circle source by the Devil's Armchair, may even have fed the lower older one, but over time when the higher outlet dwindled to a trickle, the lower source dried up. Although now overgrown and no longer used, the old tree lined track seen in the above postcard image still exists.
Rennes-les-Bains Fontaine Ferrugineuse du Circle side view 2009 showing the old overgrown track
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