Ben Hammott's Rennes-le-Chateau research - Serres Templar Church Wall paintings

Does Serres Church hold a Secret?

Serres Church

Serres Church

These two red crosses appear on the arched ceiling in the church.

In the banner on the top of the left hand cross are the letters - INRI.

INRI is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVDAEORVM, which translates to English as: "Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews". It appears in the New Testament of the Christian Bible in the Gospels of Matthew (27:37), Mark (15:26); Luke (23:38), and John (19:19).

Many crucifixes and other depictions of the crucifixion include a stylised plaque or parchment, called a titulus or title, bearing the letters INRI, occasionally carved directly into the cross, and usually just above the figure of Jesus.

In the Gospel of John (19:19–20) the inscription is explained:

And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. (King James Version)

Mural 1 - Large Image HERE

This mural has suffered badly over the years the heads have completely gone. Whether the heads have been removed on purpose or naturally is not known.  There seems to be three figures but the middle one is so indistinct it may not be a figure. The figure on the right seems to be holding a book . The figure on the right has a halo around its head so is probably a saint or Jesus. This saintly figure holds out his hand clasping a book or some documents. (see close-up image below)

Close up of the outstretched hand holding a book or documents and the book or documents held by the right-hand figure. Maybe the saintly figure has has just received the documents or is handing them over.

Mural 2

Two figures, both with halos. The left figure is holding the same book or documents seen in Mural 1 above. The figure on the right seems to be Jesus by the beard and long hair, a normal representation how he is painted. Could these paintings be telling a story about some valuable secret documents being passed down from one person to another. If so what could these documents be and where are they now? Out of all the colours used in these wall paintings the red has remained the most visible today as can be seen in the image above.

Close-up of the 'Secret Documents.'

Maybe the right-hand figure in Mural 1 is passing on different documents to different people for safe guarding, this would explain the large amount he is holding. Perhaps they are secret gospels banned by the church.

The Serres Church seems to be an old Templar church and if so the idea of the wall paintings hiding a' secret' become much more believable. Saunière must have visited this church and seen the murals in better condition than we see them today. Maybe with what he had found during his Rennes-le-Chateau church renovations, he realised the significance of the paintings and the secret information they contained. Perhaps this is even where he got the idea to hide his 'secret' in the decorations of the Mary Magdalene church.

Templar Crosses that run around the walls of the Serres Church.

When I visited the Serres Church it was in the process of being redecorated. White paint had been applied to most of the walls but not yet over the murals shown elsewhere on this page. The red paint is bleeding through the white leaving ghostly images of what lies hidden beneath. As you can see from the image above smaller murals or designs have been painted over.

Serres Church is this Rose Marble plinth.

Fixed into the floor of the Serres Church is this Rose Marble plinth. In each corner and the centre is a cross. In the top right corner extra symbols have been added and could be an 'A' or 'H' or II and an 'O'. I have no idea what they mean. perhaps the bones of someone lay under this plinth. The lady who kindly let us into the church had no idea why it was here. I also asked if the church had a crypt but she did not know. Churches of this age normally had a crypt but there is no sign of any entrance in or around the church.

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Serres Church