Villa BethaniaEdit profile
The Villa Bethania was constructed between 1901-1905 as part of the former estate of the Abbé Bérenger Saunière, the former parish priest of Rennes-le-Château between 1885-1909. The architect was Tiburce Caminade of Limoux and the Master builder Elie Bot from Luc-sur-Aude. It was never occupied until after 1946, when Noël Corbu became its owner.
Marie Dénarnaud lived in the Presbytery at Rennes-le-Château following the death of Bérenger Saunière in 1917 and had put the Villa Bethania up for sale - finding it very hard to pay the property taxes - forced to borrow money from friends over a period of decades as well as keeping rabbits in the Villa until Nöel Corbu became the owner of Saunière's former estate in 1946, and settled all her debts.
During Easter 1955, Villa Bethania was turned it into a Hotel by Noël Corbu called the Hotel de la Tour and who, in order to attract customers, popularised many myths surrounding the area, later responsible for influencing the 1967 book L'Or de Rennes by Gérard de Sède, that became a touchstone transforming the subject matter into a genre of its own, spawning hundreds of titles on the subject matter in France and in Britain.
The Villa Bethania is decorated with religious symbolism of the Sacred Heart in the form of stained-glass windows and a large statue of Jesus Christ above the entrance.
The Villa Bethania has been the property of the local Municipal council since 2000.