Rennes le Chateau area features

Joyeuse, palace of privilege, romance and tragedy

At Couiza’s river ford market, Visigoths built a palace with courtyard, moat, crypts, cold room and a tunnel. Its features through the ages expressed type 11 Womb (see Rennes le Chateau map type 11, in another post). Local Cathars lost the palace against royalist crusader Simon de Montfort in the Battle of the Sals (Rialsesse) in 1209. Montford’s commander, Pierre de Voisins, was awarded Couiza and Rennes.

He rebuilt the river palace 1211 and 1231 -1250. Voisins members built Arques corral in 1294. A Voisin daughter married PR d’Hautpoul, who gained Rennes castle in 1422. The last Voisin, Francois, married Jean de Joyeuse 1524. They gained rights to supply wine, olive oil and wheat (also a type 11 feature) to the crown. Joyeuse was made governor of Narbonne, and Lt-Gen of Languedoc.

The couple rebuilt Joyeuse 1540 -1562. Its trapezium plan could incidentally picture constellation Cassiopeia, or Cepheus, or Pegasus. The road from its entrance chapel once ran to Couiza’s St John Baptist church. Joyeuse and his son Guillaume Joyeuse III were bishops of Alet les Bains. Guillaume was a Franciscan pacifist, yet ironically Marshall of France in 1561.

Guillaume’s first son, Duke Anne, was born here, but raised in Toulouse and Navarre. He used Poussin’s father, uncle of baron Arques (see another post; Archetype lives also in Arcadia), as financial advisor (noted Patton). His brother François was a cardinal. Alet Protestants pillaged Couiza and Joyeuse in 1577, probably asking ransom for the vicountess and children. Guillaume and Duke Anne joined annual expeditions against Huguenot protestants in Languedoc and Auvergne with enthusiasm.

The king heaped titles on Anne; Mt St Michel governor; Grand Admiral of France; wedlock to the king’s sister in law, a Mercœur. As Protestant civil violence subsided, Anne repaired Joyeuse. He was made Governor of Normandy, and of Le Havre. The brothers shared Anjou and Alençon. He killed 800 Huguenots in Poitou, the St Eloi massacre of 21 June 1587, a rash duty. He led the army against Huguenots and the king’s arch enemy, Henry of Navarre, but was taken near Bordeaux. He offered a large ransom, but was executed. Anne’s niece sold Joyeuse to the infrastructure investor Claude de Réhé in 1649. Nobles and clergy fled France in the Revolution. The roof collapsed in 1928. Joyeuse was restored after WW2 as a hotel.

Joyeuse castle or palace in Couiza. Its history and legends form part of the grail romances. Duke Anne, foremost noble of France, was born here. He employed Poussin’s father, uncle of baron Arques, as financial advisor. See a Poussin painting with an Arques scenes, in another post; Archetype lives also in Arcadia. (Photo: Belcaire Pyrenees).

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==Extract from STONEPRINT Journal Series. Supplement to Stoneprint, the human code in art, buildings and cities. $10 from

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1 Pictish beasts

2 Crop circles are natural artworks

3 Stoneprint tour of Paris

4 Stoneprint tour of London. 24pp, $18. Also from

5 Culture code in seals and ring stamps. Also from

6 Rennes le Chateau stoneprint tour, 20pp., $10, at