Rennes-les-Bains and the Sacred River

Rennes-les-Bains and the Sacred River

Lover's Fountain

It's called "Fontaine des Amours" in French.

  Find it by driving about 2km south of Rennes-les-Bains, and then turn left over the bridge towards Sougraine.  After 1.3 kilometres you find the Lover's Fountain.  It's says that if you bathe together there, or share your vows there, then your love will never die. 

 It signifies a pure and undeniable love, almost religious in its nature, and so many people go there to meditate or experience the sacredness of the site.

You see the deep green pool and to the left of it, the flat rock? 

  This is important because I am convinced that this was where Mary Magdalene baptised people during her stay at Rennes-les-Bains, or Aquae Calidae - warm waters - in those Roman days.  It's a perfect place because baptism was by whole body immersion, and the priestess, and the friends of the new adherent, could stand there during the baptism. 

  After the ceremony, the priestess and other others embraced the naked and wet initiate to welcome him or her to a new life, where sins were forgotten, and everyone was welcome in a loving community.  (The early Christians shared all goods in common.)
  It doesn't take too great a leap of faith to imagine that this sort of sacred love and friendship is what people still find today at this beautiful place, and this is how it got its name.  I met two people there called, unbelieveably, Joshua and Maria, and they re-enacted a baptism for my camera.
A hug from the newly converted . . . posed especially for me
  The spot is not that easy to find, being invisible from the road.  Drive from the Benitier on the Sougraine road, cross the tiny bridge just after a right hand bend, and a couple of hundred metres further on, you will see two low walls on the right.  Park after the second one and then look for a path ahead, descending down to the river through the trees.

  It's so beautiful. 

I visited with friends in August 2012 and the boys wisely declined to swim - the water was very very cold and very deep!  So please take care at this spot.  However, from the point of view of early Christian baptism, you might like to know that John the Baptist thought, the colder the water the better; another scrap of evidence for this being a chosen place . . .
And a place for love indeed.
  The heart, they say, represents Mary Magdalene . . .


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