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Annex 2: Gisors


According to Gérard de Sède, a gardener, Roger Lhomoy, who worked as a guard and a guide in the Gisors castle discovered a hidden underground chapel near the castle in 1946.

This Roger Lhomoy came to work in Gérard de Sède’s pig farm in 1959 and little by little told him a fantastic story. Roger Lhomoy, who was born in Gisors on 17 April 1904, had been studying to become priest when he was young. He even received the minor orders. However he left the seminary and got married. In 1929 he was hired as a guard, guide and gardener of the castle by the town hall of Gisors that is the owner of the property. He did his work very well and was well liked. At home he was a good husband and soon the family had two children. Nothing special happened until 1944 when he decided to look for the treasury supposedly to be hidden below the castle.

This castle is built on a knoll or better a man-made rising ground. On top of the knoll, near the dungeon, there was an old well filed to the top with earth. Lhomoy started to dig it up again at night using simple tools. When the new well was about 30 meters deep he discovered a lateral gallery that ends in a cul-de-sac. On the way out the earth fell on him and nearly killed him. He was left with a broken leg. Once his leg was healed he resumed his night work and dug another well not too distant from the first one. In June 1944 his second well was 16 meters deep. He now asks the help of his all time friend M.Lesenne. After a few weeks they discovered an empty room of about 4 by 4 meters that did not lead anywhere. He then built a nine meters lateral horizontal gallery of about 50 centimetres of diameter in the direction of the first well. This gallery did not give any other result. We are now in March 1946. He then dug another well starting from the end of this gallery. The working conditions were becoming everyday more difficult but he did not stop and soon reached the level minus 21 meters. He finally reached a wall and succeeded to open a hole in it. He then realised that he was now in a big room. With the help of the small light at his disposal he saw that he has discovered a Roman Chapel 30 meter long, 9 meters wide and 4.5 meters high. He noticed the stone altar and the tabernacle. He also noticed the statues of Christ and the twelve Apostles resting on the walls. He counted 19 sarcophagus about 2 meters long and 60 centimetres wide as well as 30 chests made of precious metal in three rows of ten. They were in fact cupboards lying down on the floor. Each of them was about 2.5 meters long, 1.80 meter high and 1.60 meter wide. As he had asked the necessary authorisations he did not hesitate to tell the Maire what he had found but nobody seemed to believe him. No official from the town hall dared to go down the well. Two other people agreed to do it -including his brother and an army officer- but they did not reach the chapel. The Town Administrators decided to refill the hole and to fire him arguing that his previous authorisation to look for a treasure did not allow him to drill a hole that could endanger the castle. Lhomoy was then left without a job and moreover his wife and children left him. He then tried to obtain the necessary authorisations but without success. Lhomoy left Gisors and for many years he did many menial jobs in different places. In 1952 he succeeded to persuade two wealthy people to invest money in doing the search again. The three men finally received all the necessary authorisations but the town of Gisors wanted to receive 80% of the treasure if and when found. In these conditions the enterprise would not bring any profit and the investors backed out. Lhomoy did not give up but he did not succeed to reach the chapel again.

Gérard de Sède personally checked partially the information received from Lhomoy. He went down the galleries but he did not reach the chapel. He also found a strange witness who had the designs of a chapel that, according to him, contained since the 14th century the most important secrets and treasures of the Templars. The design of the chapel corresponded exactly in shape and dimensions to the drawing made by Lhomoy.

Historical facts

We have seen before that the Templar’ story started in Jerusalem in 1118. Nine knights under the leadership of Hugues de Payns decided to join their strength to defend the Mount Moriah. At that time they were known as the “Poor Knights of Christ”. Soon Hugues de Payns decided that for his order to survive his knights had to be at the same time monks and soldiers. They chose Saint John as their saint protector. When they received a part of the Solomon Temple for lodging they called it “St John Hostel”. Ten years later they were three hundred knights of the Templar and they had three thousand soldiers under their command. In 1128 the Council of Troyes gave the Templars their official statutes and very important privileges in the fields of taxation and justice. In less that a century they accumulated power and wealth unknown to any other religious order.

It must be recorded that the crusaders when they arrived in Palestine met a civilisation that was in advance on their own in most fields. This high degree of civilisation of the Islamic world explains perhaps why the crusades were a military defeat and a success for the European civilisation. The Templars were first in understanding the advantages of this situation. At the beginning when the problem consisted to win a war they were the first to fight and the best. Their victories are numerous and their prestige as builders of forts are still recognised. They were also the first to administer the conquered land in a spirit of coexistence and of respect of the defeated people with whom they intermixed. They even rely on a local army (the Turcopoles) to whom they give a large autonomy. They now try to limit the unnecessary battles with the Moslems. All this will lead to many conflicts between the European. In particular the rivalry between the Templars and the Hospitallers led sometime to bloody battles between the two orders. On the diplomatic side, the Templars always tried to deal and to negotiate with the Moslems. The time of war was over as far as they were concerned and they tried to reach long lasting agreements with the ex-enemies. This was not always well accepted by the other Europeans.

After the abdication of Baldwin IV (he was suffering from leprosy) in favour of his young nephew Baldwin V it was necessary to choose a regent. Both the Templars and the Hospitallers had their own candidate. After the death of Baldwin V, the candidate of the Templar, Guy de Lussignan became King of Jerusalem and the Grand Master of the Templars, Gérard de Ridford, was his advisor. The influence of the Templars was then at its highest. However the Moslems won the battles of Mount Thabor and Hattin and they took back Jerusalem in 1187. The Templars were opposed to a policy of re-conquest of the Holy Land and, as a result, they were coming closer to England and farther away from France. They received Cyprus from the King of England. This anti-French policy was not without risk. They soon were in conflict with the French Kings Saint Louis and Philip the Fair. Moreover the German Emperor threw them out of Sicily and confiscated their wealth.

At that moment, when the ambitions of the Templars were the greatest, their conflict with France and Germany left them no choice. Their future looked fragile and they had to depend on any support they could get from the papacy. As we know the military and religious aspects of the crusades were hiding enormous economic ambitions. The crusades were a big commercial enterprise in which the Templars were playing a big role. They became very wealthy mainly through their interest in shipping and trade between Europe and the Middle East. They also created an enormous modern banking activity that made them the financial bakers of many kingdoms. In 1291 the defeat of Saint-Jean-d’Acre meant that the Middle east was lost. The Templars retreated to Europe where they were already very powerful. As we know the Templars built a fortress in Paris on a piece of land received initially from the King Louis VI in 1137. This building and its large extensions became very soon the headquarters of the Order. In addition they had about ten thousand commanderies in Europe most of them received as donations. The Kings of England entrusted them with the management of their personal income. In France, the kings from Philip August to Philip the Fair delegated to them the administration of the finances of the State. The Temple was to all effects the Finance Ministry of France. In addition Kings and Pope used to borrow money from them. This created some jealousy and they were thought to practise alchemy and to transform lead in gold. This was not true, of course, but they knew how to use their banking knowledge to assemble great wealth and by the year 1300 they were really rich and powerful.

Philip the Fair became King of France in 1285 when he was 17 years old. His aim is to build a strong and unified state. He believed that the kings of France received their authority only from God and certainly not from the Pope. He behaved in consequence treating other kings and the popes at the best as equal but often as inferiors. For 20 years the Templars and Philip the Fair had in appearance excellent relations especially in finances. But some royal jealousy was often obvious. This did not prevent the King to seek refuge in the Temple in 1306 following a popular uprising following a devaluation of the money of 65 %. The election of the French Pope Clement V, 40 years old, allowed the King to destroy the Templars. To be elected Clement V needed the help of Philip the fair and later on he was not really in a position to refuse him a favour even the elimination of a Catholic Order.

Philip the Fair prepared the elimination carefully and with patience. The police collected information and even found an ex-Templar, Esquieu de Floyran, ready to reveal the so-called deviations of the Order. Other witnesses were found and some spies were introduced among the Templars. Even the Pope was told by a Templar that the Order was now apostate. Philip the fair asked Clement V to act. At first the Pope refused to accuse them but agreed to make an inquiry. As the result of the inquiry was uncertain the King decided to act on his own. On Friday 13 October 1307 all the Templars in France, including the Grand Master Jacques de Molay, were put under arrest by the French police.

The trials lasted seven years and were caracterised by many confessions and retractions. The Templars were accused of apostasy, denying of Christ, spitting on the cross and sodomy. Most of the confessions were obtained under torture and as such are not very convincing. On 10 October 1311 the Pope Clement V cancelled the Order of the Templars. Jacques de Molay, the 22d Grand Master, and some of his main advisors were condemned to life imprisonment. Jacques de Molay and Geoffroy de Charnay refuted their confession and were burned at the stake the same day, Monday 18 March 1314 in Paris.

The Legend

Were the Templars guilty? It is difficult to answer that question even now. Important economical and political factors led to the end of the Templars. The accusations did not make much sense either. If all the young Templars were obliged to spit on the cross, to deny God, to adore an idol and to submit to sodomy is it believable that no one talked freely? What it necessary to apply torture to make them confess? And why did no Templars outside France confirm the accusations? Why did Clement V who owned the Papacy to the French King defend the Templars for such a long time? On the other hand it is true that even in 1208 the pope Innocent III thought that the Templars were leading scandalous life. A preliminary conclusion could be that even if the apparent behaviour of the Order was perfect, some chosen members led a secret life.

The Order of the Templars was born in Palestine where people of different races and creeds lived. The religion of old Egypt and its Gods had still the bigger influence. They were based on secret, mystery, cipher, enigmatic symbols and a complete separation of adepts and profanes. In their temples only the trusted faithfuls could enter and the only the priests can reach the inner rooms. The attraction of the Egyptian religions is always present in the antiquity as well as in the Middle Age. It is possible that the Templars who created their order in Palestine had been attracted by these old beliefs. Later on the Gnostics were active in this region. If their doctrine is not very well known due to their secret behaviour, their influence was far from being negligible. They preached, among other things, that it is not the faith that saves but knowledge. In addition to the Gnosis we also have the Hermetism and the Cabal all of them linked together by their common origin in the Egyptian religions.

In the 11th century the Ismaili sect founded a politico-religious secret society called the “Assassins” who were in fact the guardians of their “Holy Land”. At the time of the crusades the Assassins were an important order of Initiate Knighthood that had an important political and religious influence in the Middle East of that time. They were very similar in the Moslem world to the Templars in the Christianity. The doctrine of the Assassins is in line with the Gnosis, the Hermeticism and the Cabal although perhaps at a higher level of abstraction. This secret society disappeared when their last leader disclosed their practices. Their structure and hierarchy were very similar to that of the Templars and they wore a similar uniform. Hermetists, Gnostics, Assassins are all heirs to the old Egyptian beliefs. Along the crusaders who fought for their religion we see on both sides similar organisations believing in the same religious symbols and where the distinction is less on the base of the religion but between those who believe and those who know, between the profane and the initiated person.

Alchemy, according to history, was born in Egypt in the 3d century more precisely in Alexandria. It was done openly for two centuries before the church obliged the adepts to go in hiding. However the Copts maintained the tradition until the 7th century. For two more centuries the Moslems and the Assassins in particular practised it. From the 10th century some Europeans became interested. Alchemy is generally defined as the search for the “Philosophical Stone” that transform every metal in gold. In fact it is more complicated. Alchemy is a technique, a Gnose and an ascese. It aims to realise the transmutation of metals but also to discover the nature secrets and to transform the researcher. These three aspects cannot be separated according to the adepts. The alchemists do not create mew metals but they transform those existing in nature and give them another shape. They believe that all metals are similar and that they only present themselves to us in different shapes. They try to accelerate the natural process towards perfection, that is gold. Alchemy is the art to work with nature to perfection it, to lead it to a more advanced state. In this way they are doing, in a smaller scale, the work of the Creator in putting some higher order in the nature. The Philosophical Stone is also believed to be an elixir of long life, able to transform our material body in something more perfect and everlasting. In the same way the Philosophical Stone transforms the alchemist and makes him better and closer to God. The road to alchemy is very long and requires energy and courage from the researcher wanting to reach the full knowledge. The books dealing with alchemy can only be understood by the adepts who can read the cryptic language used. To learn alchemy one had to be initiated by a master and to be accepted was not easy. The alchemists wanted -and still want, since alchemists are still among us- to discourage the people interested only by the fabrication of gold. The techniques used by the alchemists are not known. Some limited information is available but their accuracy is unknown.

Alchemy is the base of the secret doctrines from the 11th to the 16th century. Its symbolism is the common language of the numerous sects as well as of many intellectuals. The constructors were very close to the alchemists. Both groups use the stone in their work and try to understand and to imitate the work of the Great Architect. Most religions use stones as symbols. According to the Bible Jesus said to Peter (in the French version): “Tu es Pierre et sur cette pierre je batirai mon Eglise”. The Jews adore the stone of Luz or Bethel and the Moslems have their black stone or Kaaba in Mecca.

It is possible that the Templars learned in the Holy Land the link between the Old Egypt and the Middle Age through the Cabal, the Gnose and Alchemy. It could also be that they knew it before starting their Order. However there is no doubt that they had some secret knowledge.

The constitution of the Templars was granted by a Pope known to be homosexual. This is the first shadow on the Templars. Many people have been wandering if behind the official activities of the Templars there was not a hidden society or faction reserved to a limited number of members chosen with care and initiated secretly to a well-hidden rule that had nothing to do with the Catholic church. The confessions of a certain number of French Templars lead us in that direction even if the use of the torture put a strong doubt on these admissions. However they were confirmed by other confessions made by English Templars not subjected to torture. It could be at this stage that some Templars denied Christ and spat on the cross. This was thought to be the due to Master Roncelin de Fos, Knight of Provence, received in the Order in 1281. However Roncelin was not an official Grand Master. However if he was able to change the rules he must have been important and this would lead to the assumption of an inside secret society known to very few members. Denying Christ and spitting on the cross could be linked to some Middle East beliefs. Accordingly if Jesus was God he could not die and if he died he could not be God as the Cabal and the Gnose have been saying for so long. In 1780 Bishop Frédéric Munter found some proofs of that secret society within the Templars in the archives of the Vatican. In a few words it was a copy of the rules of the inside secret organisation within the Templar Order as written by Roncelin. The Templars were also tempted by the Occultists and the knowledge implied. Of course few Templars could reach the level of knowledge required to understand. As a result the real leaders of the Order were not always those known to the public. These rules were kept secret and those who knew them were required not to talk about them in any circumstances. In addition the fortresses built by the Templars were copies of similar constructions made by the Moslems and in particular by the Assassins whose knowledge came from the old Egypt. They were not only military constructions but probably had hidden symbolic meanings, uses and names. We must also remember that the Templars were experts in the art of cryptography and in the use of secret alphabet that they used to hide their secrets.

The Templars were also accused of adoring an idol, a man head with a big beard and supposedly representing the real God. This accusation is rather strange as the Catholic Church already represented God the Father as an old bearded man. The accusation was that the Templars adored the head only and not the whole body! The name of the idol was Baphomet. This name was revealed by simple Templars. We must also know that in the Occitan language Mahomet was pronounced Bafomet. The Inquisition concluded that the Templars adored Mahomet. They apparently did not know, but the Templars did, that the Moslem religion forbid the representation of their God by a statue or a picture. This is a strong argument used now against the accusation. However most Templars admitted the existence of this head even if they gave different description of it. This would tend to prove that the accusation was true. If it had been suggested by the Inquisition the description would always be the same.

When they took the Paris temple the police found a hollow woman head made in gold with inside the skull of a young girl in a cloth with colour of the Order and the inscription “Caput LVIII m”. Some Templars gave the following explanation:

“A Noble of Sion loved a young girl that died before their wedding. The night of the burial he opened the tomb and made love to her. He was told to open it again nine months later and then he found a little head between the legs of the dead woman. This head was said to bring all he wanted to his owner.”

This is in fact the 47 centuries old Egyptian legend of the lovers of Isis: “He who dare to lift the veil and to violate its secrets will reach the ultimate of Knowledge and Power”. This leads us again to the alchemists whose books of the 14th century were saying: “The raw material if found in the sex of Isis”. The Templar legend would then mean that the secret of the Knowledge is to be found in the Occult sciences.

Pope Sylvestre II who died in 1003 could help us to understand part of the mystery. Educated by the monks in Aurillac, he went to Arabia to learn the secrets of the Arabs and being very intelligent he learned a lot. Among other things he made a copper human head that answered by Yes or No to all the questions and that predicted the future. The head was said to have been destroyed when he died but it still existed two centuries later. Roger Bacon had it in his possession and then Albert the Great, a well-known occultist of his time. Albert died in 1280 and the head disappeared. It could very well have been taken by the Templars.

The Templars were destroyed by the King of France and condemned by the Church. For some people the Order did not disappear completely and it still exists to day. For others it is definitely gone. It would appear that the Order as such disappeared in 1314 but in other countries it went on under the name of Christ Order. Even in France some Templar activities went on in semi-clandestinity. Many members joined other monastic orders and others some worker corporations where their knowledge was very useful.

To-day only some Masonic branches still pretend that they are the heir of the Templars. However the secret philosophical societies known to-day as Masonic lodges were born in England in 1717. The filiation with the Templars and even with the old corporations of builders and stone-cutters is therefore difficult to believe. However it is not possible to prove that such a filiation does not exist as the old corporations had a lot in common with the present Masonic lodges beside their names, traditions and symbols. The medieval corporations were not only operative. Some speculative activities existed -conception of man, of the world, of God,..- and attracted the builders of cathedrals. From the beginning of the 12th century when they became independent of the monastic orders the corporations of builders adopted some concepts that are used in the modern masonry: initiation, obligation of the secret, esoteric doctrines,… The professional initiation and secret did not justify the numerous condemnations by the Catholic Church. We know that even before the crusades the architecture was influenced by the Arabs through Spain. Hermetism and alchemy were already known by the builders. The Templars are also remembered as builders. They encouraged the creation of lay corporations of builders to guarantee the continuous availability of competent craftsmen. These were known as “franc-métiers” as they had the same benefits and exemptions as the order itself. The hermetic ideas cultivated by the Templars influenced the corporations when the remaining brothers joined them after the destruction of the Order.

In conclusion it can be said that the Order of the Templars disappeared for ever in 1314. However through the corporations of the builders the speculative masonry adopted a part of the ideas of the Temple.

The treasure of the Templars consisted of their wealth but also of their archive. It is very astonishing how very few documents have reached us. It is easy to say that they all are in the Vatican but there are no proof of this affirmation. When Napoleon took Rome he ordered to look for them in the Vatican but he had very little success. It is also difficult to blame Philip the Fair. Why should he hide the documents of his defeated enemies? We know much more concerning their wealth. The King took back the money that the Templars managed for him and most of the remaining was finally transferred to the Hospitallers. However without the archives it is impossible to say if all the Templar wealth -money, metals, jewels- was found by the King’s police. History says that Philip the Fair was not very pleased with what he found in the Temple. This leads us to believe that the arrest in 1307 did not come as a complete surprise to all the Templars and that they had enough time to move their treasure and hide or destroy their archive. It is well known that the Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, asked the Pope well in advance to inquire in the rumour of a royal plan to arrest all the Brothers. However this treasure has never been found up to now. Even with the use of torture the King was not able to oblige any Brother to reveal the hiding place. A legend says that three horse wagons left the Paris Temple the day before the arrest. They were heading in direction of the North Sea to be shipped to England. It is doubtful that they went on the main road to Rouen that was under control of the royal police. More likely the harbour was Eu (now Le Treport) and the road to reach it goes through Gisors. It is probable that the convoy did not reach the harbour and that it was not captured as there is no trace of it anywhere.

We do not know where it stopped but Gisors is a possible hiding place.

What about Gisors

In 1711 more room was required in the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris to bury the bishops. The workers found nine cubic stones with strange inscriptions on them. In particular there was a reference to the word “boatman” (NAVTAE in Latin) used for the for the men who were in the ship Argo on their way to conquer the Golden Fleece. They were also known as “Argonautes”. There is also a reference to Isis the Egyptian Goddess who is known to have invented the sails used in navigation. Moreover in the road Saint Martin there is a fountain erected in 1633 called “Vert-Bois”. In addition to the emblems of Mercure or Hermes, God of Trade, the builders engraved a ship similar to that appearing on the emblem of Paris. The ship is carrying cubic stones.

At that time the direct way to go from Paris to Rouen was along the river Seine. Many travellers however went through the Vexin country and, as a consequence, by Gisors. There were two possibilities. The first one was by boat along the Seine to Giverny and then up the river Epte. The land road was along the Roman road known also as “Voie Sacrée”. There a kind of linkage between Paris and Gisors and the more important seems to have been the last one.

It was in Gisors that the Arch-Bishop Guillaume de Tyr preached the third crusade in presence of the kings of France Philip August and of England Henri II Plantagenet. The meeting was held under a big elm where Saint Bernard had written the Templars rules and where many French-English meetings took place. For reasons not yet very clear, the French cut the big elm and this is recorded in History. Another elm tree existed in front of the Saint-Gervais et Saint-Protais church in Paris. It finally died but it has always been replaced up to now. Under its shadow the corporations of the Builders and Stone Cutters met for many years. The church was moved in the 11th century to make place for the town hall. In Gisors the church of the same name was removed at the same time to allow the construction of the castle. These churches have in common many similar symbolic emblems. We must also remember that the first Temple in Paris was built near the Saint-Gervais church at the same time that the Gisors castle was built.

The river Epte was the limit between the French and English territories. Both sides were defended by many castles but the most important was in Gisors. It was the object of many battles until the 15th century. Thibaud Payns, nephew of Hugues de Payns who founded the Templar Order, started the first fortification work in 1090. The final design was done by Robert de Belleme who started the construction in 1096 with the Architect Leufroy. Hugues visited the castle in 1128. Belleme made the design, chose the implantation and supervised the construction on a small man-built mount. Henri I King of England went on with the construction and made it very strong. A meeting was held in the castle between Henri I of England and Louis VI of France in the presence of the Pope Calixte II in 1119. On the way home the ship carrying his only son, his mistress and his treasure sank. Henri I died near Gisors in 1135 killed by an arrow. Henri I was initiated and was the Grand Master of the Corporation of the English Builders. Gisors castle was given to the French King Louis VII in 1144. Gisors was to be given to back to England when the young children -three and five years old- of the kings would get married. In the meantime it was held by the Templars from 1158. In 1161 the children were married and Gisors was taken back by the King of England Henri II Plantagenet who completed its construction.

The Templars occupied Gisors for three years only when they were asked to keep it during a dispute between England and France. The woman head containing a girl skull found in the Paris Temple was thought to be Baphonet. It was given to Guillaume de Gisors. As we know the French Templars were arrested on 13 October 1307 but the official inquiry started only on 12 November 1308. The order to arrest the Templars in Gisors is dated 29 November 1308. Why were they not arrested with the others? And for what reason the order to arrest them was finally given? The top members of the Templar hierarchy including Jacques de Molay were kept prisoners in Gisors after Chinon and this until 1314. A Templar called Simon de Macy did not appear before the judges and he was imprisoned in Gisors after Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake in 1304. In addition the King Philip the fair gave the order that he should not be allowed to speak to anybody. Why?

We have already mentioned the treasure hidden in the underground galleries in Gisors and protected by iron railings that only open each 24 December at midnight according to the legend. According to some wise men this legend tells those who understand the secrets of the castle. The castle was not a very strong fortress. It was built according to some perfect astronomic norms taking into account the local state of the sky on 24 December at midnight that is the night of the winter solstice. Moreover we must remember that at the time the castle was built, people thought the sun was rotating around the earth that was supposed to be flat. The castle was designed and built accordingly and the symbolic value of this military construction is one of the best known. We must conclude that if the castle was, without any doubt, a military construction it was also a religious building, even if this aspect was well hidden.

As the castle was built by three Hermetists, whose design was esoteric and based on the position of the star, is it not possible that they went one step further by constructing underground a building, a chapel, a nave as the ship it represents? These underground chapels are well known and were used by the Normands to bury their chiefs. A good example has been found at Sutton Hoo in England in 1939. It was the burial place of King Raedwald who died in 650. What is more it contained al small treasure. Some underground chapels were also found in France. In particular the Architect Leufroy, assistant of Robert de Belleme in constructing the Gisors castle, built two castles in Belleme and Nogent-le-Rotrou, both with underground chapels. Is it not possible that he built one in Gisors? Normally these underground chapels were well known and their access was easy. Which secrets were hidden in the chapel of Gisors to justify hiding it?

Every visitor to Gisors is led to the lower floor Prisoner Tower where Poulain, lover of Blanche d’Evreux, drew the Passion of Christ on the walls with a nail. On the way he passed near the hidden entrance to the hidden chapel. Graffiti are also to be found on the two upper floors although they have been damaged by the German in the second world war. They are no doubt that they have been made in the Middle Age by are not the work of professional stone cutters. They reveal that their authors were Hermetists. The same graffiti are found in the tower of the dungeon Coudray in Chinon where it is known that their authors are the Chief Templars kept prisoner there. This leads us to believe that the prisoners, including Jacques de Molay, were transferred from Chinon to Gisors. Their aim in doing these graffiti was not artistic but to leave a trace of their stay in Gisors. The more interesting graffiti is a boat similar to that which appears on the old seals of Paris. It is the nave of the “Nautes” that the author drew as it exists also on the “Vert-Bois” fountain so appreciated by the Hermetists.

The graffiti of the lower floor cell are grouped in three panels. They are real works of art but are inspired by alchemy and the hermetic thought. Some are linked to the Argonaut legend. Some reference to the Egyptian Goddess Isis can be found as well as the Templar cross. In the many writings we can also see some reference to the underground hidden chapel or sanctuary whose access has been hidden.


The first question that has to be answered is the following: can we trust what Lhomoy has been saying? Did he see the underground chapel and its treasure? Up to now no real proof has been given. However we have the following facts:

– There is an underground chapel below the dungeon in Gisors.
It is difficult to believe that the dungeon in Gisors can rest on the knoll of reported earth due to its weight. The foundations must reach the good ground and it is then probable that there is an underground floor.

– In this underground floor there is a chapel.
A document of 1375 mentions the presence of a chapel below the ground level.

– This chapel is the one described by Lhomoy.
Another document of 1696 written by the priest Alexandre Bourdet contains, among other information, the design of a chapel built under the dungeon.

– A document shows thirty strong boxes deposited in the chapel.
In 1938 the priest of Gisors Vaillant request in a letter to a Parisian Architect the restitution of a manuscript of 1500 mentioning the thirty strong boxes. This manuscript has been lost.

– Some underground galleries are linking the church to the castle.
Some excavation works have show the existence of these galleries on many occasions.

The only way to prove that Lhomoy said the truth would be to dig the ground and see if there is a chapel below the dungeon. The cost of this operation would be very limited. This could solve the last mystery of the Templars. The fact that the Authorities refuse to do anything is perhaps the best indication that they prefer to hide the truth.