Rennes le Chateau acquired quite a bit of new found acclaim with the massive success of the Da Vinci Code. Before that though it was a little known secret amongst occultists for several reasons. The legend of Mary Magdelene perhaps being the least important.
Some of the major appeal to Rennes le Chateau was the massive treasure that Berenger Sauniere seemed to have acquired. Other things of interest were the demon statue of Asmoday at the entrance of the church. As the Da Vinci code would have us believe it was because Sauniere hid the secret of Mary Magdalene’s lineage; a child of Christ.
Tour of the tower
There are those of us who scoff at Dan Brown’s ideas, amongst those are some folks the average person may not suspect. I speak of some of the members of the band Tool. Long before the Da Vinci code Blair, Bob, Danny Carey, and Micheal Flamm took a trip to this most infamous of places, Rennes le Chateau to learn for themselves what secrets could be had. This account is documented on the band’s website here, there is also an excellent preface by Blair.
Danny actually has a great primer in a more occult view on it; that I highly suggest reading Danny Carey’s site write up on it here . What the actual reason for Saunniere’s wealth is to this day still remains a mystery; but if you have opportunity to, it would be a visit well worth your time.