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La Balme and the Waldensians' cursed treasure

The interior | Christophe Delaere / CC-BY
Natural cavity Legend Treasure La Balme caves

The Waldensians in La Balme

In the caves of La Balme, 300 Waldensians were slaughtered… but when exactly? Mystery.

Who are the Waldensians? Members of a strange church, not very orthodox, founded by Pierre Valdo, a rich merchant from Lyon who made a crisis of mysticism.

This guy started to contest what the Catholic Church did, the hierarchy above all, then he rewrote all the sacred texts.

So the Church treated them as heretics. Bloody sect! Persecutions and slaughters followed… ouch.

We know that in 1179, the Waldensians took shelter in the Dauphiné area. In Le Balme?

And also in the middle of the 16th century, after the gory slaughters of Mérindol and Cabrières (Vaucluse).

But we also know that in the area of La Balme the pastor Henri Arnaud and his men were driven back against the wall in the cave.

Why? They rebelled themselves against the Edict of Nantes...

The cursed treasure of La Balme

The book Le Folklore de la France, le ciel et la terre by Paul Sébillot tells the Waldensians slaughtered here spelled a curse on the rocks: they turned into gold ingots.

Why? To set men against other men… In the meantime, lots of people came in the cave to dig the rock!

In the middle of the 19th century, a priest even took down a piece of rock from the vault. A rock which turned into gold, of course.

But the next day, the stone disappeared from the priest’s house and came back on the vault, like moved by an invisible hand...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!