From the Visigothic to the Carolingian era
In the second half of the 6th century, the ancient oppidum of Rhedae found itself on the frontier of the Visigothic kingdom, a position which gave it a role of prime strategic importance. It would appear that the town was at that time the capital of the pagus Rédensis, although this idea is contested by some authors.
Earliest documentary reference (798) Rennes-le-Château appears for the first time under the Latin name of ‘Redas’ in Parænesis ad judices (‘Exhortation to Judges’), written in verses by the Bishop Théodulf of Orleans (c. 750–821).
Did you know…? Louis Fédié (1815–1899) claimed that Rennes-le-Château was formerly a Visigothic capital boasting up to 30,000 inhabitants. Subsequent historians and archaeologists have expressed doubts about this figure, which they consider exaggerated.