The French Pyramid of Falicon

The French Pyramid of Falicon


The French have a Pyramid, and we are not talking about the Louvre Pyramid.

Located on the hillside northwest of Falicon we find one of the few Pyramids found in Europe. The Pyramid of Falicon is probably one of the European pyramids that almost no one has ever heard of. It is a monument that marks the entrance to the Cave of the Bats located north of Nice. Historians and archaeologists agree that the true origin of this Pyramid- now devoured by time, is unknown and very little research has been performed on the site, mostly due to the fact that only a handful of archaeologists have heard of this pyramid and given importance to it. Interest in the pyramid have risen since in 2007, the French government officially declared the Pyramid of Falicon a National Historical Monument. 

It was discovered in 1804 by Domenico Rossetti. Researchers have calculated that the Pyramid was once 9 meters tall even though at the present it has been truncated at approximately 3 meters showing moderate to heavy deformations caused by the regions climate and relatively weak construction materials, mostly small-sized irregular shaped stones that according to research performed at the site originate from the surrounding and nearby area. But what this Pyramid leaks perhaps in beauty it compensates by the history and tales behind it, going from the Illuminati, Roman Legionaries to Persian mythology.

The Grandson of John Bryan Ward-Perkins a British Classical architectural historian and archaeologist, and director of the British School at Rome, believes that the Pyramid of Falicon marks the resting-place of an exiled Egyptian chieftain.

The other theory, perhaps more interesting is that the Pyramid of Falicon is directly connected to Mithraism a mysterious religion that was practiced in the Roman Empire from the 1st to 4th centuries AD. The Romans called it Mysteries of Mithras or Mysteries of the Persians while modern day historians refer to it as Roman Mithraism or just Mithraism. But what connects the Pyramid of Felicon to Roman Mithraism? For starters, as we mentioned above, it is believed that this pyramid was constructed by Roman legionaries’ members of the late empire who were members of the Roman Mithraism religion. Roman Mithraism had a very complex and strange system of seven grades of initiation- according to research performed on the Pyramid of Falicon, the number of stairs that lead into the cave of the Bats or Bauma des Ratapignata in Occitan, is seven corresponding to the 7-levels of initiation rituals of Mithraism. Of course this theory has not been verified so we actually still don’t know much about the Pyramid. 

Image source: Accuweather, credits Jean-Pierre Baissac

New research dates the construction of the Pyramid of Falicon somewhere between 1803 and 1812 which would disqualify the theory that the pyramid may have been constructed by members of the Roman Army. Other historians point towards Napoleon Bonaparte stating that the Pyramid of Falicon was built in his honor to commemorate Napoleons Egyptian Campaign.

Whatever the reason may have been behind the construction of this Pyramid of Falicon, one thing is certain, it is a historical monument, it marks one of the few Pyramids found in Europe, and it is an archaeological site worth visiting and researching.

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