Broceliande Forest Paimpont : Paimpont Tourism

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Broceliande forest

Broceliande forest
Broceliande forest

35380 Paimpont

Unusual places

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Mythical forest shrouded in mystery and legends, the Broceliande Forest is the crucible of the history of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Vivianne and Morgane fairies, and Merlin. To search the forest on a map would be useless because it does not exist. Best known as the Paimpont Forest, it is located in the heart of Brittany, between Morbihan and Ille-et-Vilaine, about twenty kilometers west of Rennes.

The legend of King Arthur is rooted in the Celtic and Breton culture from the fifth century through the troubadours and bards who orally spread the adventures of the King. However, it is through the work of Chretien de Troyes that we found the first written recounting of the epic adventure of the Holy Grail.

If Brocéliande houses the Arthurian saga, it is also the home of fantastic characters, creatures belonging to the Breton mythology. Elves, goblins, trolls and other famous ghosts haunt the local legends.

Thus, the Arthurian and Breton legends live through the various sites and trails spread over 7000 hectares.

- The Val-sans-retour: located near Tréhorenteuc, west of Paimpont, this site is a deep valley, carved out of the red shale. The Val-sans-retour offers changing landscapes, which are astounding in their variety through the seasons. According to the legend, fairy Morgan, mistress of an unfaithful knight, decided to hold prisoners unfaithful knights in this valley. This is Lancelot's pure love for Queen Guinevere which managed to break the spell. On the Val-sans-retour trails, we can cross three megalithic monuments: the Merlin's seat, the Viviane Hotié and the False Lovers Rock.

- Barenton Fountain: located in the west of the forest, near the "Crazy Thought" hamlet, this fountain fascinates human imagination. Indeed, it was given healing powers, but it can also cause major disasters. According to legend, the fairy Viviane met Merlin there. It also says that you should never throw water from this source on nearby stone, without provoking a terrible storm.

- The Tomb of Merlin : is a megalith which consists of two slabs of red shale, perpendicular, backed by an old holly located at a place called La Marette. Legend has it that this is where fairy Viviane locked Merlin by drawing nine air circles and pronouncing 9 magic sentences. Today, many walkers leave an offering in exchange for a vow.

- The Viviane hotié: The Viviane hotié or house is located near the Val-sans-retour valley, high on a hill. Also called "Tomb of the Druids", it is a megalith dating from about 2500 BC. This is one of the places where she used to retire before meeting Merlin who later built for her a glass palace in the Comper lake. More formally, it would be a Neolithic burial chamber.

- Fairy Mirror: pond at the bottom of the Val-sans retour. It owes its name to its disturbing reflection. According to legend, once, seven fairies, seven sisters, lived in the pond and enjoyed watching their reflection in the water...

- The Bridge of the Secret: According to legend, Sir Lancelot of the Lake and Queen Guinevere would have confessed their love there. Send by King Arthur, Lancelot had to escort Guinevere through Brocéliande, to take her to Camelot to celebrate her marriage with Arthur. Arrived on the bridge of the secret, Lancelot revealed to her that he would lose forever his beloved. Curious, Queen Guinevere asked who she was, and in a murmur Lancelot replied, "You."

- Golden Tree: in September 1990 a fire ravaged the Val-sans-retour and the surrounding moors during five days. Given the scale of the disaster and the emotion among the local population, the event generated a tremendous show of solidarity. To mark this event, sculptor François Davin proposed to cover 5000 gold leaves of a chestnut extract from Val sans Retour, surrounded by 5 calcined oaks to symbolize the burned forest... Gold symbolizes immortality, and particularly the immortality of the forest.

- The Trecesson castle : just minutes from the town of Campénéac, this feudal residence of the Lords of Trécesson date from the 15th century. From this time, there are remains of loopholes, battlements, moats ... This castle is famous for the legend of The White Lady of Trécesson: a bride would have been buried alive in a field near the castle, in the 1750s. Since then, she would haunt the place at full moon...

- The Guillotin oak : the forest is home to majestic and ancient trees, the most famous being the Guillotin oak, about 1000 years old and with a 9-meter circumference. Its name comes from Father Guillotin, a refractory priest in the late eighteenth century, who had taken refuge in it.

- The Giant's tomb : also called the Roche à la Vieille, the Giant's tomb is a tomb dating from the Bronze Age. Four standing stones were cut in the second millennium for the construction of the individual burial which was initially covered by a small mound.

- The carved Devil of the Campénéac church : The Campénéac church, dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, is home to a chair supported by a kneeling devil, symbol of good overrinding evil.

You have understood, the power is held by imagination in this wonderful Brocéliande forest

Photo: Bérengère Mocquard©

Author : Bérengère©

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