Chapel St Fiacre at Le Faouët!

And last but not least, while in our more detail tour of Le Faouët in our beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the lovely region of Brittany we had to stop at a wonderful monument for all to enjoy it today. I like to tell you a bit more on the Chapel of Saint Fiacre!

About 2 km south of Le Faouêt on the village of Saint-Fiacre, which developed near the chapel of the same name. The Chapel of Saint Fiacre was rebuilt from 1450 on the order of the lords of Boutteville; its exceptional polychrome wood rood dating from 1480 It also has quality stained glass windows The chapel of St Fiacre has a facade cut into triodes with a bell-gable often found in Brittany. That of Saint-Fiacre is however triple flanked by two side turrets and a balcony. The interior is composed of five bays with a square chevet at their end.

Le Faouet

Concerning the preserved objects, the Chapel of St Fiacre is especially famous for its exceptional jubé in polychrome wooden style flamboyant realized from 1480 to 1492 . The side of the nave illustrates scenes of the temptation of Adam and Eve, the Annunciation of Mary, and the passion of Christ. The choir side represents certain deadly sins and vices, with theft (of fruit in a tree), drunkenness (a man vomiting a fox), lust (a man and a woman), laziness (a Breton musician) . The restoration of the paintings would have been done by Robert Marie Raymond, among other painter of the Breton school. Several sculptures in the round were made by the ducal workshop of Folgoët The stained glass windows date from the 16C probably around 1557. The stone altarpiece illustrates the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Many painters represented the Chapel and its pardon such as Henri Barnoin: The pardon of Saint-Fiacre, oil on canvas and Edward Henri Guyonnet; Pardon of Saint-Fiacre at Faouet, oil on canvas; Chapel of Saint-Fiacre, oil on canvas.

Le Faouet

A bit more from the Chapel brochures as well.

On the west facade, there is a beautiful bell tower mounted on the gable surrounded by two turrets, the one on the right contains the staircase that provides access to the bell tower, the other has a decorative purpose. The south porch with vault of stones is admirable for the delicacy of its sculpture and its double basket handle door. At the apse of the chapel, the banner of the Dukes of Brittany, struck with ermines and erected above two lions, is to be remembered. Below, a crest or center of which is an ermine chosen as an emblem by the Dukes with the motto “Rather death than defilement”. The ducal banner and the ermine show that the chapel Saint-Fiacre owes its magnificence to the ducal protection.

The oak rood screen (jube) consists of a perforated fence surmounted by a corbelled gallery. Between the two, a richly decorated cross. The rood screen was used until the middle of the 16C to separate the clergy, admitted to the sanctuary where the sacred mysteries were celebrated, the people who had to stay at a distance. It was from the platform of the gallery that the clergy addressed the people for the proclamation of the Gospel. Whoever read the text first asked the priest to bless him by asking “jube, dominate, benedicere” (please, you who preside, give me your blessing).

You will note on the nave side ;facing the people, the decor represents the Mysteries of Christ and the symbols of faith. Are represented: Christ on the cross surrounded by good and bad thieves, Mary and St. John. On the right, Adam and Eve, chased out of earthly paradise by the sword-bearer angel, and on the left, it is the announcement made to Mary that she will be the mother of the one who will redeem humanity from the original fault. the sandpit dominating the six fence grilles evokes the celebration of the Mass, memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ (Mass of Saint Gregory). To the left of this central scene appear various episodes borrowed from the life of Saint Martin of Tours. On the right, the fox devil, disguised as a monk tries to break into the barnyard before seeing his deceit foiled and himself undermined by those he wanted to take: the scene is borrowed from the “Roman de Renard ” or the romance novel of the fox sort of… which enjoyed immense success in the European literature of the Middle Ages.

Le Faouet

On the Chorus side, the other side of the rood screen, the show is totally different, even if the work of the wood is equally admirable. They wanted you to see in the characters of this east facade of the rood screen of the representations of the capital sins to the scenes of the daily life. From left to right: a peasant carrying a sheep and a fowl, a man vomiting a skinned fox (“skinning the fox” meant in the middle ages vomiting after excessive drinking), a couple of lovers holding hands (the lust), a bingo player and a bombard player (laziness).

Le Faouet

The painted altarpiece which represents the martyrdom of San Sebastian. A beautiful statue of the Madonna and Child in polychrome wood of the 15C. A polychrome wooden statue of duke Jean V. A set of precious stained glass windows from the 15-16C. Above the high altar, the stained glass window of the Passion; north arm of the transept, east wall, a window of the tree of Jesse; in the same south arm, a stained glass window depicting the life of Saint Fiacre dated 1552. (Saint Fiacre is an abbot of Irish origin who founded a monastery-hospice east of Meaux (77) in the 8C or even the 7C, he is also the Saint of gardeners); in the north arm of the transept, a window of St. John the Baptist of the 16C; in the north aisle of the chapel, a stained glass window dedicated to Saint Anne and her three daughters, as attributed by medieval legend following three successive marriages with Joachim, Salomas and Cleophas.

Le Faouet

Le Faouet

As usual some webpages (most in French because they tell more)  to help you plan your trip here a must to visit are

City of Le Faouet on the Chapel St Fiacre

Tourist office of dept 56 Morbihan on the Chapel

Local Tourist office of Pays du roi Morvan on the Chapel

Tourist office of Brittany on Le Faouet in English

And there you go another gem in my beautiful Morbihan , never stop to amaze me the bounties in my region, not even counting my entire belle France, I am sure I have things to see for my lifetime. Hope you enjoy it too and do come to see them, the Chapel of St Fiacre is a beautiful monument worth keeping for eternity.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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