Commana enclose church!!

And I really needed a complete overhaul on this one, old but links old too. It has been written before in my blog but deserves more. One of the wonders of Bretagne. The enclose church in Commana.


One of the Church religious enclosures in Brittany, this one in Finistére, in the town of Commana. We left early on a wonderful day that saw temperatures go up to 23C or about 72F and sunny.  Commana is about 1h35 from our home and we left by car along the N165 to exit Morlaix , Plouay going into the D764 and D48 ; the town is right in the Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique; a natural park passing by the famous Breton historical area of the Monts d’Arrée.

The enclosure or enclos paroissial de Commana  is done around the Church of Saint Derrien. It was built in the 16C to 17C and it is considered one of the most beautiful in Brittany. It includes the Church, the enclosure itself, and the Arc de Triomphe.


The leyend about this Saint  Derrien is that he save from drowning the Prince Élorn ,by which the river now bears his name. Refusing to be given land in exchange for this good deed, the Saint demand that a church be built in Commana. So this was done in 1645.  The belltower is 57 meters high on one of the best hills of Léon which are at 262 meters above sea level. The belltower looks straight , austere arid on the image of the semi desert Monts d’Arrée; the date of 1592 is engraved on the base.


Inside, you have the retables of Sainte Anne, a work of art baroque from the 17C more precise in 1682 ; there are two other retables those of  the Rosary or Rosaire , and the  Cinq-Plaies or Five Wounds.


The chapel retable of Sainte Anne, is a work of art baroque from the 17C, measuring 6 meters by 8 meters high. It is composed of three parts, in the middle the Virgin and Sainte Anne looking at the Enfant Child having in its left hand the globe of the world.  See the two columns twisted and decorated in guirlandes of vines and leaves. The lateral niches enclosed Saint Joseph ,and Saint Joachim. Higher up you see the Sainte Virgin and the Angel Gabriel. Below it the throne of the Eternal Father held by two angels.  At the summit you find Sainte Trinité and God Eternal Father holding his sons ,all built 1682.


The retable or altar chapel of the Rosary or Rosaire shows the statues of the Virgin and the Child offering the rosary to Saint Dominique and Sainte Catherine de Sienne.  The two niches laterally enclosed the statues of Saint Joachim , and Saint Joseph. Below them, you see a figure of the Father and Mother presenting their Child to the Holy Virgin.


The central niche of the  Chapel retable of the Cinq-Plaies shows the Lord showing its wounds.  On the side two angels crowned in roses have a crown of thorns and nails ; showing laterally the statues of Saint Sébastien and Sainte Marguerite.  They are dated from 1852. The image of these to the figures on the boat of the times makes you think that like the retable of Sainte Anne, they are done by the marines of Brest.


The baptismal chapel dates from the 18C.  However, the urn dates from 1656, located at the heart of a column decorated with gadroons, fluted and surmounted by a canopy in wood to five parts carried by five pilasters to which are attached two cardinal virtues (the Justice and Temperance) and the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity).  Above the canopy, balusters support the dome above the statue of Jesus  holding a cross, sustained three caryatids. This last work dates from 1683.


Coming into the enclosure you pass by an Arc de Triomphe ,closed of a wrought iron grille dating from the 18C. It was open only for wedding or funeral to allow processions, the access to the Church being usually by steps located on the left side of the Arc de Triomphe.  Once through the Arc de Triomphe, you see , immediately on the left, the Reliquary  Chapel, improperly called the ossuary ; dated 1677 to 1687 , this chapel is very sober, has only one door and four windows each with stouts. Only the rosettes and spitters spiral carved dragons adorn the façade.


There are two cavalries; the first one is located between the Arc de Triomphe and the porch is dated 1585, however the cross carrying the date of 1742, which suggests that it had replaced a cross dating from the 16C. Dating from 1624, the second Calvary is located more in the cemetery.

The city of Commana on the enclosure in French:

The dept 29 Finistére on the enclosure of Commana:

The CIAP interpretation center on the enclosures such as Commana

Each weekend or most, we tend to go out and see these, the beauty and the choices of Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh are inmense and a lot more than galettes and cider and or beaches! Hope you enjoy this jewel of architecture and history in Commana.

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

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