La Roche Maurice and the Church of St Yves!

Ok so I will revise and update links on this one; it is not really old post as it is from 2019 but very little shown and it must. This is wonderful old La Roche Maurice and its main Church of St Yves. Let me tell you the update on it. Hope you enjoy it as I do.

This is could be an off the beaten path site for many. However, the locals know it well and we love it even the market.  I have crossed greatly if a lot is still to see and I am amazed of the monuments of great architecture and historical value here.  I have told you about it in pieces but the Church of St Yves in La Roche Maurice, dept 29 of Finistére deserves more credit.



The Church St Yves, dedicated to Saint Yves, dates from the 16C and was built from 1509 to 1589 at the site of the Church or Castral Chapel of 1363, founded by the family Rohan, Lords heirs of the Viscounts of Leon.


The Bell Tower of about 60 meters high dates from 1589. At the base of the Bell Tower, there is an ionic gate dated 1589, accosted and topped by niches sheltering the statues of Saint Yves, Saint Pascal Baylon and Saint Vincent Ferrier. The south Portal is dated 1550. The cowl of the southern Portal dates from 1520-1530 with the canopy of the cowl is adorned with four busts and is topped by the statue of Saint Maudez or Maurice, in Abbot’s outfit, c.1520.



Inside, there is a remarkable Renaissance-style rood screen of the 16C. Behind the altar is a large stained glass window dated 1539. The front door, dated 1550. The coat of arms of the northern Altar is from 1545. The altarpiece is from 1650 , stained glass, dated 1539 with a   surface is 21 meters and has 15 scenes depicting the passion and resurrection of Christ. There are the 14 coats of arms of Rohan and allied families. The five lancets present a detailed account of the passion of Christ and the crucifixion occupies the two upper registers of the three central lancets.


The panelled vaults have carved sandpits and beams of scenes from daily life done in 1559-1561. The rood screen of the Church of St Yves is with that of the Chapel of Lambader, one of the most beautiful of Brittany. Executed around 1570-1580, in polychrome carved oak, it is composed of a gallery surmounted by a Christ in the Cross surrounded by the Virgin Mary and Saint John. It includes 12 statues depicting Saints on either side of the transverse gallery but also characters, monsters and grotesque or fabulous masks at the pillars and sub bases.

Beyond the rood screen, in the north side, one recognizes the ox of Luke, the lion of Mark and the eagle of John. The second series, below the rood screen, carries live scenes: pouching scenes, burial of a corpse with crossed legs and lying on a cart drawn by two horses. On the nave and in the niches of the gallery are the nine Apostles from left to right are Philip, André, Thomas, Jude, Matthew, James the miner, Mathias, Simon, James the major and undoubtedly three Popes, the seated characters, wearing a tiara in the niches. On the choir side and in the niches of the gallery, there are many saints venerated in Brittany such as Saint Paul Aurélien and his dragon, St. Augustine or St. Blaise, St. Christopher, Saint Michael terrassing the Dragon, Mary Magdalene and her vase, Christ risen, St. Catherine, St. Barbara and her Tower, Saint Apolline and the pliers of her torment, St. Dominic or St. Gilles, St. Genevieve and her unquenchable candle, St. Margaret and her dragon.


Aside from the Church of St Yves you can see an Ossuary quite impressive too. Built between 1639 and 1640 as the Saint Anne chapel. It has five windows on each side of the central entrance and above the door a triangular pediment. On the façade seven carvings depict seven people from different levels of society and death is represented with the “Ankou”,(skeleton)  armed with an arrow and giving the chilling warning “I will kill you all” (“Je vous tue tous”) and another inscription of 1640 reminds us that we are of but dust (“Souviens-toi, homme que tu n’es que poussière”). ” Remember men that you are only but dust”. Built in a mixture of Logonna stone and schiste and in the Renaissance style.


A pretty site to see worth the detour me think ,and see the castle as well (see post). Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are:

The city of La Roche Maurice on the St Yves Church

The Landernau-Daoulas area tourist office on the St Yves Church

The SPREV association for preservation of the heritage on the St Yves Church

It is a nice ride here and like I said worth the detour to see the beauty we have in off the beaten path sites of FinistéreBrittany in my belle France. The Church of St Yves will be good to see.

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

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