The Church of Saint-Cornély at Carnac bourg!

So this is an unique post me think. If reading my blog , you know Carnac is an Unesco site on its megaliths stones and very close to me ,in fact the closest beach at about 25 km or 13 miles from my house. There are several posts on its sigths in my blog. One of them, deals with the main church in city center and written before. So what I have done here not to repeat is to redo the post with updated links , revised text and the new pictures I took yesterday of which the town was empty! due to the virus. Therefore, here is the new post on the Church of Saint Cornély of Carnac bourg!

As you entered the town from the expressway N165 direction Carnac on the D768, and then entered the town on the D119, the first thing you see its the bell tower of this Church, you know you have reach Carnac bourg!

Now again, explanation. If reading my blog you know that Carnac is divided into two section ,one is Carnac bourg or the town of which the church is part,and Carnac plage or beach which is the beach side at about 2 km from each other.  The beach is move laidback and grand houses commerce directed at tourism. The bourg or city center is more residential except around the center where the Church of Saint-Cornély and the museum are. Now the Church of Saint Cornély!

carnac ch st cornely front afar jan21

The Church of Saint-Cornély dates from the 17-18C , and done in the Renaissance style. It is located in Carnac bourg, city center in the dept 56 of Morbihan, region of Bretagne.  The Church celebrates the patronage of Cornelius, Pope martyr, became Cornély, the patron of the breeders of horned beasts. The Church of Saint-Cornély is built on a rectangular plane with three naves. The pediment of the west façade is equipped with a niche housing a statue of Saint Cornély. The porch of the north façade is carved and dates from 1792; it is a Doric architecture with columns in cut panels, is topped by a canopy with ailerons, a crown and a cross.  The Bell tower, 40 meters high, dates from 1639. It consists of a square tower with a platform with railing and pinnacles at the corners, topped by a long arrow in the shape of a pyramid.

carnac ch st cornely back jan21

A detail description of the interior of the Church of Saint Cornély taken from historical brochures inside the church and translated by yours truly!

The sacristy dates from 1659. The church is covered with a paneled frame decorated with paintings. The paneling paintings date from 1729 to 1732 restored in 1872 and 1962-1965. The central vault presents the life of Saint Cornély, 18C Statue of Saint Cornély  and painting of 1731 representing the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin ;south vault that of Saint John the Baptist as well as the mysteries of the Rosary, the north vault contains passages from the life of Christ. The first stained-glass windows date from the middle of the 19C, one of them presents Saint Cornély as protector of animals, and the other presents the martyrdom of Saint Cornély (a soldier, sword raised, will cut off his head). The stained-glass windows (beginning of the second half of the 19C) which adorn the top of the North and South naves, in the North nave we see Saint Cornély protecting a boat caught in the storm, and Saint Cornély refusing the Papal Tiara, in the South nave we see Saint Cornély condemned to death by the emperor, and Saint Cornély on the march towards execution, baptizing a Roman officer and soldiers. The stained-glass windows (1878), framed by wide borders of medallions and coats of arms, are a gift from the Wolbock family: one represents Charles de Blois who attends mass, and the other Saint Cado disembarking in Brittany to evangelize the region. Towards the back of the church, there are stained-glass windows (end of the 19C). In the chapel (dated 1685) of the baptismal font, one can see paintings dated 1690: the paintings represent the birth of Jesus, the Adoration of the Magi, the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, Jesus in the midst of the doctors of the Law done in 1891 and gift of the family of Perrien, represents the Baptism of the Lord at the Jordan). The high altar,, dates from 1782. The altarpiece of the high altar, which dates from 1659, and its center presents a painting “The Assumption of the Virgin”, in 1731. In the south aisle, one can see an altarpiece from 1710, and a painting of the Rosary from 1715 painted by a monk from the Chartreuse d’Auray (the Virgin and Child are represented giving a rosary to Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine of Siena, framed by statues of Saint Anne with Mary and Saint Joachim,  and the small medallions describe the 15 mysteries of the Rosary). In the north aisle, we can see an altarpiece dedicated to Saint Isidore (Spanish saint), built between 1670 and 1680, with in its center a painting of the Ascension dated 1793 (restored in 1988): on the sides are the statues of Saint Louis (holding the scepter and, in the left hand, the crown of thorns), of Saint Leo the Great, and of a Pope. The altar of the Blessed Sacrament is dedicated to the Holy Trinity and to the Blessed Sacrament: the altarpiece (1710); the painting (1713), celebrates the God the Father adored by the angels; two large wooden statues (Saint Peter and Saint Paul) are on the sides. Another altarpiece dedicated to Saint John the Baptist was built around 1670: the two statues, period, in wood, are those of Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine of Siena holding a heart to God, and the painting entitled “Descent of Croix “, date of 1730. The pulpit to preach, date of 1783. The fence or gate of the choir (1806) also the trunks, the lectern, the communion gate and the gate in front of the statue-reliquary of Saint-Cornély, dated from 1819.

carnac ch st cornely altar jan21

carnac ch st cornely chapel right side jan21

carnac ch st cornely chapels left side jan21

carnac ch st cornely chapel side jan21

carnac ch st cornely organ back jan21

The pardon, (repentance forgiveness) which takes place on the second Sunday of September, is very popular since 1909, it is still organized nowadays, with in particular the blessing of horses! It’s all in the bourg where you have the museum, the city/town hall, the tourist office, and many shops and restaurants all around it. Enjoy Carnac and the Church of Saint Cornély.

A bit on the leyend of Saint Cornély:

Patron of the parish of Carnac, Saint Cornély is the best known of the patron saints of cattle and especially of horned beasts. Its cult is mainly located in the south of Brittany, curiously coinciding with the location of megalithic monuments, as in Languidic and Plouhinec, also once provided with large megalithic ensembles. Its name is the Breton form of Corneille or Cornelius in Latin. According to legend, St. Cornelius, pope in Rome and pursued by an army of pagans, found himself facing the sea and hid in the ear of one of the two oxen that accompanied him. He turned the troop of his pursuers to stone. Thus were born the alignments of Carnac by the transformation of this army into petrified soldiers, around the 3C. Saint Cornelius, surrounded by horned beasts, is said to be a resurgence of a Celtic and horned totemic god, Kernunnos or Cernunnos, related to fertility and animals. He would be both the master of animals and the intermediary between the world of the living and the world of the dead. One can even imagine quite easily that the medieval imagery of the Devil with horns and tail owes him a great deal.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

The city of Carnac on the Church of Saint Cornély in French: https://www.carnac.fr/Annuaire-des-services-et-equipements/Eglise-St-Cornely

The tourist office of Carnac on the Church of Saint Cornély in English: https://www.carnac.fr/Annuaire-des-services-et-equipements/Eglise-St-Cornely

There you go a nice monument to visit while in the area, and different from the beachside. The Church of Saint Cornély of Carnac is very nicely done on its decoration and architecture especially inside. Hope you enjoy the post.

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

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