The Chapel St Fiacre of Le Faouët !

Let me update this older post on an interesting monument seen in my many road warrior trips in my area. This is Le Faouët in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the lovely region of Brittany. I like to tell you a bit more on the Chapel Saint Fiacre of Le Faouët !


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 with an  exceptional polychrome wood rood dating from 1480 It also has quality stained glass windows It 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.


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 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.


I was able to gather some brochures in the chapel and will transcribe here what it says in a shorter version.

On the 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 porch with vault of stones is admirable for the delicacy of its sculpture and its double basket handle door.  The ducal banner and the ermine shows 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 the rood 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.


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 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).


The painted altarpiece which represents the martyrdom of Saint Sebastien. 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 see post) 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.

The city of Le Faouët on the chapel:

The local Pays du Roi Morvan tourist office on the chapel

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist board on the Chapel:

There you go folks, another gem in my beautiful Morbihan , never stop to amaze me the bounties in my region, not even counting my entire belle France. Hope you enjoy it too and do come to see the Chapel of St Fiacre , a beautiful monument worth keeping for eternity.

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

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