The Chapel and Calvary of Tronoën !!!

This set is one of the wonders of my lovely Bretagne, deep rooted in traditions. We have visited most, some more pics than others but all wonderful. This one is up the alley from my house ,about 120 km. Let me tell you a bit on the Chapel Calvary of Tronoën !!!

The Notre-Dame-de-Tronoën is a 15C pilgrimage chapel in the town of Saint-Jean-Trolimon, in Pays Bigouden. It is located in the bay of Audierne, which it dominates at a height of 30 meters. This is in the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely region of Bretagne.

The wonderful thing to see here me think is the Calvary, It is the oldest of the seven great Calvaries of Bretagne. The date of construction is between 1450 and 1470, according to what can be deduced from the characters dressed according to the fashion of the time of the King of France Charles VII. It consists of a rectangular base of 4.50 meters by 3.50 meters , two superimposed friezes separated by a drip edge, surmounted by three crucifixions: Christ and the two thieves. The structure and the majority of the sculptures are in Scaër granite, with the exception of three scenes (Visitation, Nativity and the Three Kings) carved in Kersanton which has better resisted the weather.

Saint Jean Trolimon
The layout of the Calvary sculptures, in superimposed scenes, will induce a more demonstrative than narrative reading scheme. At the first level, the scenes follow each other chronologically to allow a horizontal reading, corresponding to the terrestrial journey , from the Annunciation to the Agony. At the second level, the canonical order is abandoned to bring the two registers into harmony and create a vertical reading that realizes the movement of elevation towards the cross accompanying the spiritual journey of pilgrims. Thus, the Gospel episodes are linked according to a principle of vertical association which makes it possible to engage in a meditation on the mysteries using the correspondences between the scenes of the two levels, making the Calvary a theological instrument at the service of faith. The visit to the Calvary of Tronoën begins at the lower right corner of the east face, with the inaugural figure of the Annunciation. The scenes then follow from left to right according to the conventional reading direction.
Annunciation: The Virgin stands before a lectern where the holy books are stored. Visitation: Mary goes to her cousin Elizabeth, who is pregnant with Saint John the Baptist. She receives her by touching her belly, recognizing in Mary the mother of the Messiah (Luke I, 43) Mary’s hair ostensibly uncovers her ear through which she received the divine announcement. Christ introduced himself by the ear in Mary, carried by the word of the Archangel, Nativity: The Virgin is reclining in the manger (animal manger), made of a simple plessis, a coarse braiding of branches, as mentioned in Luke II. The Virgin is lying there, chest open, following the text of the apocryphal Gospel of Pseudo-Mathieu to show her virginity. Behind the Virgin’s bed, in front of the donkey and the ox, set back and absent from the unfolding event, Joseph sleeps or dreams, betraying his old age, Adoration of the Magi: The three kings present themselves with their offerings. The first is bearded, dressed in a greatcoat and without a crown, he is kneeling before Christ. The second from the front, his head surrounded by a crown of flowers, points with his outstretched finger to the star that guided them. He wears a doublet (piqué fabric padded with wadding) with leg sleeves, characteristic with his poulaine shoes from the second half of the 15C. The third, in profile, is also wrapped in a large-sleeved mantle and has a crowned head.

I will then come to the Chapel of Tronoën, rectangular in lay out with 25 meters long and 12 meters wide, consists of a main nave, two times two bays separated by a powerful diaphragm arch which supports a three-spired bell tower, a side aisle and a flat chevet, The bell tower dominates the bay of its 30 meters, placed in the center of the chapel, supported by the diaphragm arch. A central chamber of bells pierced by six arcades receives the octagonal spire and four pinnacles at the corners frame openwork pediments of small bays and oculi. The economic prosperity of the reign of the Duke of Brittany Jean V allowed the construction of a multitude of sanctuaries encouraged by the mendicant orders from the end of the 14C.

The fountain of devotion is located below the chapel , along the road that leads to the sea, the source is marked by an aedicule consisting of a niche surmounted by a pediment. It feeds a freestone washhouse and a pond.

The Bigouden country local tourist office on the chapel calvary of Tronoën

The Seven Great Calvaries of Bretagne on the Tronoën: 

There you go folks, another gem hugely tradition in my lovely Bretagne ,and a must to see when in the region. The Chapel Calvary of Tronoën is beautiful and surely worth the detour. Hope this post will encourage you to visit it.

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

2 Responses to “The Chapel and Calvary of Tronoën !!!”


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