Sunday, June 22, 2014

Abbaye de Léhon, Brittany

Wandering Around The Cottage - June 2014 Edition - 2 

I hope none of you got sunburnt waiting for me in front of the abbey, as I had asked you to... Life is just a little crazy these days and it seems I'm unable to blog on school days in June...

J'espère qu'aucun d'entre vous n'a pris de coups de soleil en m'attendant devant l'abbaye comme je vous l'avais demandé... Il semble qu'écrire pour le blog au mois de juin soit un peu compliqué.

The story of the abbey dates back to the 9th century. The first duke of Brittany, Nominoë, promised some money if the monks could find some remains of a Briton saint.

L'histoire de l'abbaye remonte au IXe siècle. Le duc de Bretagne, Nominoé, promet d'aider la communauté religieuse si les moines se procurent les reliques d'un saint breton.

In a not-so-Christian spirit, the monks stole the remains of saint Magloire on the island of Serk... Many people came to see the remains and that's how the abbey became prosperous.

Dans un élan peu chrétien, les moines volent les reliques de saint Magloire sur l'île de Serk. Cela attire de nombreuses personnes à l'abbaye, qui prospère.

Unfortunately, the 9th century buildings were destroyed and then rebuilt during the 12th century.

Les bâtiments du premier monastère furent détruits, puis reconstruits au XIIe siècle.

In the church are several tombs, mostly of the Beaumanoir family. One of the knight buried there is famous for something his squire said. In  1351, knight Jéhan III of Beaumanoir was wounded in a battle. He asked his squire for something to drink, to which the squire answered: "Drink your blood, Beaumanoir, and you won't be thirsty anymore."

Dans l'église abbatiale se trouvent de nombreux gisants, appartenant souvent à la famille Beaumanoir. L'un des chevaliers enterré là est célèbre grâce à une phrase de son écuyer. En 1351,  Jéhan III de Beaumanoir est blessé au cours d'un combat. Alors qu'il demande à boire à son écuyer, celui-ci lui répond: "Bois ton sang, Beaumanoir, et la soif te passera."

Among the many fascinating things in this church is the baptismal font (thanks for teaching me the right word in your comments). It dates back from the 13th century and was carved in one big block of granite. Inside, fish were carved.

Mon élément préféré de cette église est sans conteste la cuve baptismale. Elle date du XIIIe siècle, a été faite dans un bloc de granit unique et des poissons sont sculptés à l'intérieur. 

But my favourite feature is how uneven is the edge. It's because all the farmers of the village sharpened  their tools on it for good luck.

Le bord de la cuve est très irrégulier car les paysans du coin venait y affûter leurs outils.

 The cloister and enclosed garden is open to visit and I was so glad to be there at a time when there are lots of flowers.

Le cloître et son jardin sont ouverts au public et j'étais bien contente d'y venir en une saison où tout est en fleurs. 

 Old stone walls make the perfect background, don't you think?

Les vieilles pierres forment toujours un arrière-plan qui mettent en valeur les fleurs... au milieu desquelles j'ai rencontré un chat, bien sûr!

A cat was enjoying the garden as much as anyone else...

I was a little disappointed that the dining-room of the abbey, about which I had read beautiful comments, was closed. But by crossing the river, I was able to see how the dining-room windows looked like from the outside.

J'ai été un peu déçue que la salle-à-manger de l'abbaye, dont j'avais lu qu'elle était très jolie, soit fermée. Mais en traversant la rivière, j'ai au moins pu en voir les fenêtres de l'extérieur...

You can see on the picture above that the abbey was built on different phases and that some parts were abandoned while others were rebuilt... When it became necessary to make some of the buildngs bigger, the then king of France, Louis XIII, gave clearance to use the stones of an old castle that wasn't used anymore. What's left of this castle? You'll see it if you come back for the next post!

Comme vous pouvez le voir sur la photo ci-dessus, l'abbaye a été construite en plusieurs étapes et certaines parties, considérées comme trop petites ont été peu à peu abandonnées alors que des bâtiments plus grands étaient construits. Avec quoi? Le roi Louis XIII eut une bonne idée: il autorisa l'utilisation de pierres prises sur un château inutilisé... Que reste-t-il de ce château? C'est ce que vous pourrez voir la prochaine fois!

Please, nobody in high heels for the next post... The path to the remains of the castle isn't a highway!

Merci de ne pas mettre vos talons aiguilles la prochaine fois, le chemin qui mène aux ruines du château n'est pas une autoroute!

A bientôt,

See you soon,

PS1: As I'm a substitute teacher, the end of the school year means that I'm trying to find where there'll be a job for me next week... Don't think I don't like reading your blogs anymore, I just can't find the time right now!

PS2: Time permitting, I'll be partying at my favourite parties...

Dwellings-the Heart of You Home          Louis Ritman Tea in the Garden                  


  1. I was waiting for you but I had sunscreen on so no sunburn! Another great tour Magali! Thanks for taking all those gorgeous pictures. I feel like I'm there! Cheers.

  2. Such a beautiful place and so rich in history. I know you have said before you are a substitute teacher, but you also write lessons and prepare grades. Do you usually sub long term for teachers who are out sick? Just curious how it works over there. Only long term subs do those things here. What grade levels do you normally teach? Hope you have a lovely and restful Sunday. Your summer is drawing near...:)

    Blessings, Vicky

  3. What an amazing place and I love reading its history. Your photos are gorgeous, Magali. Hope you have a job next week. xo Laura

  4. J'ai adoré cette visite. Les photos sont superbes et donnent vraiment envie d'y aller. Est-ce que tu pourras être mon guide un de ces jours ?

  5. That was so interesting and beautiful. Best wishes finding a new employment for next year.xoxo

  6. What a beautiful church and the grounds WOW. Thank you for sharing this with us. I would have loved to tour this beautiful church.
    Good luck finding a teaching position and hopefully everything is coming along nicely at the cottage.
    Happy Summer.

  7. Absolutely stunning and beautiful Magali!!! I love the details of old churches and this is a big wow for me! Thank you for the tour!

  8. Such a beautiful building! I loved seeing the little kitten peeking out.

  9. No sunburn here and I loved the tour of this beautiful abbey. The architecture is so detailed. I am sorry the dining room was closed, after seeing the windows I can only imagine it is spectacular. I can't wait for the castle.
    p.s. How are your headaches? I hope you are feeling well.

  10. Thank you for such a beautiful tour!! PS.... in the US we call it a baptismal font (derivation of fountain, source of living water)

    1. Thank you for telling me. I thought "font" was sounding too French, since it's also te words we use! I'm glad you enjoyed the tour.

  11. I absolutely loved your tour of this ancient Abbey. It all facinates me. Thank you for taking the time in your busy life to share it with us. I will never be able to see such in person so I am grateful when bloggers share such beautiful posts. xxo

  12. I sunburn easily, but I'm OK. I loved the tour of the Abbey, I feel like I get to visit places I would never get to do before. I love when you share all the great places by you. The architecture is gorgeous, I really love architecture so. We do have some great ones in Chicago, but nothing like this!

  13. Oh I just love when you do tours Magali - my favorite posts by far!!!
    What a gorgeous Abbey - would give anything to come see it in person - truly magnificent to live amongst such history!
    ( and I wore lots of sunblock so I'm ok )

  14. Just saying....does anyone know where the mythology for vampires came from? I'm thinking Old Beaumanoir may have been the first ever vampire. The architecture is just gorgeous, beautiful pictures.

  15. A beautiful abbey, I love how these are built on over the years. I think the baptism tank is actually a font - that's what I was told anyway :-) xx

  16. It's so wonderful to see these gorgeous places Magali...and to live vicariously through you. Thank you for sharing.

  17. You've answered my last email, so don't worry about it. I didn't realise you were a substitute teacher, I'm sorry if I wasn't paying attention and I don't know why I didn't think of this before I wrote a ridiculous question !
    The flowers do indeed look lovely against the old stone walls. Thank you for the tour and all the historical facts, we call it a font too !

  18. That last window is my favorite. Can't wait for next weeks episode! ;)

    1. That window is the only new stained glass window I could see from the inside the abbey: it's in the coridor before the dining-room which was closed.

  19. I have missed you. My blog roll did not show that you had any recent posts.

    I am glad I checked and could join you at the abbey today.

  20. We call it a baptismal font. Beautiful photos and interesting post! I love to tour abbeys and cathedrals. Thank you for taking us with you!


  21. We all realize that sometimes there is more to life than blogging. lol! As much as I love connecting with my blog friends life must go on. Glad to have you back my friend! I agree, nothing like a stone or rock wall as a background. This looks like a gorgeous place. Of course, my fav is the garden. I got a good laugh out of the not so honest monks. Devious little fellas weren't they?

  22. So lovely, Magali. This is about as close as I'll be getting to a vacation this year so I'm glad to have you show me around!
    Your history sharing and photos are beautiful.

  23. Your right beautiful bursts of color against stone walls create dynamic composition, beautiful story.

  24. That was a fun excursion, Magali! And don't feel bad about not being around - I haven't been visiting other blogs, either, and I'm just now catching up. I hope you are now finished with the school year, and can enjoy the summer off!

  25. KITTY!!! Those pictures are amazing!


  26. Des moines voleurs d'ossements, pas très catho tout ça...J'enlève mes chaussures à talon et je file au château...

  27. Hello Magali, This is absolutely beautiful - so delighted you shared! I will be featuring your post in this week's Home and Garden Thursday,

  28. Sorry! I was talking to my daughter about the blog parties while typing and inadvertently typed Home and Garden Thursday when I meant - A Return to Loveliness, :)

  29. It really is a beautiful historical place.


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