(work in progress)St Thégonnec (St Tegoneg in Breton), an obscure sort of saint if ever there were one.The Bretons are rather fond of unilaterally recognising home grown saints, almost all of which are unrecognised by the official Powers That Be in Rome. To date, only three Breton saints have made it to the offiical Vatican list (St Yves, St Clair...more
(work in progress)Ossuaries - also known as 'bone churches' or by the splendid medieval term of 'charnal houses' - have been a well established tradition in Europe for over a millenium, yet the idea of a structure used to inter disembodied bones seems to evoke a frisson of horror among most tourists.The ossuary was a pragmatic solution to the...more
(work in progress)The ornate Calvary at Saint-Thégonnec depicts the Passion (trial and crucifixion) of Jesus in a series of tableaux whose design is not unlike the freeze frame format of the modern 'cartoon'.For me, one of the most moving of the tableaux depicted on the Calvary is the laying out of Jesus' body prior to burial, which beautifully...more
(work in progress)The quality of stone carving in the parish close at Saint-Thégonnec is astonishingly good, and quite the best that we saw during our time in Bretagne.Because granite is coarse grained and very hard, it is very seldom a stone that is willingly chosen by sculptors unless they're working on a really grand scale. However, at...more
(work in progress)The detail on the Calvary at Saint-Thégonnec is so astonishing that I found that I needed quite some time to take it all in.One of the most interesting aspects of the friezes on the Calvary is the fact that they reflect the fashions of the time in which they were carved (in this case, 1610), with the uniforms of the soldiers -...more
(work in progress)The parish close of Saint-Thégonnec is such an overwhelming spectacle that many will completely overlook the 'other' Calvary at the opposite side of the church. Which is a terrible pity, because I love its simplicity and the way that it stands sentinel over the town.more
(work in progress)Frequent visitors to my pages will know that I am violently allergic to all aspects of Baroque architecture and have an aversion to gratuitous gilding: yet somehow when I came across this delightful angel on the pulpit at Saint-Thégonnec, all my preconceptions flew out the window!With her wide brown eyes and rosebud mouth, she is...more
(work in progress)One of the most charming aspects of Breton churches is the fact that wildflowers and lichens have established themselves on the stone, which serves to soften the often austere lines of the granite structures.The building stone of choice in Bretagne is the local granite, which has a very coarse crystalline (alomost sugar-like)...more
All of the action on this Calvary takes place on the platform and the three crucifixion poles. The lateral ones support the two thieves. The center one is thicker and knobby (thorns?) with a cross bearing Christ at the top. Lower down are two cross beams. The upper has two figures at the ends and a Virgin and Child at the center. The lower also has...more
On entering the church, one sees above at the west end to the left, a large organ case which is carved. In a corner there used to be a well wrought multifigured carved Deposition. (It must have escaped the fire because a recent report illustrates and places it in the Ossuary-Chapel). A beautiful Rosary Altar was at the end of the left transept; it...more
The South Porch sits belwo the tower and has a severe Renaissance entry arch. The adjacent buttresses contain niches with 4 statues: thinner pair (left and right of the arch) are the Annunciation Angel and Mary, the outer pair, Sts. John and Nicholas. In another niche above the arch stands St. Thegonnec himself. Under the porch 12 fine niches have...more
Thisrectangular building has on its long side an entrance under a broken pediment with what must be St. Thegonnnec above. As noted there are shell niches above the windows. Inside when we visited there was an Altar at one end with a picture upon it of the death of (St.) Joseph. The altarpiece has spiral columns. In the depths under the altar is a...more
The Close is partially encircled by a stone fence with a Triumphal Gate. The enclosure is completed by tall hedges. We parked to the east of the church and entered through the gate. We looked at the tower above the South Porch as we appraoached. It was Renaissance in style (1587) with samll lantern at the top corners around a small dome. To the...more
The wooden Deposition of Saint-Thégonnec is one of the most beautiful and best kept in Bretagne. You may recognize the following people:standing, from left to right: Saint Joseph of Arimathea, the man who took Jesus's body down from the Cross and buried it; Veronica, the Pious Woman who wiped Jesus's face; Virgin Mary; John, Jesus's favourite...more
The inside of the chapel is very beautiful. You see a high altar, a very unusual representation of God, the blue ceiling, a showcase with the treasure of the church, including the cross used on occasion of the pardon (the annual procession to celebrate Mary on the Assumption Day), and an altar decoration depicting Saint Joseph's death. However,...more
You can see two Baroque retables to the sides of the altar. They portray saints and scenes from the Holy Scriptures. I think they are the most remarkable attraction of the church, together with the windows.There are two large well-decorated windows: one portrays male saints and the other female saints. The guide told us the names of most of them...more
The calvaire of Saint-Thégonnec is not as populated as that of Guimiliau but it is not less interesting. Here you see some scenes narrated in the calvaire:1) the capture of Jesus;2) Jesus's burial;3) Jesus falls under the weight of the cross.You can see more photos in the travelogues.more
Neither does the inside of the church look as it did when it was built for the main reason that a silly boys had the wonderful idea of setting it on fire in 1998, as you can read more in depth in the "General tips" section of this page.The organ has just been restored, while the repair of the apsis is still in progress.more
(work in progress)
The Bar des Sports in Saint-Thégonnec is almost a caricature of the sort of bar that you hope to be lucky enough to stumble across in rural Bretagne.
Square, solid weatherproof granite exterior and slate roof artistically highlighted with acid green lichen - check. Pictureque creeper softening the austere lines of the architecture - check. Bright blue, impossibly pictureque shutters - check.
Given all those advantages, who would care if the beer and food were good? Well, actually I would, but unfortunately our time constraints intervened, so I had no time to ground truth its other merits and determine whether the interior lived up to the spectacular exterior.
This is one place where I would dearly have loved the opportunity to watch a sports game on big screen TV with a supply of local cidre on tap! If you've been so lucky, then please let me know whether it would have lived up to my high expectations!
In the morning of a normal day in June, a boy is playing with the candles in the church. His parents tell him to come away from there; he continues staying there; at a certain moment, he incidentally sets fire to the church.[...]Many parts of the church were destroyed but the people of the village could save something and, after long works, the...more