The Mystic Legends of Brittany – Part 1
Brittany is a part of France which is steeped in legends and folk tales, mystic stories that still tantalise us today. Stories of King Arthur, Merlin, Morgan Le Fey and the Knights of the round table, of ogres and of ill-fated pacts made with the devil himself. We will likely never know what really happened to insight the imaginations of our ancestors as such but we can visit the places they spoke of, the locations that inspired these intriguing yarns. Here are a few destinations that relate to the stories that you can visit for yourself here in this magical part of France.
The Lady of The Lake
There are many places that claim to be home to the mysterious faerie Viviane, perhaps better known as the Lady of the Lake. She plays a vital role in the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It was she who gave Arthur the magical sword known as Excalibur which was then returned to her once the heroic King met his tragic death, she also helped to raise Sir Lancelot and won the heart of the powerful wizard Merlin, even if it was a rather one-sided affair. People have claimed that the lake resides in several places in England such as Cornwall, in Wales and in Scotland too. One of those places however sits here in Brittany at the Chateau de Comper. According to the legend she lives in a Crystal Palace beneath these waters that was built by Merlin as a testament to his love.
Morgan Le Fay’s Prison
Morgan Le Fay was King Arthur’s half sister and often a villain in the saga, a wicked sorceress with sinister ways. Broceliande Forest just outside of the village of Paimpont is home to one of the chapters of this epic tale, more specifically it was supposedly where Morgan Le Fay imprisoned any of her unfaithful lovers. Despite her portrayal as a dastardly ne’er do well often it can seem more like she was simply a strong woman that men feared. Sadly, the forest was hit by extensive fires in 1990 which saw many of its ancient trees charred to ruination. Extensive work was later done to restore the place to its former glory however and it now contains the particularly majestic ‘Golden Tree’ designed by sculptor Francois Davin. This is charred chestnut tree that was coated in leaves of gold (5000 to be precise) in order to portray the vitality of nature.
Sat between the Broceliande Forest and the Coetquidan heath lies a place known as the Aff valley, named after the river Aff that runs through it. It was around here that the Queen Guinevere first opened her heart to the brave Sir Lancelot. Upon seeing these beautiful surroundings, you will be able to see exactly why she picked this spot, it’s romantic enough to share such feeling whilst being secluded enough to keep them hidden from prying ears.