The Church of Guimiliau

The Church of St Guimiliau, built in the 16C and 17C, is one of the major Parish Enclosures in Brittany and a ‘must-see’ if you visit Brittany. The Church is situated at the top end of the village of Guimiliau and we visited last year as well. Nowadays the site has been restored and tidied for  hordes of visitors, but it didn’t always look like this; not all that long ago the roads were mud and the churchyard was filled with tombs. (Interesting photographs here.)

Guimiliau and the Church of St Guimiliau
Guimiliau and the Church of St Guimiliau

The Triumphal Arch is quite simple, a single arch surmounted with statues of the Virgin Mary and two horsemen.

The Church of St Guimiliau

The Triumphal Arch, St Guimiliau Church

Inside the walls the group of buildings is stunning, with the enormous octagonal Calvary dominating the churchyard. The dates of 1581 and 1588 are carved into the structure. There is a small staircase inside the Calvary so that it could be used as an outdoor pulpit, much like the balcony on the Ossuary/Chapel. The figures on the frieze are in relief, while those on the platform above are statues. Together they represent scenes from the life of Christ.

The Parish Enclosure of St Guimiliau

The South Face of the Calvary, St Guimiliau Church
The South Face of the Calvary, St Guimiliau Church

16-9-21-guimiliau-lr-1439

Hell, on the West Face of the Calvary, St Guimiliau Church
Hell, on the West Face of the Calvary, St Guimiliau Church

The Ossuary of 1648 has been converted to a Chapel with an outside pulpit and carvings to remind us of the shortness of life.

The Ossuary of St Guimiliau

The Ossuary, St Guimiliau

The Ossuary of St Guimiliau

The Ossuary of St Guimiliau

The original Ossuary is still attached to the side of the South Porch, and has a extraordinary frieze of figures around its base.

The original ossuary (left) and ossuary/chapel (right)
The original ossuary (left) and ossuary/chapel (right)

The original Ossuary, St Guimiliau

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Sacristy dates from 1683.

The Sacristy, St Guimiliau Church

And lastly, the Bell Tower topped with a rooster!

The Bell Tower, Church of St Guimiliau

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s