We had tramped and slithered through the mud around St-Cadou and I was definitely in need of a coffee so we headed towards Le Faou. Along the way an unexpected sight caught my attention and we stopped to look at Notre Dame de Rumengol. As I passed through the gateway the atmosphere was tangible – it was another of ‘those’ sites in Brittany. ‘Tradition’ says that this was once a site sacred to the Druids, who practised human sacrifice here, but that may just be fantasy, according to the very knowledgeable Wendy Mewes.
The Church was an Enclos Paroissial but the Ossuary and the enclosure disappeared in the mid-19C, when the graveyard was also moved, and the large Chapel in the grounds dates from 1880. The Chapel was built open to accommodate large gatherings of pilgrims on the occasions of a Pardon. Today there are two every year: the feast of the Holy Trinity on June 6th and 7th and at the feast of the Assumption on 14 and 15 August.
A church was known on the site in the 12C and a few parts of the old church remain. Today’s church was founded in 1536 and built between the 16C-18C; the oldest part is the South Porch, while the extraordinary Bell Tower is 17C
It was one of those occasions when the tripod was essential but I didn’t have it so this was the best I could do – handheld, with hight ISO – I apologise for grainy photos. The interior of the Church is richly decorated. The pulpit and the altarpieces were carved by Jacques Lespaignol, Francois and Guillaume Lerrel, and the wood carvers in the Brest shipyards were apparently busy in the church as well.
The pulpit was made in 1779 by Yves Cevaer, who also made the pulpit in the Church of Sizun.
The organ was first built by one of the Dallams in 1671 and then replaced in the late 1800s.
The South Porch has a full complement of Apostles from the mid-17C, a richly carved tympanum, and a sundial. (Detailed analysis here.)
Spectacular, moving – must return.