The Daoulas Peninsula – Pilgrim paths & Chapels

It was Sunday and market day at Daoulas – an event not to be missed if you are in this area! I remembered the belly pork from previous years (unromantically called ‘lard’!) and of course we couldn’t go away without a smidgeon of cheese as well.

Stocked up for a few days we headed off into the Daoulas Peninsula to repeat a walk we had done the previous year. The views of the sea inlets are really lovely, and one might be tempted to just sit and look, but we needed exercise and so parked inland, just up the road from the Moulin de Kergoff.

The Anse de Penfoul

The Anse de Penfoul

This circular walk uses part of a pilgrim route to Santiago and the walking is easy, and clear.

Walking between the Moulin de Kergoff & Saint-Claude

Walking between the Moulin de Kergoff & Saint-Claude

The first stop was at the Chapel of Saint-Claude, dedicated to the 7C Bishop of the same name in Besançon, and built in the 16C. It has a Pardon in early September each year. The story is that it was built by the Lord of Kerhoat who was taken prisoner by the Moors in the Holy Land, but was released after praying to St Claude and therefore built a Chapel in his honour. Today’s building replaces the original. The Calvary has figures by Roland Doré.

The Chapel of Saint-Claude

The Chapel of Saint-Claude

The Calvary of The Chapel of Saint-Claude

The Calvary of The Chapel of Saint-Claude

The Calvary of The Chapel of Saint-Claude

The Calvary of The Chapel of Saint-Claude

This plaque is on the wall of the Chapel: Charles Rock is buried in the Brittany American Cemetery but I can’t find a record of John W Luttrell.

We walked on to find this rather muddy view of the Anse du Moulin-Neuf. This used to be busy with maërl harvesting, an activity which sounds ok – harvesting something from the sea to enrich the land – excepting that maërl grows at the rate of 1mm per year and some beds are over 5,000 years old.

The Anse du Moulin-Neuf

The Anse du Moulin-Neuf

Green sunken lanes lead to the Pont Callec and more green lanes to the Chapel of Our Lady of the White Fountain (La Fontaine Blanche).

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The Chapel of Notre Dame de la Fontaine Blanche was originally built of wood, burned down by the Normans in 913, and then rebuilt in the 10C, and altered in successive centuries. It was part of a Priory attached to the Abbey at Daoulas, and also on one of the Pilgrim Routes to Santiago. Although I can’t find any information I wondered if the small building on the opposite side of the road was a pilgrim hostel at some point. The White Fountain below the church was believed to have healing properties for children, who would be plunged into the water, which must have been a chilling experience for a poorly child.

The grove of trees behind the Chapel of La Fontaine Blanche

The grove of trees behind the Chapel of La Fontaine Blanche

The Chapel of La Fontaine Blanche

The Chapel of La Fontaine Blanche

Inside The Chapel of La Fontaine Blanche

Inside The Chapel of La Fontaine Blanche

The coat of arms under the statue of Saint Barbara belong to the Penhoat Guermeur family, who lived in the area; St Michael killing the dragon is often seen in these churches; and I believe the third statue is that of St Therese.

Part of the Priory? Or perhaps a pilgrim hostel?

Part of the Priory? Or perhaps a pilgrim hostel?

From the Chapel we followed the Pilgrim Route back to the car.

As the path comes out on to the main road, and our car, we passed another small Chapel, ruined, and what looked like a large Manor behind walls. We were still on the pilgrim route and these were clearly old buildings supporting the pilgrims.

A ruined Chapel on the pilgrim route

A ruined Chapel on the pilgrim route

This is another good area for walking, and another lovely day in Brittany and, reluctant to retreat indoors we stopped on the way home to look at the Church of Saint-Nonne in Dirinon. It was Heritage Weekend and people were sitting quietly, listening to an incredibly tedious lecture – I need to return on another occasion!

The Church of Saint-Nonne in Dirinon

The Church of Saint-Nonne in Dirinon

The Church of Saint-Nonne in Dirinon

The Church of Saint-Nonne in Dirinon

Further information
As always, tremendous detail here
Market Days in Finistere
The Festival of Maërl