St. Gildas Chapel

Bieuzy-les-Eaux, France

The setting of the Chapel of St.Gildas is one of the most beautiful in the Blavet Valley. On a grassy bank overlooking the river, it nestles under a huge granite outcrop and is the perfect spot for a picnic. The Chapel marks the site where Gildas, an Irish monk, preached Christianity to a local, mainly pagan population during the 6th century. Gildas and his fellow monk Bieuzy, are said to have lived in a cave at the base of the rock where the chapel now stands and to have had miraculous healing powers.

Legend has it that after healing the daughter of a local Count who had been seriously injured by her husband, Gildas was under threat of death and it was no longer safe for him to remain in the area. Bieuzy, however, continued to preach and was renowned for his ability to cure rabies, which was widespread at the time. Bieuzy met an unpleasant demise when he refused to interrupt one of his sermons to cure the rabid dog of a local pagan chief who later returned and attacked Bieuzy with an axe. A rather macabre statue of Bieuzy with an axe lodged in his head can be seen inside the chapel today.

The chapel is also open to the public every afternoon except Monday from mid-July to mid-September as part of the Art in the Chapels programme. Each year the organisers invite artists from all over the world to display their work in one of 26 local chapels, of which Saint Gildas is one. The Chapels make the perfect back drop for the contemporary art on display and offer visitors a wonderful opportunity to explore the architecture of these historic buildings.

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Details

Founded: 15th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Valois Dynasty and Hundred Year's War (France)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Cornel Mocanu (2 years ago)
Superb...
Martyn Smith (2 years ago)
Really interesting chapel, built into the cliff
Vanessa Le Berre (2 years ago)
Another wonderful and incongruous place in our Brittany. The whistling of birds is louder there than the voice of man. A calm and magical environment!
raymond CHOPIN (2 years ago)
A witness to the past worthy of a nice visit
Philippe Cloteaux (3 years ago)
Well worth the detour ... beautiful view of the blavet. I like !
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