The secret place © Bernard Grua 2010
SteBarbe 23/08/2010 Le Faouët, Bretagne
Jean de Toulbodou, lord of Locmalo, who came to hunt in Le Faouët, near the hill called “Roc’h ar marc’h bran” (it is a Briton name), was surprised by a violent thunderstorm. Under great fright, he sheltered close to enormous rocks, themselves struck by the lightning. About to be crushed by one of them, he called upon Sainte Barbe, protector of those, which face fire He promised her, if he escapes from it, to build a chapel to Sainte Barbe. The storm stopped instantaneously and Jean de Toulbodou was saved of an unquestionable death. To respect his wish, Jean de Toulbodou, with the assistance of Jean de Boutteville, lord of Le Faouët, started quickly the construction of the chapel Sainte Barbe. It was in 1489. The chapel is original by its establishment and its design: it is built on a relatively exiguous platform, framed in the southwest by a rock face and in northeast by a strong precipice where River Ellé runs. It is served by a monumental staircase of 78 steps, which was built in the years 1700. This staircase connects the narrow square of the chapel to the esplanade, which overhangs. The staircase connects also with the oratory Saint Michel. The plan of the chapel is in form of T (two transepts, one choir, no place for a nave). It is because it was built at the very place of Jean de Toulbodou’s wish. Thus, in addition to the localization, the originality lies also in the architecture of the building. Lower in the forest, hardly distant from one half-kilometer is located the fountain of the devotion, arranged in a square enclosure with interior bench. A niche dug shelters a statue of Sainte Barbe leaning on a tower, her principal attribute.