Parc des SCULPTURES : DAHUD de Patrice LE GUEN
La légende de la ville d'Ys : La fille du roi Gradlon causa la perte de la ville en s'emparant des clefs de la cité pour les offrir à son amoureux malveillant. La ville était construite au dessous du niveau de la mer. L'amoureux ouvrit les portes laissant les flots engloutir la cité. « Quand on plonge ses racines dans la rude minéralité de la Bretagne, on ne peut que se passionner pour la matière. Pas n'importe laquelle, la noble, celle qu'on sent chargée d'un poids de mystère, celle qui dans la densité et sa pesanteur défie le temps. Le granit livre et vibre amoureusement, il respire ».The legend
According to some versions of the legend, Ys was built below sea level by Gradlon (Gralon in Breton), King of Cornouaille (Kerne in Breton), upon the request of his daughter Dahut (also called Ahes), who loved the sea.
In others, Ys was founded more than 2000 years before Gradlon's reign in a then-dry location off the current coast of the Bay of Douarnenez, but the Breton coast had slowly given way to the sea so that Ys was under it at each high tide when Gradlon's reign began.
To protect Ys from inundation, a dike was built with a gate that was opened for ships during low tide. The one key that opened the gate was held by the king.
Ys was the most beautiful and impressive city in the world, but quickly became a city of sin under the influence of Dahut. She organized orgies and had the habit of killing her lovers when morning broke. Saint Winwaloe decried the corruption of Ys and warned of God's wrath and punishment, but was ignored by Dahut and the populace.
One day, a knight dressed in red came to Ys. Dahut asked him to come with her, and one night, he agreed. A storm broke out in the middle of the night and the waves could be heard smashing against the gate and the bronze walls. Dahut said to the knight: "Let the storm rage. The gates of the city are strong, and it is King Gradlon, my father, who owns the only key, attached to his neck." The knight replied: "Your father the king sleeps. You can now easily take his key." Dahut stole the key from her father and gave it to the knight, who was none other than the devil. The devil, or, in another version of the story, a wine-besotted Dahut herself, then opened the gate.
Because the gate was open during storm and at high tide, a wave as high as a mountain collapsed on Ys. King Gradlon and his daughter climbed on Morvarc'h, his magical horse. Saint Winwaloe approached them and told Gradlon: "Push back the demon sitting behind you!" Gradlon initially refused, but he finally gave in and pushed his daughter into the sea. The sea swallowed Dahut, who became a mermaid or morgen.
Gradlon took refuge in Quimper, which became his new capital. An equestrian statue of Gradlon still stands between the spires of the Cathedral of Saint Corentin in Quimper. It is said that the bells of the churches of Ys can still be heard in the sea calm. A legend says that when Paris will be swallowed, the city of Ys will rise up from under the waves: Pa vo beuzet Paris, Ec'h adsavo Ker Is (Par-Is meaning "similar to Ys" in Breton).
This history is also sometimes viewed as the victory of Christianity over druidism, as Gradlon was converted by Saint Winwaloe. Dahut and most inhabitants of Ys were worshippers of Celtic gods. However, another Breton folktale asserts that Gradlon met, spoke with and consoled the last Druid in Brittany, and oversaw his pagan burial, before building a chapel in his sacred grove.