ID: Secanda 15.1 (2016-12-14)
Version: 2b Updated (2023-03-14)
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St-Vio chapel is the smallest of the chapels of the Pays Bigouden (SW of Brittany) and is often locally named the "chapellig" (the "small chapel" in Breton language, this diminutive here with an affectionate connotation) yet it is one of the most singular because its isolation in the dunes of the Bay of Audierne. Its nearest neighbour is the chapel of Tronoën and its famous Calvary.
The antiquity of this place of worship is indicated by the presence of a hemispherical cup-bearing stele, dating from the Iron Age: the "boat of St-Vio", the legend saying that St-Vio, evangelist coming from Ireland, has crossed the sea on this stone. The potbellied appearance of the stele led, as often, to fertility rituals: the women came to rub their belly on it. Once the result, the young children are dipped in the fountain of the chapel if they were slow to get walking.
Architecturally, the chapel is small and very simple but bears an imposing open bell-tower, adorned with hooked gables and even gargoyles, which is quite unusual on such a small building. The chapel reflects the fifteenth century style but with some archaisms such as the central bell tower on diaphragm arch, a formula which, associated with the flat bed, is reminiscent of the older style from Cornouaille called the "École de Pont-Croix".
Up to now, St-Vio chapel is alas not the subject of any administrative protection.
License: common law (copyright) | Author: Secanda
Free use for private purposes. Any commercial use is prohibited.