ID: Secanda 16.3 (2016-12-14)
Version: 2b Updated (2023-03-29)
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This beautiful chapel of the Pays Bigouden (SW of Brittany) is dedicated to Mary-Magdalene, like many other Breton chapels. These chapels were generally related to home lepers; Mary Magdalene being considered as the patron saint of these in Brittany.
The nave, without aisle, is dated 1410 but its interior styling evokes rather the 14th century. This nave connects with a vast extension of the 16th century, typical of the flamboyant style of Breton Cornouaille, forming a choir with a north aisle. The west bell tower dates back to that time and has replaced a previous central bell tower whose the former external access stairs are always present. On the pediment of the large south window (16th century), a boat of type carrack or big caravel is carved in bas-relief and reminds the rich maritime history of the region, home of a very important trading port at this time.
The triumphal arch between the nave and the choir bears inside the marks of the fittings of a high grid and the choir had an access from the outside, walled today. This complete separation between the occupants of the western part of the chapel and those of its eastern part is consistent with the destination of the chapel: the lepers probably attended Mass in the western part of the chapel.
La Madeleine chapel is listed in the Monuments Historiques (Historical French Heritage) since 1956.
License: common law (copyright) | Author: Secanda
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