Top 10 places of myth and legend in France
Top 10 des lieux de mythes et légendes en France
A little shivers vacation, this has never hurt anyone! These places have spilled ink and fueled rumors; they are now witnesses of ancestral fears and epic tales to tell children once there.
1. Beast of Gevaudan (Lozère)
Was she wolf, exotic animal (hyena), serial killer? Hand of God weapon of the devil? To these questions, no answer. The time has indeed forged the legend : the facts date back toXVIIIth century, precisely between 1764 and 1767 were numbered more than 100 victims , mostly women and children, in the former province of Gevaudan . Everything was done to kill the monster: beaten, hunts, traps … Louis XV , alerted by the extent of the devastation, sent his best bloodhounds. Killed twice (it was big wolves), the beast, if it actually ceased to kill, continued to haunt the minds.
On the footprints of this mystery land is now a park, the Wolves of Gevaudan (www.loupsdugevaudan.com), Where we can approach this wild animal, object of all fantasies.
2. Tales of Arrée (Finistère)
The Arrée , ultimate survivors of the Armorican Massif and the peak of the UK , stand in the heart of wild and austere landscapes that take pride of place in the Breton folklore. At the bottom of the circle they form, the Yeun Ellez , «Elez swamps of the river», with its black water surrounded by bogs, would be the country’s center of Ankou: the gate of Hell . Sometimes personification of Death, sometimes his zealous servant, the Ankou is represented on many ossuaries in the region. The chapel of Mont Saint-Michel de Brasparts would be the guardian of the souls of the dead wander the swamp …
To dive into this universe, read The Legend of Death of Anatole Le Braz, a collection of tales and legends of Ankou, translated from Breton.
3. Miracle of Gannat (Allier)
From a young age, Procule was dedicated to God — Father Cornille and states that ‘at the breast, «she fasted twice a week. She ran away before the wedding when his father, Count of Rodez, wanted her to marry Gerald of Aurillac. Icelui found the decapitated and without further ado. Procule that nothing stopped, then grabbed his head and fled gross leaving footprints. Several chapels were dedicated to him. The fact remains that, on the site says the No-Sainte-Procule — where you can see the footprints of the virgin decapitated.
Gannat comes alive every year at the World Culture Festival in late July.
4. Magic in Berry (Cher)
The Berry , old province nestled between the castles of the Loire and the Massif Central , has kept all its mysteries, and its capital, Bourges , retains its exceptional architectural heritageXVth century. Land of magic, sorcery and legends, haunted mists and wisps, Berry takes us back to the landscapes of the novels of our adolescence, written by George Sand or by Alain-Fournier. It is also one of the oldest agricultural soils of France , where you can taste the famous Chavignol goat cheese with a white wine from Sancerre . Magic!
Berry hosts the annual Printemps de Bourges, the major event of the French song.
5. Mystery of Rennes-le-Château (Aude)
Rennes-le-Château symbolizes one of the great enigmas of the history of esotericism . It was in this village that Abbe Berenger Sauniere made headlines with its costly excess, suggesting the existence of a treasure discovered in his church. Several imposing buildings built from 1896 by Sauniere, as the villa Bethania , the Magdala Tower or the Church of St. Mary Magdalene , he applied himself to renovate with pomp, annually attract many enthusiasts seeking to unravel the mystery of Father, a century after his death.
The best-selling Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, is inspired in part of this myth.
6. Gayant Douai (Nord)
Every first Sunday of July, for five centuries, the Gayant — «Giant» in Picard — and their three children make their city tour. An event that » Vint of Osiers » — «Belly Osier», the nickname of Douai — would not miss it for the world. Legend has it thatIXth century Jehan Gelon, a man of great stature and Herculean strength, accompanied by his three son, had miraculously saved the city besieged by the Normans. Giants recall this heroic act and the stories and legends that attach to the character. Today, if every northern town has its giants, the Gayant are the best known.
Arriving late in the morning, you can enjoy the giant carriers breaks to go into the belly of Mr. or Mrs. Gayant!
7. John Bear (Pyrénées-Atlantiques)
This legend is probably one of the most famous of the Pyrenees . Formerly, a pretty young girl was abducted by a bear who locked her in his lair, obstructing the entrance with a large stone. The girl became the bear’s wife; a beautiful boy was born of this union after one year. His limbs were covered with hair like his father but his face was like the rider of his mother. His name was John-Bear . Well fed, he became so strong that he managed to drop the large stone that kept them locked, and his mother. They escaped and John-Bear went to discover the world of men.
The abduction of a woman by a bear is a recurring theme of the Pyrenean tales. Read: Traditional tales of the Pyrenees, Michel and Christian Cosem Verdun (Cairn Editions, 2012).
8. Treasure of the Knights Templar of Gisors (Eure)
The basement of the Norman fortress XIth century would contain the fruit of a legend where converge the Templars , the Crusades , the Grail and, finally, André Malraux . Betrayed by the king of France, the Templars were imprisoned in 1307 in the dungeons of Gisors, where they have hidden the wealth of the order , built on the discovery of the Grail. After the Second World War, the castle guard claims to have discovered an underground chapel with 19 stone sarcophagi and 30 iron boxes. The Culture Minister of General de Gaulle made excavate the site by the army. Its result? No one knows the …
In addition to its treasure, invisible, the military qualities of the medieval fortress are they, visible every day from 8 am to 19:30 (up to 17h October to March).
9. Castle of Montsegur (Ariege)
At 1207 meters, the castle of Montsegur defies time. How imagine that these ruins have housed speaker atXIIIth century, the seat of the Cathar Church and 220 men and women preferred to die at the stake, with the surrender of the Albigensian, rather than deny their faith? Several legends surround the place; the treasure of the Cathars would have been hidden, in particular. Real solar phenomena occurring at the solstices (rays passing through the castle accurately) maintain the haloes around Montsegur.
Museum and castle are open from February to December. Guided tours (booking on 05 61 January 6, 94).
10. Legends of Brocéliande (Ille-et-Vilaine)
Brocéliande is the other name of the Paimpont forest , crucible of the Arthurian legend and whose sites, tinged with fantasy and dream, bear the imprint of Lancelot , of Merlin , of Viviane , the fairy Morgane , the knights of the round Table and the quest for the ultimate Holy Grail . In all, 8000 hectares of forest dotted with gorgeous lakes, castles, fairy fountains, a renowned religious heritage and megaliths, who never reveal their best magic in autumn.
The Initiative union Brocéliande, in Paimpont (www.broc éliande-tourisme.info) Organizes guided walks in summer.
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