Amongst treasures to be found in the forest are the following : I had to do a little translation so apologies if some phrases sound strange
The Golden tree :
The Golden Tree, a True Message of Love between Myth and Reality
What sad legend might be behind this majestic golden tree? Was it an evil spell, the symbol of a quest, a just a magic chestnut tree? The golden tree
is actually a token of true solidarity.
In 1990, the Valley-of-No-Return burned for 5 days. After the fire, thousands of donations poured in from all over the world to save the Valley’s
mythical heritage. In 1991, to pay tribute to this international cooperation, a Parisian sculptor, François Davin, created “The Gold of
Broceliande”, an enormous golden chestnut tree, with pure gold leaves. It symbolizes the immortality of the dreams of men of goodwill. Its branches
evoke the antlers of stags, the wild animals who led the knights through the enchanted forests. Myths aside, the golden tree is there to remind us of
the power of man’s love over Mother Nature.
The Barenton Spring :
Cut into the ground only a few feet deep, this little basin 6½ feet wide has the peculiarity of releasing nitrogen bubbles from its waters.
This phenomenon common in marshes gave the spring the name “Bubbling ice-cold water fountain”. According to Arthurian legend, it was in this
setting that inspired such sweet melancholy that Merlin met the fairy Vivian and fell madly in love with her.
Later on, this strange source that could cause storms to break was kept by a fantastic black knight. According to some medieval local myths, the
guardian was no less than an ogre with a bull’s head, elephant ears, the eyes of an owl, the mouth of a wolf, and the teeth of a wild boar…Enough
to knock the wind out of you!
In 1467, the “Charter for the Uses and Customs of the Broceliande Forest” stated that Guy de Laval, Lord of Comper and owner of the spring, was
the only one authorized to set off storms.
Processions to Barenton to ask the clouds for this particular favor multiplied up until 1954, and were supposedly always rewarded with a darkened sky
that generously released downpours.
The Spring of Youth :
The Spring of Youth seems pretty modest in size compared to the Barenton Spring. It might even seem insignificant if it weren’t so bewitching.
Indeed, this little spring just above the ground has a much greater faculty than the ability to make it rain. Its water has the amazing power to give
youth back to anyone who drinks it. Many legends born from the Quest for the Holy Grail credited certain waters with this ability to give eternal
life. In fact, the first mention of such a power appears in the Bible.
This fountain is originally found in the Garden of Eden where it allowed bodies to preserve their youth and beauty. In the Arthurian legend, this
source allowed wizards to live for centuries without having to suffer the mark of time.
Eventually forgotten, it was Sir Lancelot who kept this treasure for a while, thereby preserving his strength and robustness for the final battle at
his King’s side. At the time of the druids, oddly enough, this trickle of water was used for baptisms and to take a census of the children born in
the year. When a child was left out, he or she was counted the following year…and made one year younger in the process.
Merlin’s Tomb, the Soul of Broceliande :
Just like those who set out on the sacred quest for the Grail chalice, you can set out to search and discover Merlin’s tomb in Broceliande.
According to ancient tales, Merlin’s disturbing powers came from his own father who, it was said, was none other than the Devil himself. At once
sorcerer, seer and prophet, he was therefore neither a man nor a god. He could see what simple mortals could not, could disappear and take on
thousands of different appearances. As a druid friend and advisor, he guided the young King Arthur who unified the kingdom by instituting the order of
the Knights of the Round Table.
The dolmen that provided shelter for the famous magician is no longer as imposing as it once was. There are only a couple of standing stones left in
this mythical place where, according to legend, the famous Merlin was imprisoned forever by the enchantress Vivian. While these modest remnants might
be a disappointment to older enthusiasts, they are sure to please children. Every year, thousands of flowers, bracelets and poems cover the mysterious
And last but not least : The Holy Grail: The Ultimate Quest, for the Knights of the Round Table
It was Merlin who advised the young King Arthur to recover the Grail, that sacred and hidden object credited with such magical properties as the power
to grant immortality, but also the power to bring peace and harmony between people.
According to the legend, the Grail was the chalice from which the Christ drank during the Last Supper with the apostles, as well as the vessel that
collected his blood during the crucifixion.
The King put up a circular table around which the most courageous knights of his kingdom gathered. It was round so that all were equals facing the
King, with no other distinction than their individual accomplishments. Only the purest among them could find the Grail and place it in the center of
The church at Trehorenteuc, deeply nested in the forest of Broceliande, is probably the place that most vividly recaptures the past Quest for the Holy
A spiritual yet also cryptic message was left above the southern porch: “The door is inwards”. Did this refer to the Church, or one’s own faith
as the source of the answers? This haven of peace unifies representations of Christian faith, Celtic traditions, and Arthurian legends into one art
form. This church is one of the tiniest you’ll find in Morbihan, and while it may serve as a small museum for the Round Table epic, it remains above
all a center for meditation and daydreaming
edit on 26-2-2013 by Rodinus because: phrase added