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Report 1980: Megaliths, Parish Closes and Cider - Part 1 Southern Finistère
By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2011
Page 21 of 26: Spézet and Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Crann
16thC east window depicting Christ's passion
Spézet, is a small village about 10km east of Châteauneuf-du-Faou. We wanted to find the small Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Crann on the edge of the village which the Michelin Guide gives 2* for its “remarkable 16C stained glass windows.”
The chapel was built in 1532. It is a low stone building with slate roof and a small open belfry at one end. It looks almost insignificant set among the trees and is almost impossible to photograph. Across the road is a small calvary. The church is open two to six and the two women from the village were delighted to have visitors. There was an information leaflet in English.
The eight stained glass windows are a magnificent blaze of colour and fully justify the 2* grading. They tell the story of the nativity, baptism, Passion of Christ, resurrection as well as the death of Mary and her coronation. Two other windows tell the story of St Laurent and St James.
On either side of the main altar are two large retables. These are highly carved and brightly painted. One has the Virgin Mary with Jesus, two prophets at her feet and the four evangelists. There are carved images of important events in Mary’s life. Above is God the Father. During the Pardon, the statue is removed from its niche, cloaked and carried round the town by the women of the parish.
The other retable shows God the Father on his throne wearing a crown and holding the resurrected Christ. The dove representing the Holy Spirit is now missing. There are angels playing instruments and carvings of the twelve apostles down the sides. Above is a carving of the resurrected Christ surrounded by sleeping soldiers. Below is a scene of the martyrdom of St John the Evangelist who was being boiled in a cauldron of water with figures carrying faggots for the fire.
There is a small round window above the door. A small display case on the wall has examples of a baby’s layette, Christening gowns and bonnets from the 1950s as well as the robes used to dress the statue of the Virgin Mary during the Pardon.
The fountain is a few minutes walk further along the road, past a pond with a small island and a house for the ducks. It is tucked away among trees. It has a large stone basin with steps down and an archway with a statue.
This is a delightful church and we were very glad we had found it.
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