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Report 1981: Megaliths, Parish Closes and Cider - Part 2 Morbihan
By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2011
Page 7 of 27: Plumelec and Callac
Our gite was in the quiet hamlet of Kerglan which is off the main road a few miles south of Plumelec.
Plumelec is the market town for the area and is a thriving place with the 19thC church at its centre. It has two bakers, two butchers and a small supermarket. We found it was an excellent base for exploring Morbihan.
As well as the recognised tourist attraction of Josselin nearby we found there were many places within a few minutes’ drive of Plumelec which repaid stopping to visit.
Callac is signed off the Plumelec to Trédion road. I had seen a grotto marked on the Michelin map and was intrigued. There is no mention of it in the guide books or on the web. We dropped down through the tree lined road into the valley bottom to find a huge car park set among the trees. A large cliff face had been turned into a grotto in 1947 by the parish priest as a money making venture to attract pilgrims. He added three crosses on top of the hill and restored the ruined chapel of St Joseph, where he is now buried.
The grotto is across the road from the car park. There is a statue of the Virgin Mary, similar to that at Lourdes, which is surrounded by Christmas fairy lights. There is a small altar below with flowers and lit candles (available at the desk to the right). There are many stone plates attached to the walls saying ‘Merci’. A steep footpath leads to the three crosses on top of the hill with the 14 stations of the cross.
St Joseph’s Chapel is a lovely old stone building set on top of the hill, surrounded by trees and at the edge of fields. Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk there as the road runs past it. It has been beautifully restored. It is a very simple building still with its old stone altar. You can see the crosses from the chapel and there is access to them.
Below the grotto on the road to the village (a few stone houses clustered round the church), is a 16thC fountain surrounded by a carved stone wall. Water trickles into a small bowl and then into a rectangular basin below.
It was certainly different. We are glad we went out of our way to find this.
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