Breton Stone

Our e-bikes were an absolute godsend on our French holiday. They allowed us to whizz around coast and countryside taking in all the sides. The other day I wrote about the granite cliffs near our campsite. Today I thought that I’d do another post about Breton stone, this time after it had been worked on by people in ancient and modern times.

So I’ll start with Saint Uzec’s standing stone that dates from between four and five thousand years B.C. It is a little over seven and a half metres high. So why has it got a cross on top given it was made long before Jesus visited this earth. Well, you may well ask. Someone saw fit to pop once on top in the 17th century, following a Christian mission in 1674. They also added a bit of mighty fine carving.

I’ll also show you the back of the menhir to give you an idea of how it might looked before it was fiddled with. The information board said that the grooves resulted from erosion and ‘could easily resemble a woman in a mourning cape. Mmm. The board also said that until the beginning of the 20th century the sculptures were painted.

Here’s a covered alley, a type of Neolithic tomb on Ile Grande. an island because it’s attached to the mainland by a tiny bridge. There was another one of these near the menhir but we didn’t stop to have a look. They are so many ancient Breton stone relics scattered around that you can get a bit blase.

Let’s have a look at something completely different shall we? Madame with the boobies and her dog. This is a sculpture in the middle of Perros-Guirec. It’s by Joseph Visy and much more modern. Again there was one of those useful information plaques. This time it told me that M. Visy was a mosaic artist. Perhaps this was why he’s used a mixture of coloured stone, three kinds from different local spots.

And here’s a sweet little carving I found on a building in Roscoff. We always spend a day there before heading home. It depicts a man with onions, fitting because it’s the region from where the ‘Onion Johnny’ originated. Not a bizarre form of contraception I hasten to add but a man who peddled his veggies by bike. Oops! My explanation seems no less innuendo riden!

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