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Brittany

Fontaine de Barenton - Broceliande Forest

This page was updated on: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at: 6:15 pm

Fontaine de Barenton near Folle Pensée

Fontaine de Barenton is nestled in the deep of the Forêt de Brocéliande, near the hamlet of Folle Pensée.

This area is known for its many magic springs, whose water had the therapeutic virtue of treating madness!

The hamlet of Fol Pansi (meaning Heal Insanity in Old French) developed by one of the springs during the 12th century.

The name evolved in Folle Pensée (crazy thought) and consequently gave rise to a word play!

The Fontaine de Barenton is one of these springs, which has been renown for its therapeutic virtues since ancient times!

Our Gallic ancestors indeed dedicated the fountain to the worship of Belenos, the God of Healing, Fire or Light.

The name Belenos evolved into Balanton then Belenton and Barenton.

Legends of the Fontaine de Barenton

But the Fontaine de Barenton is even more special!

It's indeed the place where Merlin the Wizard and the Water Nymph Vivian (the Lady of the Lake of the Arthurian Legend) first met and fell in love.

The fountain became their regular meeting spot.

Merlin stood on the stone slab in order to initiate Vivian to the magical rituals.

The slab is known as Perron de Belanton ou Perron de Merlin.

However, the fountain is also linked to the legend of Ywain, the Knight of the Lion, a Knight of the Round Table.

Legend has it that a Black Knight appeared and brought rain if water from the fountain was spilled on the slab.

Amazingly, during the Middle Ages the villagers were still invoking rain in times of drought by dipping the Christian Cross in its water.

The Fontaine de Barenton and its legends eventually fell into oblivion.

However, it was restored in the 19th century and used during Christian celebrations until 1925!

Pagan beliefs never really died in Brittany.

They simply lay intertwined with the Christian rites and keep the legends alive.

The Fontaine de Barenton is one of the many fascinating legendary sites the area has to offer.

You can only access it on foot, however, it's really worth the detour!

Discover the other sites in the magical Forêt de Brocéliande:

Tombeau de Merlin, Fontaine de Jouvence, Chêne des Hindrés, Château de Comper, Chêne d'Eon or Chêne à Guillotin, Jardin aux Moines, Eglise du Graal in Tréhorenteuc, Miroir aux Fées and Arbre d'Or in the Val Sans Retour, Hostié de Viviane or Tombeau des Druides, Tombeau des Géants ou Roche à la Vieille, Abbey of Paimpont, Forges de Paimpont and Pierres Droites

Department of Ille-et-Vilaine
Directions: From Tréhorenteuc follow the D141 towards Concoret - The hamlet La Folle Pensée is located to the right. Leave your car on the car park and follow the marked trail.
Walking shoes compulsory - 20mn walk.

Coordinates La Folle Pensée car park: Lat 48.041162 - Long -2.257347

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