Forges de Paimpont and Pont du Secret

The Forges de Paimpont are nestled in the heart of the Forêt de Brocéliande.

Forges de Paimpont - workers' cottages
Workers’ cottages

They were built during the 17th century on the bank of a lake, since known as Etang des Forges.

Once more you are in the heart of the Arthurian Legend.

Indeed, you have to cross the Pont du Secret in order to reach the forges.

The bridge spans the small river Aff, at the place where Lancelot of the Lake and the beautiful Guinevere secretly declared their love.

The legend has it that King Arthur asked Lancelot to escort Guinevere through Brocéliande to take her to Camelot Castle where the royal wedding would take place.

You all know the rest of the story…

The Celtic blacksmiths

Les Forges de Paimpont could almost be a sacred site.

Forges de Paimpont - workers' cottages and furnaces
Workers’ cottages with the furnaces in the background

There plants, water and metal come together once more to feed our imagination.

The Forges de Paimpont were built in 1633, however, the site has been inhabited since ancient times.

The Forêt de Brocéliande indeed provided the Celtic blacksmiths with unlimited stocks of iron ore, water and timber in order to run their forges.

The Celts who settled in Brittany around 6000BC brought with them their amazing knowledge and mastery of iron and steel.

The master blacksmith was then at the top of the social hierarchy.

Indeed, only he knew how to extract iron ore from the earth and transform it into metal with the use of fire.

His knowledge was considered as magic worthy of the God of Metallurgy.

Didn’t the Master Blacksmith create the legendary Excalibur!

Forges de Paimpont

The Forges de Paimpont are on the site of this ancient Celtic settlement.

Generations of workers operated the blast furnaces and rolling mills from the mid 17th century to the late 19th century.

Les Forges de Paimpont were one of the major industrial sites of Brittany during the 18th century.

Forges de Paimpont - workers' cottages and furnaces
Workers’ cottages with the furnaces in the background

The forges were indeed ideally located, next to an open air iron ore deposit.

Secondly, the lake provided unlimited access to water needed in order to operate the machines.

Finally, the dense surrounding forests provided the charcoal used to fuel their forges.

The Forges de Paimpont still closed in the late 19th century!

However, the buildings including the workers’ cottages and the two small chapels they built along the road, remained.

The entire site was listed Historical Monument in 2001, and fully restored.

This open-air museum* is open to the public.

Discover the magical Forêt de Brocéliande other sites

Tombeau de Merlin, Fontaine de Jouvence, Chêne des Hindrés, Château de Comper, Chêne d’Eon or Chêne à Guillotin, Fontaine de Barenton, 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 and Pierres Droites

Department of Ille-et-Vilaine
Coordinates: Lat 47.994245 – Long -2.140566


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