Morbihan: this church was rebuilt with stones from a destroyed building

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Morbihan Editorial

Published on May 12, 2024 at 12:00 p.m.

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Rebuilt with its own stones, this church located in the municipality of Baud (Morbihan) includes a 15th century chapele and is worth the visit for its astonishing architecture.

An ancient parish

The parish of Baud is quite old since it was founded by a companion of Saint-Gildas, in the 6th century, at the time when he went back to the Blavet with Saint Bieuzy. We also have traces of a priory in the 11th century which depended precisely on that of theRhuys Abbey.

The name Baud could come from the name of this companion (Bald) or from the Breton “bod” (gathering). Once very populated, the Baud region had many religious buildings which gradually disappeared.

The very beautiful wash house and the listed fountain. ©H-Carlier

Among those that remain, the merger of the Saint-Pierre church and the Notre-Dame de la Clarté chapel, in the center of the town, is the most remarkable. This chapel has long been at the center of local, and even regional, life, thanks to the very popular pardon which starts from the eponymous fountain.

This one, from the 16th century and classified as the chapel, has the virtue of treating sight and eyes, but also of purifying linen, which explains the presence of the magnificent 19th century wash house which adjoins it.

A founding accident

There were previously two separate buildings separated by an alley in the center of the town. The first is the parish church dedicated to Saint-Pierre, the date of construction of which is unknown. The second is the Notre-Dame de la Clarté chapel, older and more imposing, dates from the 15th century, and its 16th century tower, remodeled in the 17th century, notably the bell tower as evidenced by the architectural, Gothic and classical disparity of the whole .

It ended with an arrow struck by lightning in 1763 and 1900. At that time, money was lacking and the war buried its repair.

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The church in 1922. ©Coll Le Pesquer

But this is nothing compared to what happened in March 1922, namely the collapse of the retaining wall of the neighboring church. For safety reasons, it was decided to completely tear it down and rebuild it.

But the project, too expensive, was replaced by plans from a famous architect from Vannes, Caubert de Cléry, which consisted of using the stones of the church to enlarge the chapel with an opening between the two. Much less expensive and quicker, this solution allowed the continuity of worship from 1927. Note that this entire complex became the “new church” and that the spire was rebuilt during the work.

The “new church”

Inside, we feel the disparity of eras and the part corresponding to the chapel is by far the most interesting, in particular the old choir (at the back left) which dates from 1637 and which has preserved its magnificent listed altar from 1756 celebrating the Virgin and her son.

We will appreciate its perfectly executed “winged tabernacle” of great rarity. The current choir, which is located to the south (instead of to the east) of the new ensemble, has only a simple wooden altar topped with a very moving 19th century Christ on the Cross.

The choir of the new church and that of the old chapel © H-Carlier
The choir of the new church and that of the old chapel. ©H-Carlier

Among the dozen classified objects there are several statues of great interest which come from the “old chapel”. Let us cite Sainte-Anne and Saints-Pierre, Paul, Joachim and Yves. Also worth seeing is a beautiful 19th century painting representing the nativity and a second from the 18th century representing the Donation of the Rosary to Saint-Dominique and Saint-Catherine of Siena.

Finally, let us note the presence of the remarkable organ of the first church which escaped the destruction of 1922. Made by the very famous organ maker Louis Debierre in 1879, it remained for several years in a shed before being reinstalled in 1929 and restored in 1990.

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