Brélévenez: Templar knights and other little stories
Montjoie, the Templars’ hill
Brelevenez's name comes from montjoie in French, "hill of joy". It was an independent city, annexed by Lannion in 1960. Its name refers to knights of Montjoie order, affiliated to Templars, who raised the church in the 12th century.
The Trinity staircase (142 steps) leads to the church. The legend says the staircase had as many steps as days in a year! The Romanesque porch and the chevet were raised during the Templars era. They fortified the church in the Middle Ages, look! We have machicolation and abutments! We also notice the "Lead tower", a vestige of the fortifications began by constable Olivier de Clisson at the end of the 14th century: The bell-tower was at that time used as a watchtower! The church itself dates back to the 15th century. Do you notice these 3 pillars on the southern side of the church? What’s it? The tradition says it’s the Trinity symbol, because the Templars loved number 3 and put it everywhere on their buildings... Come on now, let’s go inside.
Immediately, we notice the font: this one is pretty unusual! It’s actually a wheat measuring cup, from the 12th century! People used to put inside a bushel of wheat in order to pay the prébende, a tax peasants had to give to the Church... In the 11th century crypt, life-size statues: this is Jesus Christ entombment. This piece of art dates back to the 18th century.
We also notice the nice altar, ordered by count of Lannion to sculptor Olivier Martin in 1660, made of black marble and tuffeau (a kind of white stone from Touraine). In lateral chapels, we have the retable given by the Bonne-Mort ("Good-Death") brotherhood...