This is the small settlement 2-3km north east of Tredion in Morbihan and not to be confused with the larger settlement of Callac in Cotes d’Armor. There are a few stone built houses around the church in an isolated part of the countryside surrounded by hills and trees. There are few signposts to it and it is the kind of place by passed by the tourists.
I had seen a grotto marked on the Michelin map and was intrigued. There is no mention of it in the guide books or on the web.
We dropped down through the tree lined road into the valley bottom to find a huge car park set among the trees. A large cliff face had been turned into a grotto in 1947 by the parish priest as a money making venture to attract pilgrims. He added three crosses on top of the hill and restored the ruined chapel of St Joseph, where he is now buried.
The grotto is across the road from the car park. There is a statue of the Virgin Mary, similar to that at Lourdes, which is surrounded by Christmas fairy lights. There is a small altar below with flowers and lit candles (available at the desk to the right). There were a lot of stone plates attached to the walls saying ‘Merci’.
A steep footpath leads to the three crosses on top of the hill with the 14 stations of the cross.
St Joseph’s Chapel is a lovely old stone building set on top of the hill, surrounded by trees and at the edge of fields. Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk there as the road runs past it. It has been beautifully restored. It is a very simple building still with old stone altar. The crosses can be seen from the chapel and there is access to them.
Below the grotto on the road to the village is a 16thC fountain surrounded by a carved stone wall. Water trickles into a small bowl and then into a rectangular basin below.
It was certainly different. We are glad we went out of our way to find this.