Chapelle Notre Dame du Crann

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Spézet is a small town with a lot of character, about 10km away from Châteauneuf du Faou. We wanted to find the small Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Crann on the edge of the village which the Michelin Guide had given 2* for its “remarkable 16C stained glass windows”.

The chapel was built in 1532. It is a low stone building with slate roof and a small open belfry at one end. It looks almost insignificant set among the trees. Across the road is a small calvary. The church is open 2-6 and the two women from the village were delighted to have visitors. There was even an information leaflet in English.

The eight stained glass windows are a magnificent blaze of colour and fully justify the 2* grading. These tell the story of the nativity, baptism, Passion of Christ, resurrection as well as the death of Mary and her coronation. Two other windows tell the story of St Laurent and St James. On either side of the main altar are two large retables. These are highly carved and brightly painted. One has the Virgin Mary with Jesus with two prophets at her feet and the four evangelists. There are carved images of important events in Mary’s life. Above is God the Father. During the Pardon, the statue is removed from its niche, cloaked and carried round the town by the women of the parish.

The other retable shows God the Father on his throne wearing a crown and holding the resurrected Christ. The dove is now missing. There are angels playing instruments and carvings of the 12 apostles down the sides. Above is a carving of the resurrected Christ surrounded by sleeping soldiers. Below is a scene of the martyrdom of St John the Evangelist who was being boiled in a cauldron of water with figures carrying faggots for the fire.

There was a small round window above the door. A small display case on the wall with examples of a baby’s layette, Christening gowns and bonnets from the 1950s as well as the robes used to dress the statue of the Virgin Mary.

The fountain is a few minutes walk further along the road, past a pond with a small island with a house for the ducks. It is tucked away among trees. It had a large stone basin with steps down and an archway with a statue.

Apart from a brief note in Michelin it doesn’t get a mention in the other guide books. Not many tourists find it which is a shame as it is a delightful church and we were very glad we had found it.

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