Lost Cities of Brittany

The history and folklore of Brittany contain many intriguing references to once flourishing cities that disappeared from the face of the earth, having left little or no trace of their ruins upon the land. Information on these lost cities is scarce and fragmentary; some seem to have been abandoned under strange circumstances while others simply have simply vanished into myth.

The most famous of the world’s lost cities is surely Atlantis, which is said to have been consumed by the sea in a single day and night. In 1934, the French author François Gidon proposed that the Atlantis legend was born from the flooding of the coastal plains off north-west Brittany. More recently, several researchers have suggested that the megalithic monuments of Brittany are somehow connected with Atlantis. In his book The Glass Towers of Atlantis (1986), Italian scientist Helmut Tributsch expounds a theory that Neolithic Europe was Atlantis and that its capital was around Carnac in southern Brittany.

Perhaps the most well known of Brittany’s lost cities is that of Ker-Is, submerged by the waters of the Bay of Douarnenez in the 5th century. The legend in its most common form tells that the city was damned and taken by the sea due to the sinful passion of Dahud, the resolutely pagan daughter of the Christian king Gradlon. I set out the legends surrounding the city’s destruction in a previous post, so will not repeat them here.

Ker-Ys or Ker-Is
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However, it is worth noting that there are as many legends regarding the salvation of Ker-Is as there are of its devastation. Some legends say that the city was not destroyed but rather simply covered by the sea, becoming a sort of enchanted realm under the waves. When the city was engulfed, everyone kept the attitude they had and continued to do what they were doing at the time of the disaster. The women who were spinning continue to spin, the cloth merchants continue to sell the same piece of cloth to the same buyers and the congregation remain seated in church celebrating mass; they are condemned to remain in this state until the city and its inhabitants are delivered.

Some old tales talk of ways of resurrecting the city; spending just one penny with the town’s merchants, donating a coin to the church collection, responding to the priest during mass or even agreeing to a plea for aid. Any of these missed actions by a living person would have redeemed the city, allowing it to return from the depths with all its former splendour.

According to tradition, the ancient city of Lexobia was sited between the north coast town of Lannion and the mouth of the Léguer River, somewhere near the present-day hamlet of Le Yaudet. This site seems to have been continuously occupied since the early Neolithic period and archaeological investigations have uncovered evidence of a fortified Iron Age settlement and a thriving port here during the Roman era. Archaeologists have also discovered evidence of a massive tidal mill constructed here in the 7th century. Albert Le Grand in his Lives of the Saints of Armorican Brittany (1637) noted that one of the seven founding saints of Brittany, Saint Tudwal, and his pupil Saint Pergat settled here in the mid-6th century and that Pergat later became Archdeacon of Lexobia.

Viking raiders in Brittany
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Although written around 1480, Pierre Le Baud’s History of Brittany was not published until 1638, in it, he says that Lexobia was destroyed by Danish raiders in 836. It seems that the devastation was total, as the see transferred to Tréguier in 859 and Lannion, a few miles inland, expanded to become the chief port of the Léguer. However, Jean-Baptiste Ogée in his Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Brittany (1780) believes that the real destruction of the site dates to 786 when the town was taken by Charlemagne’s forces; its weakened defences helped explain how the Danes were able to capture the town just fifty years later. The folk memory of a once significant settlement on this site can feasibly be glimpsed in a ducal charter of 1267 which refers to La Yaudet by the name Vetus Civitatis (land of the old city).

Some authors have dismissed the claims that Lexobia was in Brittany and insist it is instead the Norman town of Lisieux. Perhaps there were once two towns with similar names or the settlement on the Léguer was named after a tribe of Lexobi, different but possibly related to those noted around Lisieux during the Roman era? We will probably never know for sure; perhaps we should call upon Lexobia’s Saint Pergat who was commonly invoked for lost items.

Local tradition attests that near Lanmeur, a flourishing town called Kerfeunteun (town of the fountains) once stood. The noted French author Charles Nodier, writing in Picturesque and Romantic Voyages in Ancient France (1846), reported that Lanmeur emerged from the literal ashes of Kerfeunteun. It seems that the town’s origins date back to Saint Samson, another of the seven founding saints of Brittany, who established a monastery here in the 6th century, around which a thriving settlement subsequently grew up.

Saint Samson
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The town is home to a church dedicated to Saint Melar who, according to legend, was the legitimate heir to the throne of Kernev, usurped by his uncle Rivod who also had the boy’s right hand and left foot cut off thus making him unfit to hold a sword and ride a horse. These handicaps were only temporary as a miracle gave him a silver hand and a foot of brass which functioned as well as his own limbs. Seven years later, the young man was murdered, beheaded near Lanmeur and another miracle occurred; his head reattached itself to his lifeless body. While his body was being taken to join those of his ancestors in Lexobia, the horses pulling the funeral chariot refused to be led and headed, resolutely, for Lanmeur. On reaching the town square, the cart’s axle broke; a sure sign from God that the saint would be buried here by Saint Samson.

The church is built over a stunning Romanesque crypt dating to the 7th century, said to have been especially built to house the saint’s remains, although some have suggested the stones used were repurposed from an old Roman temple. Others believe that the crypt itself was once a pagan temple; two of its monumental columns are decorated with high relief carvings of entwined snakes or, depending on your view, vines and a natural spring is captured in a small basin set into the foot of the crypt’s west wall.

It is believed that this was the fountain from which the town took its name. Unfortunately, Kerfeunteun seems to have been destroyed by the Normans in 878 and again in 882, and it was not until their final defeat in 939 that the monastery and town were restored. Having reinstated themselves, the monks subsequently established a hospital and, later, a leper colony. The name Lanmeur, which means great hermitage, was first noted in the 12th century; Kerfeunteun being consigned to legend.

Lanmeur Crypt of Saint-Mélar
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According to legend, the fountain in the crypt of the church of Saint-Melar will one Trinity Sunday flow so hard that the church, then the whole country will be flooded entirely. The fountain was also the scene of two popular superstitious practices. Young girls once placed a hairpin on the water; if the pin floated, it was taken as an omen that they would marry within the year. In another rite, pilgrims would dip both hands in the basin of the fountain and then wave them above their heads in order to protect themselves against rheumatism and other diseases.

At the time of the Roman invasion in 56BC, Occismor (which means west sea) was said to be the principal city of the Osismii, the native Celtic tribe whose domain roughly encompassed the land west of the Blavet River. During the centuries of Roman occupation, Vorgium (present-day Carhaix) became the chief town of this part of Brittany. Unfortunately, the location of Occismor eludes us today although the historian Daniel Louis Olivier Miorcec, writing in 1829, proposed the area around Plouneventer in north west Brittany as the most likely site.

This town is named after the obscure 6th century Saint Neventer who is said to have been one of two British knights who, returning from pilgrimage to the Holy Land, promised the local ruler, Count Elorn, to deliver his lands from the dragon that had taken his son, Riok, on condition that he agreed to convert to Christianity and raise his son in the new faith. The two saints tracked the dragon to its lair and having rescued Riok, they took the dragon to Tolente where they commanded it to throw itself into the sea.

Capturing the Dragon
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Archaeological discoveries attest that an Iron Age village grew into a sizeable settlement here during the Roman period and while some authors have speculated that this was the fabled Occismor, it is probably more likely that it is the lost Roman town of Vorganium. It is worth noting that Jacques Cambry in his Travels in Finistère (1799) was of the opinion that the north coast town of Saint-Pol-de-Léon was more likely the site of Occismor.

To identify another lost city of yore, we once again turn to the pages of Albert Le Grand’s monumental work for our information: “The country of Ac’h or Aginense had as its capital the ancient city of Tolente, famous for the size of its enclosure, the strength of its ramparts and the beauty of its port. It was located at the entrance to the Bay of Angels, not far from Île Cézon and it was beyond that it sent its vessels to all parts of the earth”.

The most popular location proposed for the city of Tolente is near the mouth of the Aber Vrac’h River on the far west of Brittany’s northern coast, somewhere in the neighbourhood of the present-day town of Plouguerneau. The area is a mass of promontories, fingers of land stabbing out towards the waters of the Channel, that abound with Neolithic cairns and dolmens, some as old as 6,600 years and amongst the oldest monuments in Europe. Archaeological discoveries hereabouts show evidence of stone enclosures and defensive embankments built during the Iron Age. During the Roman occupation, the area covered by the present-day village of Landeda was the terminus of a road connecting it with the region’s capital, Vorgium; indicating here was a port of some significance.

Brittany as shown in the 13th century Tabula Peutingeriana: a planisphere of the world as known in antiquity
Brittany as shown in the 13th century Tabula Peutingeriana: a planisphere of the world as known in antiquity

The Breton historian Rene Kerviler, in his consolidated edition of Armorica and Brittany (1893), tells that: “The Romans, undeniably, made Carhaix an important city but this shows us that, if the sea returned all that it had taken, would there not be more important Roman ruins in the bay of Aber Vrac’h, where a majestic road led to the direct embarkation port for Great Britain? This is where an ancient tradition placed, on the right bank, the flourishing city of Tolente (Toul-hent, that is to say the hole or the bay of the path), destroyed by a cataclysm”.

According to Albert Le Grand, boats from the port of Tolente traded regularly with Great Britain and the town was, for a time, the capital of Domnonia, the early kingdom carved out in Armorica in the 5th century by the first British migrants fleeing the Saxon invaders. The first book published in French on the history of Brittany, Alain Bouchard’s The Great Chronicles (1514) notes that: “The king Judicael lived in a beautiful city in Brittany called Talenche or Tolente, which has since been destroyed by wars”. Judicael was a 7th century saint, king of Domnonia and High King of the Bretons.

Jean-Baptiste Ogée, writing in 1780, provides a date for the city’s destruction by Norman raiders: “It is claimed that it was in this place (Plouguerneau) that the opulent city of Tolente was located, on the river Vrach; a city which was completely destroyed and reduced to ashes around the year 875″.

Bretons battle the Franks
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The 12th century epic known as The Conquest of Brittany by King Charlemagne, deals with the history of 10th century Brittany and the invasions of Charlemagne and the Norman Vikings. The poem contains several references to Gardayne; a “wonderful city” near Saint-Malo ruled by a pagan noble, Doret. Said to have been surrounded by a canal 20 feet wide and 60 feet deep that extended to the sea, the town was flanked by a castle, whose doors were gilded with silver and gold; its brilliance seen from a league away.  In placing the town under siege: “the aspect is terrible. The ditches are full of long spikes on which are planted more than a thousand heads of Christians. The city is still defended by a crowd of ferocious beasts, lions, leopards; there is even a giant”.

Injured before the walls of Gardayne, Charlemagne beseeched God “to confuse this city; let none of these unbelievers escape and let no man live”. Soon, a terrible storm was aroused and “at midnight, the city crumbles with its walls and fortresses. The sea goes beyond its limits and invades the land, swallowing six leagues wide by two long. The French tremble with fear when they see this miracle. More than ten thousand of them drowned there. The tempest and darkness last four days and even the emperor himself is seized with fear. The flood reaches up to him. “You have prayed too well,” said Duke Naimes to him”. However, Charlemagne prayed for deliverance and his pleas were answered; the storm quickly abated, the sea returned to its domain.

Some historians have suggested that the Rance estuary was the site of this battle and that Gardayne might reasonably be located around the present-day town of Saint-Suliac. If we allow for the imaginative exaggeration of our medieval scribe, we might see in the substantial stone foundations revealed at each low tide, a stoutly-built defensive fortification; all that now remains of a important strategic site abandoned by the routed Vikings in 939.

Mapping the Lost Cities of Brittany
The Lost Cities of Brittany : Anti-clockwise from top right: Gardayne, Nasado, Lexobia, Kerfeunteun, Tolente, Occismor, Ker-Is, Escoublac, Herbauges

Further west along the north coast, around the town of Erquy, François Habasque noted, in his Historical and Geographical Notions of the Côtes du Nord (1836), several legends about the lost city of Nasado which was taken by the sea because of the debauchery of its inhabitants. Apparently, the women of this city were famous for their beauty and the delicacy of their skin; it was said that when they drank wine it could be seen travelling through their bodies. Ironically, Erquy once housed a large leper colony for diseased soldiers returning from the Crusades.

According to legend, the soldiers of the town’s garrison, too eager for the attention of these women, no longer obeyed their leader, who, in his frustration at such indiscipline, cursed the city, which was soon consumed by the waves. Another legend tells that Gargantua and his troops rested overnight in the city but none of his men mustered for departure the following morning. Receiving no response to his calls, the angry giant cursed Nasado and its inhabitants: the sea rushed inland, consuming the city and even covering the giant’s heels.

The 1843 revised edition of Ogée’s Historical and Geographical Dictionary identified the hamlet of Pussoir a little north of Erquy as the site of Nasado. The area is rich in Iron Age and Roman remains; unsurprising given that it provided the inspiration for a certain infamous “small village of indomitable Gauls”.

Sometimes, less exotic characters were said to have invoked curses that brought destruction upon the land. In the area around the coastal town of Saint-Briac, an impatient priest, disturbed during mass, was said to have pronounced a curse strong enough to cause a cataclysm. Legend tells that, one morning, the birds made such a clamour that the local curate, frustrated by the distraction to his prayers, cursed the birds and the forest where they sheltered. Immediately, a furious tempest arose and waves rushed through the land. When the sea receded, there remained only the bay that we see today.

Submerged city woodcut
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A variant of this legend, located on the other side the Rance estuary, tells of a town whose inhabitants were living in peace until the Devil obtained permission from God to test them. He sent them thousands of crows, which took possession of the trees surrounding the town’s chapel, deafening the people with their croaking which was redoubled on feast days, so that the word of God was no longer heard. The priest charged the townsfolk to keep the birds at bay but one day they fell asleep and the crows came to perch on the chapel roof. The priest, annoyed by their uproar, cursed the crows in his frustration and a great storm soon raged which engulfed the entire town.

Some local traditions tell of cities that have been engulfed not by the sea but by its sands, some of which reveal themselves on certain privileged nights. The Breton writer Emile Souvestre, in his book The Breton Hearth (1844), collected a tale from northern Brittany that tells that in the area now covered by the dunes of Saint-Efflam, a powerful city once stood; ruled by a king whose sceptre was a hazel wand with which he changed everything according to his whim. However, the debauched living of the king and his subjects caused their damnation, so that one day, God sent thunderous waves so powerful that the sands of the shore rose to engulf the city.

Each year, during the night of Pentecost, on the first stroke of midnight, a passage opens under the mountain of sand that allows one to reach the king’s palace. In the last room of which is suspended the hazel wand which gives all power but if this is not gained before the last sound of the midnight bell, the passage closes and does not reopen for another year.

Grand Rocher Brittany
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It is probably to this same city that the legend relating to the city concealed within the nearby Grand Rocher massif refers. This rocky spur was said to entomb a magnificent city that could be seen in its illuminated brilliance through a narrow fissure that only opened-up on Christmas Eve once every seven years. The city would be reborn, if someone was brave enough to venture inside and managed to penetrate to the depths of the mountain at the first stroke of midnight and nimble enough to re-emerge before the sound of the twelfth bell had died.

About halfway between the city of Nantes and the Bay of Biscay lies the Grand-Lieu lake; France’s largest natural lake and one of the country’s most significant bird sanctuaries. The region’s folklore has long attested that this lake conceals the once prosperous city of Herbauges; a place renowned as a den of iniquity and vice.

In the late 6th century, Saint Martin of Vertou was charged by the Bishop of Nantes with evangelising the pagan population of the region. The saint’s preaching was not well received in Herbauges whose inhabitants insulted the Gospel and beat its messenger. After one savage beating, he was taken-in and cared for by Romain and his wife, a couple who had recently accepted the new faith. The strength of the city’s attachment to its sinful resistance so offended God that He elected to remove the city from the face of the earth. One night, an angel appeared to Saint Martin commanding him and his righteous hosts to leave the city with all haste, warning that he should not look back, no matter what he heard. Unfortunately, upon hearing the roar of the rising waters, Romain and his wife could not contain their curiosity; turning to witness the terrible spectacle, they were immediately petrified. Two menhirs in the neighbourhood were popularly said to be the only witnesses to the catastrophe.

Ruins of Escoublac
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The disappearances of some Breton towns feature a more prosaic explanation. On Brittany’s southern coast, between Guérande and Saint-Nazaire, lies the resort town of La Baule-Escoublac; home to the biggest free Easter egg hunt in France. The village of Escoublac has been noted since the 11th century but its situation on the northern shore of the Loire estuary has created many challenges for its inhabitants over the years. It seems that the original village grew-up by the seashore but was consumed by a tidal wave which covered the settlement under sand in 1450. Despite the danger posed by drifting dunes, the village was rebuilt a little further inland but in 1751 was again consumed by the shifting sand following a violent storm.

Once again, the village was rebuilt but encroaching sands required it to again relocate further inland; the old church was abandoned to the sand and a new one constructed in 1785-86. It was said in the mid-19th century that the people of this flourishing town had gotten rich from the salt trade but had become corrupted by their wealth. One night, a voice was heard warning them, with all haste, to change their wicked ways. Alas, the people did not listen; the sea rushed in to consume the town and in retiring, left it buried under a mountain of sand.

Many Breton towns were once believed threatened with a catastrophe similar to that which befell Ker-Is. It was to avert such an event that a candle lit to celebrate the city’s deliverance from the plague in the 15th century burned day and night at the Notre-Dame-de-Guéodet chapel in Quimper. It was said that if the candle were to ever go out, the city would disappear under the water; the sea inundating the waters of the well sited outside the chapel. The flames of the Revolution extinguished the candle in 1793 and while the chapel has long since disappeared, the city remains as vibrant as ever. However, Quimper and other Breton towns are still in danger because this land was believed to sit atop an underground ocean and might collapse into it at any moment.

Published by Bon Repos Gites

Enjoying life in Kalon Breizh - the Heart of Brittany.

154 thoughts on “Lost Cities of Brittany

  1. Interesting that the shape of the island is so similar to Santorini’s. Of course some evidence we had a tsunami in Wales in the 1607. The flashing lights over the water and other aspects suggest that. Other’s claim a storm surge but such a one off, and calm before hand so one wonders.

    Liked by 12 people

      1. All along the Severn. There are marks recording it on most of the churches, including Redwick, (where I got married) and Goldcliffe. Interesting contemporary woodcuts at least 2.5 metres high, which given the flat terrain means must have been an enormous surge. Quite a biton it if you google Welsh Tsunami, including a Timewatch special.

        Liked by 8 people

  2. Wow, lost towns engulfed by the sea. One of my greatest passions is visiting ghost and lost towns. We have some in the region, no one being eaten by water but quite a few being abandoned centuries ago due to pestilence and other reasons.
    The most interesting one is Calcata, about 40 km from Rome where, back in the 70s a community of hippies began to settle there after centuries of abandonment…and to this day the offspring of those hippies is the only community that inhabits that former lost town

    Liked by 9 people

    1. I have read of several remote villages in Italy that were effectively abandoned in the ’80s due to lack of opportunities etc. Isn’t there one where the mayor is selling houses for a dollar in hopes of attracting new residents? Sadly, unless there are employment opportunities nearby, I guess they will only be used as holiday homes now. Here too, there are many villages that contain mostly holiday homes 😦

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I actually have a holiday home in an area where employment opportunities are very limited and I know very well what this means. My parents’ village would be such an amazing place to live if there were more opportunities and the house we have there is big and it has a terrace overlooking the sea….but I live in an apartment that has a balcony overlooking the building across the street

        Liked by 6 people

      2. I assume tourism is the primary source for employment in Amalfi but I guess it is a long season 😉
        Write one of those “Dumb Guides” that are so popular, you have produced many chapters already, and “retire” to the coast to write more 😉

        Liked by 4 people

  3. There are a lot of cities submerged under the oceans which are being discovered thanks to the advancement in technology. There are probably a lot more hiding under Antarctica. But the myth about Atlantis might not be a myth after all because there’s a place in Africa that matches its description almost perfectly. A very informative post though!

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Agreed, there are many submerged cities around the world. I have heard various sites in Africa suggested for Atlantis but not of the one that matched its very specific dimensions! Stay safe! 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Thanks for yet another gripping read! While reading these legends of Brittany’s lost cities and towns and some of their links to the spread of Christianity, I was reminded of the destruction of old beliefs to make way for the dominance of Christianity across Europe.
    Some of the legends are also reminiscent of biblical events. The fall of Gardayne under Charlemagne reads like an updated version of the fall of Jericho (Joshua 6:1-27). The destruction of Herbauges in which Saint Martin, Romain and his wife are spared, with the “warning that he should not look behind himself, no matter what he heard,” is a similar account to God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1-29) in which Lot’s wife is turned to salt for looking back.

    After our current civilization collapses and disappears under the rising oceans and spreading sand dunes, I wonder what legends would survive of our great and powerful cities of our time.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you!! I am really pleased that you enjoyed the read!
      I hadn’t considered the fall of Jericho analogy but I did see the similarities with Lot’s wife in the Gardayne legend. Indeed, I did have a line highlighting that but cut it to save a sentence 😉 The prohibition of not looking behind you features in many superstitions here but usually connected with the belief that you would see the devil.
      Ha, yes, it would be wonderful to time travel and see what, centuries from now, people thought of our times! Like that scene in Planet of the Apes where they encounter the Statue of Liberty sticking out of the sand! 🙂

      Liked by 6 people

  5. Thanks for the information. Very informative.I never heard of most of these places but it is intriguing to learn about them. Seems like Lexobia and most of these cities disappeared in quite recent times. I mean in the last 2,000 years. I wonder what caused the tidal to rise so high and seemingly so quickly? Like for instant, Lexobia is mentioned in conjunction with a monk or bishop named Pergat and this was as recent as the 6th and 7th century.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. Yes, very true! I suspect far more than we might imagine! 🙂 What with coastal erosion, the rise in sea-levels over the last few thousand years and deliberate destruction through wars etc – there must be untold numbers of discoveries to be made.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Maybe the landmasses were all once connected as some believe and the melting ice caps have been claiming land much longer than we suspect. Havs any underwater expeditions been performed in Breton to see what’s beneath?

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Awww, who know what the wreck-finders may have found. I hope they don’t give up and try again. I understand these expeditions are expensive and take years of planning. But I’m sure the world would like to know what’s beneath the surface.

        Liked by 4 people

      4. Welllll, maybe the conspiracy wasn’t too far off. 🙂 I mean what was one to think with perhaps no justifiable reason as to ‘why not’? As rough as the crashing tide is— reserving the ecosystem wasn’t a sustaining excuse and neither “I don’t like the way someone look.” I still hope they try again. I looked for Jacques Cousteau diving stints in the area and found none. I was sure with him being so famous, surely he had dived in his own backyard.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Unexplained behavior invite conspiracy theories. 🙂 Did they ever say why they weren’t allowing the underwater survey? I wish they had let them performed it; discovering lost cities are always an excitement in the archaeological world. Maybe they will change their mind in the future.

        Liked by 3 people

      6. If there have been dolmens located, I don’t see the harm in learning if this is a whole different civilization from Breton. Perhaps they feel the burial sites will be disturbed. Perhaps they already know who these dolmens belongs to. Areas that are inhabited by hundreds of generations of the same families usually know these things.

        Liked by 3 people

      7. I do believe there are some cairns and dolmen down there and who knows what else? I mean if there are cairns on the land above the surface I’m also sure it didn’t just stop there. Sometimes things like this can tell who else visited a place. Maybe if a well known team return they will let them do it the next time. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Captivating narrative and as always some of the most beautiful art to be found.
    Interestingly, archeologists have investigated an area off Bimini where an underwater path of seemingly man laid stone has been discovered on the possibility that it might be the lost city of Atlantis. Of course nothing has substantiated the claim and it remains a mystery. Thank you for another spellbinding text Colin.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you for reading it Holly – I appreciate it! 🙂
      I think there are a few sites off the US that people have proposed for Atlantis. It really is one of those mythical places that seems to have embedded itself into the imagination as the number of suggested sites is staggering.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. I am impressed with your historical knowledge even with folk lore!!

    You always have these amazing stories!

    Wouldn’t that be incredible if Atlantis was actually found? I wish we knew more solid details. But that would be pretty incredible…. only all media would converge on the site 🤨 the entire world would be there

    I love lost cities History and these tales – I could sit an listen all day!

    This post mostly reminded me of Pompeii and how that was lost … and also a section reminded me of Sodom and Gomorrah

    The earth has a way of reclaiming and starting new.

    I love the stories told to explain what happened

    Your archeology must be incredible!! I know your catacombs are 😮

    France is so rich in that history … so fascinating

    And it has such a religious backing too

    We do not have that here – nothing like that. Is fascinating! Imagine what you could find!!

    Ker-is reminded me a little bit of the Titanic ?? Because the band still played as they went down 😮 just like the residence of your Ker-is … pretending like nothing is wrong

    Crazy huh?

    Ok I have to go to work ✌️
    Have a great day!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That is very kind of you to say so! Thank you! I am pleased that you found it interesting! 🙂
      I think you put it well: nature does indeed have a way of reclaiming and starting afresh.
      There are a few tales of lost cities in the US too, I believe 😉
      Ha, yes, they were partying like it was the end of the world 😉 🙂
      Enjoy your day and again, many thanks!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I always enjoy your posts ✌️❤️ Is history mixed with folk lore ❤️ totally right up my alley – you catch me with the history!

        Eh… we have ghost towns – many of those… and there are a few lost cities because man… made mistakes and messed something up making the area inhabitable due to gases or fires or radiation – whatever – yes that has happened 🤨

        We do have remanence of old colonial towns … or old Indian (Native American) grounds … so there are those types of things here

        Our history and tales are way different than yours

        Although Salem Massachusetts has quite the tale ✌️ the Salem Witch Trials 😮 incredible how they disregarded any kind of actual justice for the fear factor. Insane – eh welcome to the United States court system – not much has changed 😘✌️

        “party like it’s 1999” lol

        Your history and tales are more deep than ours … we are still kinda new-ish – definitely compared to Europe

        I always wondered what Europe heard about us and how things went down – and if the things they told US about Europe were true?? Lol

        We love the Statue of Liberty 🗽 still, btw ❤️✌️

        But I always wondered if my history books were the same as yours – or do they tailor it to whatever country?

        I am curious how these tales are told? Depending on country.

        Just like do they have the option of choosing what they allow us to know or see? Do they take that liberty?

        Also your history is steeped in religion WAY more than mine … we do have our religious things here – but is nothing like Middle Ages religion and the Catholics lol (I am Catholic so I can say that lol) ✌️I know how they operated back then

        Ps … I have one side who is Catholic and they disowned a side I did not know about (completely erased them from the family) why? Because they were Protestant 🤨🙄

        The Catholic side and Protestant side are back together because of me and one on their side who is my age… we discovered each other by accident and would be first cousins lol

        How dumb is it to base family on religion knowing how hard this world is in general ?? – so I am not religions biggest fan for that reason

        Catholics are good with disowning 🤨 … I just follow behind them and put it all back together 😄😘✌️

        I don’t care what they are or believe in – and Protestants are just like Catholics – only Catholics have way more traditions and rules 🤨

        Anyway just sharing … I love how you tangle history and folk lore

        Can you imagine suddenly finding Atlantis ?? 😮

        I hope one day they finally figure it out 🙏 I am dying to know more about them!

        Liked by 5 people

      2. Thank you!! Apologies for the delayed response but a quick trip to the docs turned into a not so quick trip!
        I agree there are interesting remnants all over the world, we just need to take the time. Like you, I love discovering the history and the folklore of things! 😉 Even better, if I can weave the two together 🙂
        The conflicts undertaken in the name of religion have left scars all over the world. One day, I will highlight a particularly brutal time here when the savagery done in the name of the faith changed the landscape forever 😦
        Stay well! 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      3. I missed these 😮😮😮

        Everything is ok right? 😮🙏🙏🙏

        Yes I know what religion has done … both in history and with in my own family

        Does exactly seem “religious” does it? Funny how they put it in the name of faith huh?

        I am curious of your tale!! 😮

        I know some stuff that went on over there (not necessarily France though) – most of the things I know are from the Catholic side – but I know they were brutal sometimes and I know it was power and money. Ruled by the fear of god

        Very interesting ✌️

        Liked by 4 people

      4. That’s ok!
        No, you are right! Sadly, the things done in the name of beliefs that are supposedly edifying and based on love have sometimes been neither. I guess that’s the human element 😦

        Liked by 3 people

  8. Very interesting! With all these flooding and sand erosion stories, it’s easy to see why Atlantis could be in Brittany. The Saint Martin story about Romain and his wife remind me of the Bible story when Lot and his wife were fleeing Sodom.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you! I am glad that you found it so!
      I agree, the shifting sands and rising seas are hiding much from us. I realise it is a long time ago but even as recently as 3-4000 years ago, many of Brittany’s islands were actually attached to the mainland.
      Yes, it is so similar to the tale of Lot’s wife isn’t it? The standing stones said to have been Romain and his wife differ depending on which side of the lake you live; two stones together are the couple but, in another place, a solitary stone was Romain’s wife alone 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’ve sparked my interest in lost cities I wonder if there are any in England, they say that England was joined with France by land at one point I must read into it. Thank you. I love folk tales.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. You are very welcome! I am pleased that you liked it!! There must be some in England too and not just abandoned plague villages. Yes, I think that they were connected as recently as 6 or 7 thousand years ago!
        Many thanks for reading!! Stay well 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much!! That is a really kind thing for you to say!! I am very happy that you liked it! My wife said it was too long and I did cut some tales out but didn’t want to make it a split post, so, I appreciate you taking the time to read it! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Another wonderfully fascinating post on the wonders of Brittany. I don’t know if you’ve ever read the book “Possession” by A.S. Byatt, but several key parts are set in Brittany, and one of the main characters is a Victorian poet who writes an epic poem about The Fairy Melusina and the Drowned City of Is. Elements of her poem create the backdrop of the story arc, and it’s just a beautiful book. The parts set in Brittany are among my favorite, in many ways because I knew so little of Brittany’s geography, history, culture and mythology. If you haven’t read that book, I highly recommend it. Thank you for this latest post. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you! I am pleased that you liked it. Yes, you are right, the only reference to Atlantis is a treatise ascribed to Plato. The area was known to the Ancient Greeks, indeed he mentions the Celts when continuing his thoughts on the ideal republic of which Atlantis was the antithesis. It was around this time that trade in tin from this part of Europe started.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Such a well researched post, as always. As centuries pass we are inclined to weave a more interesting story around nature’s sometimes devastating ebb and flow. We had a hurricane in Glasgow in 1969 (that I slept through) – it took many roofs away. I still sleep through hurricanes…
    I was watching a really interesting program about Doggerland and it surmised that the English channel was just a river at one stage, many eons ago, and explained why there were so many early settlements in the UK. Brittany has so many saints – I love the idea of Saint Samson!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Many thanks!! I am pleased that you liked it! 🙂
      I think you are right, for centuries the memory would only have survived as oral tales and it is quite natural that storytellers embellished the history. After all “there was a big tide” is not likely to hold the attention of bored children on a winter’s night 😉
      I too have read that Doggerland was dry until relatively recently (well, 6000 years haha) and fishermen continuously bring up evidence of human habitation from there.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. This was a really interesting read! Thanks for posting. I have been looking for sources on Breton folklore lately, so if you have any recommended material, I’d be glad to check it out. I also speak French fluently so if they are sources en français that is fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. It wasn’t that long ago that Pompeii was a lost (and completely forgotten) city, so who knows what’s still out there (and what might never be rediscovered). A bit scary to think about how entire cities/civilizations could disappear so easily, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Very well written. Learnt a lot that reminded me of mythological tales I have read, not about France, but Great Britain and Greece. Bulfinch and Robert Graves for example. What you write about opened up a new canvas.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You know…last week I found (left by a neighbour in our building lobby) a travel guide all about Brittany in terms of sights, history, castles, legends etc but it didn’t come close to bringing it to life for me as your blog does 😻👍 still I am holding onto the guide in the hope one day I can actually come there hehe

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Even before I started reading the article, the map caught my eye. With this kind of coastline there is little wonder that human settlements disappear devoured by the ocean. The underground ocean doesn’t sound like a myth to me. Thank you for sharing the history! Somebody diligently wrote it down and preserved for centuries. How wonderful is that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks!! I am glad that you enjoyed the read! I think you are right, we see coasts crumbling into the sea today and rising sea levels too. It is not such a leap to imagine that a cataclysmic collapse could have stayed preserved – in some form – in the folk memory for millennia. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, especially in the times when people lived all their life in the same village and never traveled. A couple of washed away villages would equal a whole country in their memory.

        Liked by 1 person

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