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The Devil’s Bridges

The legends of Brittany attribute marvellous origins to many of the structures that litter the local landscape. Some Neolithic megaliths were said to have been created by the enchanter Merlin while others were assigned to the magical korrigans and fairies or to the giant Gargantua. Many Medieval buildings were, sometimes rightly, attributed to those great builders, the Romans or else to the Knights Templar. Similarly, local lore often attests that various notable landmarks, predominantly bridges, churches and mills were built by the power of the Devil; some were even said to have demanded a human sacrifice.

A little south of the old Breton city of Nantes, a rocky formation is revealed during the hours of low tide seemingly stretching out from the village of Notre-Dame-de-Monts towards the Île d’Yeu lying some 16km (10 miles) offshore. This natural feature is known as Pont-Saint-Martin because local legend tells that this saint, frustrated at his inability to cross to the island to the west, accepted the Devil’s offer to build him a suitable bridge in just one night.

Devil Bridge Building Sacrifice

Unfortunately, the bridge was not quite completed when the rooster crowed to nullify the Devil’s bargain. At that instant, the building blocks carried in the air by the Devil’s demons escaped their grasp and crashed down to earth; falling into the positions which they still occupy to this day. On the island, a different legend was one told, for here it was said that the bridge was built by the Devil at the request of the islanders who had agreed, in exchange for the bridge, to surrender to him the body and soul of the first to cross. As soon as the bridge was complete, the wily islanders threw a big cat upon it; the Devil’s bargain was thus fully honoured. Angry at being outwitted by simple fishermen, the Devil returned during the following night and destroyed the bridge whose debris can still be seen at low tide today.

A similar legend is found further west along the coast in the Etel estuary between the towns of Auray and Locmiquélic, the upper reaches of which contains the small picturesque island of Saint-Cado. Tradition asserts that the island was once a sanctuary for the 6th century saint who sometimes had need of peace from the bustling monastery he had established nearby. To ease his passage to the island, a small bridge was built but this structure did not survive its first tempest and so another construction was started under the supervision of the Devil himself. In exchange for his labours, the Devil demanded of Cado the soul of the first creature to cross it. The instant the bridge was completed, the saint is said to have thrown a cat on it, much to the Devil’s disgust.

Sacrifice - Devil - Bridge - Builder

Another of the early evangelists, Saint Gwenole, is also associated with the Devil and a bargain for a bridge. It is said that Gwenole had grown weary of making the difficult journey between the Île de Sein, lying off Brittany’s Atlantic coast, and his abbey at Landévennec. He therefore resolved to build a bridge that would connect the island to the mainland and it was while considering this project that he was approached by a handsome young man whose sweet tongue and cloven hoofs betrayed the presence of the Devil himself.

“I want to go to that island I see in the distance. I know you are planning a bridge and I shall use it when it is built,” said the Devil. Saint Gwenole was adamant that he would never allow the Devil to reach the innocent souls on the island and declared that he would not now build the bridge if there was a chance the Devil might use it. “Then you will be denounced as a liar, for you gave the people your word. You will lose your holiness and will be doomed to become my disciple because the lie will stain you forever,” sneered the Prince of Liars.

Devil's Bridge - medieval demons - builders - sacrifice

Seeing Gwenole’s dilemma, God offered him the opportunity to perform a marvellous miracle and so the saint quickly threw a bridge of ice across to the distant island. Gloating in triumph and enticed by all the pure souls that he would now be able to corrupt, the Devil rushed onto the bridge but with his first few steps, his burning hooves melted the ice and he was cast down into the swirling waters below. His violent reaction at being tricked accounts for the fierce currents that still separate the island from the mainland today.

Although no longer the seat of a bishop, the 14th century cathedral in the northern town of Tréguier is the site of another curious deal with the Devil. Legend tells that the priests responsible for supervising the building’s construction had exhausted all their funds of money when it came time to build the steeple and so reluctantly accepted the aid of the Devil. In exchange for building the steeple, he was granted the souls of all who died within sound of the cathedral bells between Sunday Mass and Vespers. The priests soon relented their sacrifice of so many souls and adopted a cunning solution; no sooner had Mass concluded than the cantor intoned the first psalm of Vespers.

Treguier cathedral and the Devil builder - sacrifice

The notion that the Devil demands a heavy price in exchange for his assistance is a key feature of the tales highlighted above but all may not be as it might seem. For instance, if we strip away the Christian overtones of these tales, what remains is an impression that the first to cross a bridge and perhaps by extension, enter any new building is expected to surrender their life as some form of sacrifice.

The Scottish anthropologist Sir James Fraser, in his marvellous book The Golden Bough (1890) noted: “In modern Greece, when the foundation of a new building is being laid, it is the custom to kill a cock, a ram or a lamb and to let its blood flow on the foundation-stone, under which the animal is afterwards buried. The object of the sacrifice is to give strength and stability to the building.” The prevalence of similar practices throughout the history of the Germanic people was also highlighted by the German author Jacob Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology (1835). Grimm also notes how human sacrifices were formerly made at river crossings to bring good luck and to act as protective spirits; some unfortunates were even walled-up alive in basements and ramparts for the same end.

Devil Bridge Building Sacrifice

The strength and longevity of important constructions was believed only assured if certain rites had been performed at the intended site beforehand. Such rituals were designed to appease the ancient deities on whose domains humanity was encroaching and also to implore the favour of those who might have an influence on the solidity of a structure or on the happiness of its occupants. The vestiges of likely ancient rituals can be seen in some of the superstitious practices noted just a few hundred years ago, such as burying a calf under the entrance to a barn, a horse in newly opened graveyards or a cat under the corner stone of a house.

The Breton artist and author Paul Sébillot noted, at the end of the 19th century, a belief around the town of Dinan that when the ancient Romans had completed a road, they sacrificed a man and offered his blood to the spirits of the earth in order to ensure the strength of their work. Little evidence exists to suggest that human immolation has been practiced in Brittany since the earliest times but there are some intriguing references in the region’s folklore.

Devil Bridge Building Sacrifice

In 1888, a journal published in Paris brought to the attention of its readers an account of the popular tradition surrounding the failure to maintain a bridge at Rosporden in western Brittany. It was claimed that each new bridge was swept away by floodwater almost as soon as it had been completed. Confounded by the fact that their best efforts were meeting with no success, the people of the town suspected witchcraft and consulted a witch who told them that if they wanted to have a strong bridge, they would need to bury a four year old boy alive in the foundations. It was also necessary for the child to carry with him a blessed candle in one hand and a piece of bread in the other.

Sadly, a desperate mother, willing to submit her child for sacrifice, was found and the little boy was walled-up alive as directed. The bridge was duly completed and, for centuries, has withstood all the ravages of the elements. It is said that the boy’s mother went insane shortly after the sacrifice of her son and that the little boy’s cries are still to be heard in the wailing of the winds and the sobs of the rains that fall upon Rosporden today.

Devil Bridge Building Sacrifice

A similar legend is associated with the Pont Callec bridge near Caudan in southern Brittany; to save the bridge from constantly collapsing, a young boy, bought for a high price in Scotland, was locked inside a barrel buried under one of the bridge supports. The child’s sacrifice was said to have ensured the longevity of the bridge and the health of those who crossed it. The same solution was said to have been resorted to at another bridge in Morbihan; having collapsed several times, the sacrifice of a living man immediately reversed the fortunes of the builders.

The notion of the necessity for a sacrifice to ensure the success of a bridge was also noted further north in the central town of Pontivy. Here, local legend tells that when a bridge was built around the town, a sacrifice was once offered to the deities of the river; an offering that included as many men as the bridge had piers. It was said that prisoners were mostly chosen for this dubious honour and that it was customary for the victims to be buried under the first stone of each pier.

Devil Bridge Building sacrifices

Offering sacrifices to the waters, or to the gods who could control them, was once fairly widespread, with many examples cited by the writers of antiquity through to the anthropologists of the modern era. While we may have no reports of human sacrifices along the Breton coast, traditions of offerings made to freshwater divinities were noted in the south of Brittany. Indeed, even Christian ceremonies to bless the sea were seen here regularly into the 20th century.

It was once believed here that the Breton peninsula sat atop an underground ocean and that vast subterranean passages connected this underground sea with the waters surrounding the coast. The fear that the earth might collapse into this inland sea, at any moment, was particularly noted in Morbihan; specifically a swathe of country that stretched from Vannes on the south coast to Pontivy some 50km (31 miles) to the north. Interestingly, people also thought the reason that their homes had not disappeared under the waves was thanks to certain sacrifices that had been made.

Devil Bridge Building sacrifice

In this part of the region, it was said that every seven years, an unknown lady, richly dressed, travelled the land in search of a poor and large family whose father and mother would agree, for a consideration, to sell her one of their children. Once this child had been obtained, the mysterious woman contained it in a barrel with a three-pound loaf of bread and a large lit candle; the sealed barrel was then delivered to the waves.

The ocean seized its proffered gift and tossed the barrel around for seven years before allowing it to be seen again by the eyes of man. The recovered barrel was opened and if the child has only lost its arms, it was once again cast to the waves for another seven years. If the barrel was empty, the sacrifice was thought consumed but the divinity of the sea required fresh prey and so the unknown lady set out again on her ghoulish mission. It was said at the end of the 19th century that one of the sea’s last victims was bought from Guern; a village very close to Pontivy.

Devil - Bridge - Building - Sacrifice

According to another version of the tale, the sacrifice was offered, not to the sea itself, but to the ‘Eye of the Sea’ which was located in the countryside but which communicated directly with the ocean. Each year, a new-born child, recently baptized, was sealed inside a barrel with a blessed candle and a pound of bread and delivered as an offering to the guardian of the waters on the eve of the New Year. The ‘Eye of the Sea’ was thought to be connected to the Blavet River to whose waters the barrel was consigned. Unfortunately, the power of such a sacrifice was thought only to appease the water deities for a year. With life, light and sustenance consumed, another offering was required and the sacrifice repeated again until God took pity on the bereaved mothers and transformed the ‘Eye of the Sea’ into a clear fountain.

Sometimes, the rituals and offerings made to ensure the longevity of a building or the health of its inhabitants was far more pedestrian, even if their origins were likely equally as ancient. In Brittany, builders often buried prehistoric stone tools, popularly known as Thunder Stones, under the foundations or near the threshold of buildings. Such talismans have also been discovered hidden in the walls of medieval churches, above stable doors and even inside old hearths.

Devil's Bridge - Building Sacrifices

The remains of animals, predominantly toads and cats, have also been discovered in the walls and under the foundations of many old buildings here. Perhaps these were substitutes for the human sacrifices of old or perhaps it was the sacrifice of a life that was important; the life force, whatever it was, giving vitality and protection to the builder’s edifice? A similar tradition was once noted around Pontivy where it was customary, in the 18th century, to sprinkle the foundations of houses and churches with animal blood, mainly that of an ox. Some 45km (28 miles) away, in the southern town of Quimperlé, the foundations of new houses were regularly sprinkled with the blood of a rooster as late as the early years of the 19th century.

Formerly, belief in the importance of paying due homage to the ancient guardians, of waters and other places, was profoundly inscribed into the Breton psyche and it is interesting to consider whether such deeply ingrained traditions were not at the root of the once popular belief that death must pass through a house for it to be safely inhabited. In western Brittany, it was thought that death personified, the Ankou, demanded this tribute and that as soon as the stones of the threshold had been set, the Ankou waited to claim the soul of the first person to cross it.

Devil Bridge sacrifice - Building superstitions

According to local tradition, there was only one way to keep death away and that was to give him some other life and so people would ensure that a hen or a cat were the first to cross a completed threshold although, in some parts of the region, an egg was deemed sufficient for this purpose. Once safely into a new home, it was important for the new occupants to assuage the spirits of the place by leaving, in each corner, an offering of a piece of bread and a little salt. Over time, such concerns were forgotten, leaving just a quaint superstitious ritual to attract good luck upon the household.


Published by Bon Repos Gites

Enjoying life in Kalon Breizh - the Heart of Brittany.

157 thoughts on “The Devil’s Bridges

  1. A fascinating article, though deeply disturbing as well to realize the depth to which people will go to appease deities. I’ve heard of many cultures that will sacrifice an animal when a building is being constructed. I suppose it must be looked at within the context of the time it happened, but it is still horrible to think of those poor children and innocent animals.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I am pleased that you enjoyed the read! Thank you! 🙂 You are right, no matter how ghastly such things sound, we are so far removed as to the real motivations and fears that drove such practices that we can’t really understand them now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating! As soon as I started reading this I thought of the Teufels Brucke in Uri, Switzerland (the first one, a bridle path, opened the Gotthard Pass and doesn’t have any [known] stories) which has similar mythology — including the bargain with the Devil for a life — the people threw a dog. I kind of get the (bizarre) logic. I can hear people saying, “If the good lord had meant us to cross that, we could.” Like, “If the good lord had meant man to fly, he’d have wings.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am pleased that you thought so, thank you! 🙂 Yes, this idea of foiling the Devil by pushing an animal first across a bridge surfaces in several countries. I wonder which came first or whether real sacrifices were once widespread and gradually everyone shifted towards the notional sacrifice instead?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The construction of big landmarks or important infrastructures have always claimed human life. The building of the Chunnel claimed for example the lives of 13 humans (think of the symbolism). But I must agree that many cultures had (or still have) a tradition of sacrificing a living creature to ensure that the construct would have some “guardian spirit”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed. And, as you say, it was rather widespread. I guess the reasons were a mixture of appeasing the ancient guardian spirits and also to acknowledge something remarkable – a previously unbridgeable river or a successful build on marshy ground?


    1. Thank you! I am glad that you liked them! 🙂 Ha, yes, me too!! I wonder if a combination of factors were not at play? Folks thinking – we have built something special here, so special that it has to be marked but also so special that we need to preserve it and ask God (or even the old gods) to look kindly upon it?


  4. Another terrific read. I particularly liked the part about how people tried to trick the devil when they had made a pact with him over the construction of a bridge. I didn’t know how gruesome some of the sacrifices were!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Susan! I am happy that you liked it! 🙂 Yes, it is interesting and I suppose so humanly typical, that they made a bargain to get what they wanted but then immediately sought to renege on it to save their soul. I thought the trick by the priests was a great one. 😉


  5. So fascinating story The Devil’s Bridges 🌷🙏👍🏻 scary photos to view
    In India also long ago the habit of giving persons to sacrificing
    ceremony , but now all stoped !! Night time we all never walk
    the bridge side 😒 so interesting story you written dear friend 😊🙏
    Very scary 😦 Thank you for sharing and grace wishes 🌷🙏♥️🌷

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am pleased that you liked it! Thank you! 🙂 Yes, the idea of offering a sacrifice for important structures was once quite widespread. 😦
      What is the superstition that you have about bridges? Is it bad luck to cross a bridge or go under a bridge at night?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Superstition that I’m small time India my motherland , there people was told , bridges make time
        that don’t want to fall, so cut people’s head down the bridge, so from small I’m so scared 😡
        The dead people ghost will protect the bridges , so we never walk alone that places night ,
        Day time ok 👍🏻🌷this is my explanation 🙏😊thank you and your article ✍️reading time so
        Interest and scary also 🙏😒 grace wishes 🌷🙏♥️🌷

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you! Yes, I can easily see how a young mind can be fed such scary tales and that they take a powerful root in the imagination! I do like the idea of protective spirits too! Stay well! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I came back to have another look at the painting with the demons. That’s pretty funny how one looks like a man in robes and he has horns. He might be clergy. The one with a face on his body in his pubic region is a scream. That second face looks friendly though.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I wonder if today’s engineers and builders used such myths to explain their failures, would they be believed? I can see the change order now for one human sacrifice. What would the cost be? Great tales. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    Liked by 3 people

  8. When I was going through the blog, I was imagining the whole story in my mind but Do people believe that God is more powerful than the……Whichever God we pray Bon Repos.But very interesting one

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I am pleased that you enjoyed it! Yes, at the end of the day it comes down to belief and how far one is prepared to go in the name of those beliefs. Those are tough questions today and I imagine they would have been all-consuming year ago!


  9. It’s chilly… I just posted for the first time, and one of my introductory paragraphs, which I’ve crafted and redrafted over and over again, has quotes about Merlin… and there’s several quotes from ‘The Once and Future King’ in there throughout the chapters, but one of the first people I encounter, here, is you and your page… and your first sentence starts with a reference to Merlin and the owl. My post part 4 opens up with Merlin, and the Wart, during the part of the novel where Merlyn is about to turn [the young king Arthur] into a fish. But it’s just funny because of the time it takes to come up with something, and try to get through life, too, and all the sacrifices and dead ends and writer struggles in in life—and your story is on the ‘Devil’s Bridge.’ First sentence has Merlin. I’ve grappled with that bridge all my life! Just me and Merlin… trying to to deal with that demon bridge! but yes, it’s a devil’s bargain—trying your first WordPress account… I knew what I was getting into… but if you’re interested, anyone, it’s my ‘Fish School’ post, #4, if you’re interested in reading it (Merlin’s in the first paragraph, promise).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha, is that what they call serendipity? 😉 It is funny how sometimes things coincide like that!
      I hope that you are enjoying your blog and have no need of sacrifices – well, apart from time! 😉 Stay well! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a powerful story, Giles, eloquently told and beautifully illustrated. It saddens me deeply, though. It reminds me of something Ursula Le Guin wrote, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” ( Hers is also a sad but telling tale that still seems relevant today in these times when the world is failing to consider the consequences of continuing environmental destruction to support overconsumption at the expense of the most vulnerable among us. It seems to be a devil’s bargain to preserve the fleeting privilege and comfort of the many who don’t know the costs and the power of those who don’t care.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have read that book!! However, I am ashamed to say that I had not seen the connection but as soon as I read your comment, it was as clear as day! So, thank you so much for that! Your final sentences are, sadly, so very true 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My goodness, yes. The numbers would be astronomical! 😦 Superstitions die hard and I wonder if, in some parts of the world, builders have some sort of “good luck” ritual? Not necessarily a sacrifice but an offering or ritual or whatever?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Such an interesting topic. I hesitate to judge the rituals of old as we haven’t experienced life lived back then. It is appalling to us now of course. A wonderful narrative Colin and as always , the art is superb. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I imagine it was somewhat necessary to reconcile the unknown within the mind and take what actions seemed appropriate. Of course with scientific reasoning to refer on we find their actions crude and inexplicable. Wonderful reading.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I really love your ice bridge story ❤️❄️❤️ resisted temptation and also figured out way 👏👏

    There are some religions that require a sacrifice during burial 🪦… usually a chicken 🐓

    People believe many things – even today 😘✌️

    Bridges and their history’s and stories are so fascinating ❤️

    Quite modern marvels 🙌

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, yes, it is wonderful how inventive some folk can be and whoever thought of the ice bridge was inspired! 🙂

      I think it is maybe because bridges are marvels that such legends became attached to them. We are so used to seeing impossible feats of engineering these days but years ago when it was just local craftsmen, it must have been quite a feat to put up a sturdy bridge.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes but also the ice bridge story showed that you do not have to go the way of the devil to accomplish something amazing – all about the spirit and innovation 😘❤️✌️ was brilliant ❤️

        Yes absolutely was quiet the feat to build bridge with human hands and old school engineering ❤️… but when that didn’t work – it was the gods or spirits fault so something had to be done to appease and try again lol – was no fault of man 😄 the spirits or gods had worked against! You must do payment – pay your dues

        Yes building bridges very complex! And IS skill. Especially back in the day 😮 my respect and awe ❤️

        Bridges have a beauty to them ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, yes, that is so true. That was one of the great benefits of rituals and superstitions – if something did not work out then it was not necessarily your fault! 😉 Now, where did I pass that buck ..? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hahaha … well these holiday dinners I have down to a science… so that will never happen lol

        But I will keep that ace in my pocket for something else when I need that lol

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha inside? So far yes – thank god or you would hear my screams and I’m selling the house lol – kidding – I would keep it but go massively spray

        Has not been problem inside – omg thank god!

        Thank you ❤️ Happy Thanksgiving even if you don’t celebrate 😊🦃🍁

        Am doing ok – taking slow. Everything ready to make or already going – boys come over about 3 or 4 ❤️

        Very thankful for life ❤️

        Also is my very first holidays in “my” house ❤️

        Almost been one whole year 😮

        Hope your day is thankful and awesome ❤️🍁

        Yes – can everyone NOT die please 🙏

        Will be nice to have some peaceful time to feel little better 🙏

        It be so cozy warm and smell amazing today ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, it does make you look at those medieval bridges in a different light doesn’t it? 😉

      I think it is a magnificent book! 🙂 I still have my copy bought when I was a student but do not dip into it nowadays as much as I should. Sadly, I only have the abridged (no pun intended 😉 ) version but have seen the full set. I know that it is fashionable now to poke holes at the work but I still think it marvellous. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Such a fascinating article!
    As soon as I started reading this I thought of various bridges that have given rise to similar legends in Italy, including the pact with the devil who then wants his reward, but is duped by man

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, I am pleased that you liked it! 🙂 Yes, it is remarkable how many old bridges have similar legends attached. I think it shows what a major impact they once had on the public perception.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow. Interesting. I had no idea so many human or animal sacrifices were performed for the building of bridges or buildings. It sort of explains a strange mystery in the history of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Edmonton’s most pre-eminent hotel The Hotel MacDonald was built in the 1st decade of the 2Oth Century. But for some reason the night before the foundation of the building was to be laid, a man said to be drunk, rode his horse into the hole in the ground where the foundation was to be laid. It was said that the man got out of the hole but forgot his horse. And the horse ended up being buried under the foundation of the building. Today the horse’s ghost is still said be seen by some of the hotel’s staff and guests. Ghostly galloping and the sounds of hooves and horsely neighing can likewise be heard by staff and guests. But maybe the burying of the horse wasn’t an accident judged by what I’ve read here. Perhaps the horse’s owner was subject to the same superstitions as that held by people mentioned in this post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I am pleased that you enjoyed the read! 🙂 That said, I find your story fascinating!! I shall do some digging on that tale because the idea of sacrificing a horse at such a late date is worth looking into! Even if the sacrifice was unintentional it is perhaps telling that the builders left it there!! Thank you very much for this wonderful bit of info!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. So many bridges, all over Europe. Our nearest Devil’s Bridge is across the Lune, popular with motor bikers and young jumpers – tombstone leaps from the bridge.
    The Devil as Pontifex Maximus ?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha yeah it’s either the year or the weather lol ✌️😄

        It used to be Covid we blamed … so we have advanced lol

        Good luck with your electronics 🤞🙏 I just use my phone always – don’t even bother with computers 🖥️ 😝

        I have to deal with them at work! Lol 😉

        Have a great day!! Still enjoying your president lol ❤️👏

        I will be back if not tonight cause is family night or Saturday for sure!!!

        It’s been rough week 😮

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ahhhh was wonderful family night ❤️👏🥘

        Also we had a little treat – I will post it little later ❤️ was such a wonderful night ❤️👏👏👏

        Yeah the week was worth it to get to that ❤️❤️❤️👏

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Those poor children and cats! If I’m EVER offered bread and a candle, I’ll be running for the hills! 😂

    All I could think of was the story of Merlin as a boy being taken to Vortigern who was willing to sacrifice a child to secure the foundations of his new castle….. until the boy was revealed at having the sight to see the cause.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! The idea of making a sacrifice before starting any building of significance is quite old and cops up in all sorts of places. Good recall about the Merlin episode!! 🙂
      Ha, agreed – beware of strangers bearing bread and candles! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m currently reading a book at the moment that looks into the legends of Merlin and interestingly enough it mentions that the reason the foundations kept falling was due to two large stones rolling against each other in an underground lake….. no mention of the dragons at all. So I wonder if that was the original version and the dragons were added later for a bit more umph!

        Yes I shall, especially if they’re being brought to me in a barrel! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  17. >The Breton artist and author Paul Sébillot noted, at the end of the 19th century, a belief around >the town of Dinan that when the ancient Romans had completed a road, they sacrificed a man >and offered his blood to the spirits of the earth in order to ensure the strength of their work

    Well, a lot of their roads still exist and are in good shape, so…

    On a more serious note, I’ve read that for a long time churches would seal a sacrifice into their foundations. I don’t know what evidence exists for this, but supposedly children were taught not to volunteer to help priests, because that was how the sacrifice victims were obtained.

    I’ve also read that the first to enter a newly built house would soon die, and that people would sometimes send an animal in first. This seems to have been a fairly widespread belief. My parents told me that when you visit someone’s new house, you’re supposed to toss a few coins on the floor for “good luck.” I’m guessing this also started as a way to appease spirits. Interesting stuff…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too have heard of sacrifices made to the foundations of churches but not here and I did look hard when writing this. 😉 I found clear references to castles and bridges but only animal blood for secular buildings. It may well have been true but, if so, not in this part of the world. Given the whole concept of sacrifice in Christianity and the importance once attached to being buried within a church, I am inclined to think it unlikely a common practice! 😉

      Ooh, now that is a wonderful superstition and one I have not heard of before!! Thanks for sharing it!! 🤗 I think your assessment is spot-on; it really does seem like a gesture to appease the spirits of the threshold. I do love hearing of old superstitions still hanging on in the Atomic Age! 🙂 Enjoy the rest of the week! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. So much for the “devil went to Georgia” 🫠 man…. This one is deliciously bananas! The people of Brittany were savage and terrified… Glad we weren’t alive then 🤣 I feel some how this would make an excellent documentary. Again- why aren’t you doing these things???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha … the old saying that the past is a foreign country applies here doesn’t it? 😉
      I suppose we also have our strange ways today. 😉
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read it – much appreciated! 🙏🤗

      Liked by 1 person

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