Monday, January 05, 2009

Enclos paroissial

The parish close is a phenomenon mostly concentrated in northern Finistere, and largely the result of an influx of wealth from the linen trade with England. The elaborate, often theatrical, architectural form also became a kind of competitive sport as villages vied with one another for the most flamboyant display. The essential elements of church, sacristy, triumphal arch, calvary and ossuary (some still containing bones) were contained within a precinct wall to keep out wandering animals and mark the territory of the dead. Most extraordinary element was the calvaire, artistically educational, designed to teach the story of life, death and resurrection in a sophisticated granite cartoon strip often containing dozens of scenes and hundreds of finely drawn figures.


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