Guide Michelin 2012

Parish enclosuresFabulous religious heritage, the parish enclosures can only be found in this part of Brittany. They were mainly built during the XVth to XVIIth centuries.

The parish enclosures

Pleyben, Saint-Thégonnec, Guimiliau Finistere parish enclosures

Opening through a triumphal gate, the Enclosure is the link between the world of the living and that of the dead. Generally located around a cemetery, the Enclosure incorporated the church, the charnel-house and the calvary. Since the area of the Enclosure and of the cemetery was restricted, the remains of the dead were regularly removed from the tombs in order to save room. The bones were placed in a special building called a charnel-house or ossuary.

A calvary is a granite monument with Christ on the Cross and various personages from the Passion. Specifically Breton, it recounts episodes from the Holy Story and in former times was used by curates for religious instruction. The calvary is in some ways the development of the wayside crosses encountered in their thousands throughout the Breton countryside. The main Parish Enclosures are found in Finistère at Guimiliau, Lampaul-Guimiliau, Saint-Thégonnec, La Martyre, Commana, Sizun and Pleyben.