In the confines of official cartography and medieval mythology this deep forest is home to Merlin the Wizard’s secrets.
Broceliande, a journey to Merlin the Wizard’s mythical forest /
The Paimpont forest covers roughly fifty squared kilometres and hosts within itself the legendary forest of Broceliande, which exists in our dreams more than on any real map. It appeared in literature for the first time in 1160, when it was mentioned in Roman de Rou, a saga written by Wace about the dukes of Normandy. Broceliande is found at the very core of French Brittany, a hundred and fifty kilometres from Rennes. Its aura is unique in the world since it was the land of Druids and Celts, and it retains ancients bonds with the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Every crevice of this forest is a legend, and those who have walked it in winter will have seen many faces forming in the snow which covers the giant oak trees, which observe wanderers undaunted from their great height. Here we can find, among dozens of mythical places, the Mirror-aux-fées, or the Fair Mirror; a marvellous lake whose bottom, according to legend, holds a mirror where fairies regard their reflection. Broceliande is also home to the “Valley of No Return” and to the fountain of Barenton: from where the legend of eternal youth springs from, and where many swear the tomb of the Great Merlin lies; the “Soul of Brocélandie”. Each year thousands of flowers, bracelets and poems cover this mysterious tomb.
Many important plants inhabit this forest. As well as the famous “Tree of Gold”, a Holy Grail of sorts for medieval alchemists, we can visit the Guillotine Oak, which is over a thousand years old, and the “Tree of Hindres”, which has a diameter of 5 metres.
This allusion to Broceliande is an invitation to discover the medieval imagery that has made every rock, every tree, and every lake in Brittany a magical symbol linked to the legend of King Arthur. Merely walking through these forests is feeling a strange power that is unrelated to whether its myth is real or not.Tagged: destinations, forests, Broceliande Credits: Image (I: Klaod Roparz)