Hôtié de Viviane, site légendaire, BrocéliandeHôtié de Viviane, site légendaire, Brocéliande, Bretagne.
©CRTB - Emmanuel Berthier
Vivian's Hospiceor tomb of the druids?

Vivian’s Hospitality

Vivian’s Host or “Tomb of the Druids”? The monument rises on the heights that dominate, to the east, the Val sans retour. It has, in turn, borne these two names; but today the fairy prevails over the wise men of Celtic times. A question of feminine charm? Or because a house, “a hôtié” in Gallo, is more cheerful than a tomb?

VIVIANE’S HOUSE

Let’s say it straight, we never found here the slightest fragment of a starry crown, a crystal mirror, a golden comb. A few pearls, certainly, pebbles colored, ornaments of poor peasant. All this is too simple for a fairy. Viviane used to come here, during her wanderings in the forest. The goddess Diana had condemned her to never leave these woods, except on three occasions. Then the fairy would walk her domain and from the top of this ridge, she could embrace the forest and the moors with a single glance. And wait there for love and dreams, the wind of freedom.

The tomb of the druids

Researchers and the curious leaned in the 19th century on Broceliande and its mysteries. The fashion was for the Gallic and Celtic roots of France. And this attraction was even greater in Brittany. Some people saw Celts everywhere, it must be said. Dating techniques were far from being developed. All these frustrated architectures, undeniably very ancient, were thus attributed to the Celts, to the Gauls, to the druids. Today science has spoken, but for some, the dream continues, a little modified. The Druids, those of antiquity, did not build these monuments, erected before them by the last prehistoric men, but, we are told, they would have used them for their ceremonies. Who will prove it?

The dragon sleeps nearby.

Those who arrive by the path from Touche Guérin must cross a rocky ridge before reaching Hôtié. If they know how to see the legend behind the reality (a gift that one quickly develops in Broceliande), they will easily recognize the shape of this relief… a dragon’s back, obviously! A dragon that has been sleeping there for ages, and that the trampling of the walkers does not even disturb. Well… until when? It is also said that if one puts the foot at a precise place of its spine, the fabulous monster will wake up and then… If one moves away from the Hôtié towards the right, while climbing on a few hundred meters, the claws of another buried monster rise towards the sky. It is necessary to climb there. The petrified paw of the saurian offers you one of the two most beautiful views of the forest…

And the leprechaun is not far away!

Purists claim that a specific variety of Breton goblins, the korandons, regulars of the dolmens, have taken up residence in the Jardin des Moines and the Hôtié de Viviane. Félix Bellamy, the greatest connoisseur of Broceliande at the end of the 19th century, was formal: “There especially dwell the Korrigans who dance on the mounds, at night, in the moonlight, around the raised stones; they sing words that no one could understand…”

From the Sacred Heights

After the ravages of the 1990 fire, the bare rocks below the Hôtié de Viviane, delivered a nice surprise. A dolmen appeared, recognizable despite its collapsed supports – the orthostats. The stones, protected by humus and vegetation, still had a deep purple color. The ridge was thus a place dedicated to the dead. Millennia later, it was dedicated to the fairies, with a certain continuity of thought: one remained there in the spirit world.

Text written by Claudine GLOT, Centre de l’imaginaire Arthurien (CIA)

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