The Modern Antiquarian. Ancient Sites, Stone Circles, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic Mysteries

La Chapelle Sept Saints

Allee-Couverte

Fieldnotes

This is profoundly weird. If anyone is in any doubt that Christianity is any more than just an iron age idol-worshipping death cult, then they should come here.

This allee couverte has been completely integrated into the chapel and now forms its crypt. You can get into it through a little iron gate, but obviously you can't see it's original exterior shape anymore because it's been swallowed up by the church.

The stones are massive and would have to be to (partially) take the weight of the chapel built over it.

Now it's been reduced to a cave-like hidey-hole for seven crudely carved dollies, paint peeling and faded. Seven tacky wooden figures of third century Turkish saints who were drowned each stand about a foot high behind a wooden fence so you can't reach them. Or were they the seven dwarfs? There's even a little toy boat, presumably to remind people of the way the saints died. I actually counted eight dollies - perhaps one of them was Snow White, I wondered? No, no, it must have been the virgin Mary.

The resemblance of the figures to the kind of idols you find in animist religions in West Africa and Papua New Guinea was striking and made all the more powerful by their position in this ancient monument. Definitely worth seeing for the weird-factor alone.
Jane Posted by Jane
12th October 2009ce

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