On the square in the old days
Difficult challenge to summarize in a few lines several centuries of history ... and stories should we say, because here there were several buildings. Let's keep it simple and talk about the buildings that are still standing... Side by side on the square, in front of us, two listed facades: on the left the chapel of St Colomban and on the right the church of St Sauveur. Behind them, you can see the modern architecture of the present church, visible in profile photo below.
Photo © G. Falconetti
St Colomban's chapel was built in the 15th century. A 16th century stained glass window adorned the chevet: listed as a Historic Monument, it was placed in a vertical band visible behind the altar of the present church. Several thousands of visitors came here on pilgrimage, as Saint Columban had the privilege of curing nervous and brain diseases.
The church of St. Sauveur existed since the 11th century; rebuilt many times, the remaining façade would date from the 16th or 17th century. The building has never been in good condition: for example in 1912 the iron cross and its granite block came loose and fell on the roof of the neighbouring chapel... collapse of part of the roof in 1968, and of part of the plastered vault in 1971: enough is enough, the church was closed for good in 1971.
Photo © F. Baslé
St. Sauveur's Church today
Given the scale and cost of the restoration work on the old church, Father Laudrin, the deputy mayor at the time, decided to demolish it and then build a new one. The modern church in concrete and slate was built just behind the old granite facades; it is the work of the Nantes architect Maurice Thomas, and was consecrated, after two years of work, during the midnight mass of Christmas 1975 by the parish priest Jégat.
Its architecture does not leave one indifferent... and the opinions of visitors to our tourist office are sometimes very clear-cut!
The interior is a real surprise: it is voluminous and very clear thanks to the strips of stained glass made by master glassmaker Le Guével; one of them was donated by Madame Pompidou. Here, 800 worshippers can take their place.
At the back of the south chapel has been preserved a small altarpiece-tabernacle painted in white and gold which would date from the 17th century, it comes from the disappeared chapel of the True Cross, on the road to Auray.
To the left of the altarpiece, a beautiful Saint Michael slaying the dragon.
To the right of the choir, a gilded statue of the Virgin and Child, recently restored. To the left of the choir is a statue of Saint-Sauveur.
In the nave on the right, Saint Colomban, wearing the mitre of the father abbot and wearing the cloak, leans on his crosier. Next to him is Saint Therese of the Child Jesus.
At the back of the church, a stone statue of the Eternal Father could date from the 15th or 16th century.
Also to be seen near the portal is a polygonal granite font with the arms of the de Langle family, and above it a modern composition representing the creation of the world.
Let's smile a little...
The stones of the old church have been reused; a surprising fate for some of them, as part of them was used to build the Stirwen, Alain Barrière's nightclub in Carnac . This led to a question here at the tourist office, which is now one of our pearls: "Can you tell me where Alain Barrière's church is located?"... curious shortcut!
Let's dare to make another connection... It's under the name of St Colomban that the Locminé football team, the "St Co", plays; it was brilliantly noticed in 2012 in the French Cup, where this "Petit Poucet" faced the ogre PSG without demerit... thus attracting to Locminé more national television cameras than ever before!
Photos © Fr. Lepennetier