The castle of Comper Den of the Vivian fairy and memory of Arthurian legends

The castle and the lake of Comper

For centuries, history and legend have intermingled in Comper. History shelters behind the ramparts of the old fortress. While the waters of the great pond protect the crystal palace of Viviane where the enchanted youth of Lancelot took place. To celebrate this long history, both human and magical, the Arthurian Center has been established there since 1988, with its exhibitions, shows, stories and more…

The White Shadow of Vivian

King Dyonas, who ruled over Broceliande and its lands, had a more than fairy godmother. Diana, Goddess of The Forest, The Moon and The Hunt, watched over him. When Princess Viviane was born in the palace, Diana came to the child’s cradle to dictate her destiny.
Obeying Diana’s wishes, Dyonas had his daughter instructed in the sciences of stones, plants and stars. Viviane tirelessly roamed the forest, from which she is forbidden to leave. At the dawn of her fifteenth year, near the fountain of Barenton , she meets a stranger. It will take her some time to recognize Merlin in this enigmatic vagabond. Fascinated by his knowledge and mystery, she becomes his student. Are their relations those of two lovers? Perhaps. Of two beings speaking the same secret language? Surely.


In Comper, in front of the fortress of Dyonas, Merlin built for Viviane a palace of crystal surrounded by lovely gardens where silver-blossomed apple trees bud. To protect his beloved’s domain from prying eyes, the Enchanter hides the castle from humans. He creates the illusion of a lake, an appearance so perfect to all the senses that no one, even today, unless allowed by the fairy, can see the bright palace.


Many years later, King Ban of Benoic, Queen Elaine, and their very young son must flee their kingdom after being invaded by King Claudas. They hope to take refuge in the great woods of Brocéliande. The king, overcome by exhaustion, will never reach the forest. The queen, in despair, will see her child dragged into the water of a beautiful lake by a young woman dressed only in white. How could she guess she was in the domaine of the fairies, that stretches over where she sees only sparkling waters? She takes refuge in a convent, not knowing that her son has been kidnapped by Viviane. The fairy raises the young Lancelot to be the best knight in the world, and offers him the company of his two cousins, Bohors and Lionel, who are also threatened by the hatred of King Claudas.
But if the young boys can live with the fairies, once they have grown up, they must return to their fellow men, as men amongst men. Lancelot goes to King Arthur’s court where, to his happiness and misfortune, he falls madly in love with Queen Guinevere, and another adventure begins…


As far as we know, after Lancelot and his cousins Bors and Lionel, no one has been accepted at the lake estate. For centuries, only a few lovers of enchantment, ardent and patient enthusiasts at the same time, have had the rare chance to see the crystal towers shimmering, in a shudder of water blending together stone, forest, sky and earth at dawn and dusk, when the blue flash of a kingfisher passes…

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

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