Paimpont, la fontaine de Barenton dans la foret de Broceliande.
©BERTHIER Emmanuel
The Fountain of Barenton the bubbling spring

The fountain of Barenton

Welcome to the beating heart of Broceliande, to the sure and fertile source of the Breton forest’s wonder. Everything starts from there. Everything returns there. There, the adventure of the Knight with the Lion does not appeal to history, but to legendary, even mythical images. Real, supernatural? Bubbles still rise from the bottom of the fountain, and one believes to see the face of the Enchanter trembling in the shiver of the water…

The Fountain That Tells the Future

Today, the fountain is no longer adorned with the emeralds and rubies that medieval authors described. Giant knights dressed in night clothes, nutons, evil spirits, wild men or lions hardly haunt it anymore. Yet one still comes to sit near the fountain of Barenton, to see the clusters of bubbles pierce the surface, pretext to make wishes.

Merlin and Vivian, meeting in Barenton

One beautiful spring day, near a wonderful fountain, Viviane met Merlin. He had assumed the appearance of a squire of great bearing. In the vicinity of the spring, he gave the beautiful young girl her first lesson in magic. She learned how to make a fast, cool river appear on a dry, barren moor. Then, without saying anything, he left her. Thus began, between these legendary lovers, the powerful ballet of love and absence. For those who have the heart of the legend, this fountain could only be Barenton, in Broceliande.

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