balade dans le val sans retour et découverte du miroir aux fées
©Emmanuel Berthier
The Valley of No Return the legend continues

The Valley of No Return

The Valley of No Return guards the edge of Broceliande, to the southwest. This deep valley, sinks both into the forest and into the dense labyrinths of its legends. The paths of Merlin, Lancelot, Morgan le Fay cross there, as do those of the night washerwomen, the korrigans and the witch of the Four Wind.

The Golden Tree, A NEW LEGEND

Broceliande’s newest legend, “The Gold of Broceliande,” most often referred to as the Golden Tree, has stood there since 1991. Its creator, François Davin, wanted it to be a memorial to the forest that was ravaged by the fire of 1990. He wanted the Golden Tree to bear witness for all the forests that man takes such poor care of, and of the hope too, which still survives. If man wills it, the forest will be eternal and precious like the gold that dresses the chestnut tree of Broceliande, amidst its guard of charred trunks. And the monument conveys legendary images. The branches of the golden tree are like the antlers of the great stag of legends, known to be one of Merlin’s visages, or the dark guard of knights around the shining king, the trunks taut as the swords of the valiant…


Traditionally, in Celtic legends, water is the border of the Other World. Whoever crosses it reaches the realms where life lasts almost forever, in joy and abundance. Fairies welcome mortals there. The beautiful and valiant warriors are particularly appreciated by all! At the entrance to the valley, the small pond of the Fairy Mirror warns you that once you have crossed the water threshold, the other world awaits you, with its enchanting creatures. In this place one disengages from our world and all landmarks are lost…


The steep crimson rocks of the Valley of No Return echo the character of Morgan, the fairy princess and half-sister of King Arthur. To take revenge on the handsome Guiomar, who had betrayed her, along with his lover, she condemned their bodies to suffer the pain of ice and fire. Then she locked them up in the purple rock of the Valley. The rock of the False Lovers, the young men petrified by the fairy’s fury, still stands above the Fairy Mirror. Do their hearts still beat beneath their red shale garments? To make her revenge complete, Morgan decided to punish all unfaithful lovers. She cast a spell over the tightly knit valleys that form the Valley of No Return. All unfaithful lovers who had the misfortune to pass through there remained prisoners of invisible walls of air erected by the fairy. The young knights unfortunate enough to be captured lost all sense of reality and time. Their long captivity seemed to them a brief moment full of pleasure… Then came Lancelot, strong of his courage and his love for the queen. With the help of a magic ring offered by the fairy Vivian, he discovered Morgan’s tricks. His audacity reduced the evil apparitions cast by the fairy to nothing. She had to release all her prisoners. They then discovered that time had passed, their youth had fled… without return.
It is said today that Lancelot put an end to Morgan’s enchantments. At least, that’s what they say…

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


Ploërmel Communauté Tourist Office – Tréhorenteuc site
1 place abbé Gillard
Tel: 02 97 22 36 43

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