Saint‑Michel Chapel

Saint‑Michel Chapel

This small chapel built in the shape of a cloverleaf was commissioned by Père Maunoir to keep the memory of Michel Le Nobletz, a Breton missionary who stayed in Douarnenez from 1617 to 1639. It was built between 1663 and 1665 by the architect Charles Turmel. Legend has it that the chapel was built on the site of the house where Michel Le Nobletz used to live; in reality, it was simply built nearby.

Listed Monument

Its wood-panelled, vaulted ceilings are decorated with paintings, created by the workshops of Le Floch for the choir and transept (1667-1675) and by Claude Hauteville for the nave (1692). You’ll notice a beautiful decorative unity in this chapel, which was listed as an Historic Monument in 1957.

There are 64 paintings including 58 scenes and various characters: the Life and the Passion of Christ, the Life of the Virgin, various interventions of the angels ministering to men, Evangelists and doctors of the western world. The paintings were created between 1667 and 1675 and were completed in 1692. They remind us of the painted placards (known as Taolennoù) invented by Michel Le Nobletz, which  he used to illustrate his preachings.

Michel Le Nobletz (1577-1652)

Born in Plouguerneau in 1577, this missionary was sent to Douarnenez in 1617 by the high clergy, who felt that Bretons in general – and therefore the people of Douarnenez – had become too light-hearted. For many locals, the chapel is not named after the archangel Saint Michael but after the priest who lived there, Michel Le Nobletz. His faithful followers declare him a Saint, pray to him and give his name to fishing boats in order to ask for his protection.


The High Altar, altarpiece of Saint-Michel: the centre of this altarpiece built around 1666 by the Rome workshops of Quimperlé, shows the archangel Saint Michael slaying the dragon. He is brandishing a Javanese sword but the scene is nevertheless calm: the beast is already in chains.

The High Altar is also listed as an Historic Monument.

  • Juin – pour les heures de visite contactez Antoine Robet au
  • Juillet – AoutMercredi, jeudi : 10h 30 à 12h30 – Lundi, mardi, vendredi et dimanche 15h à  18h, Samedi : 10h30 à 12h30 et 15h à 18h
  • SeptembreSamedi de 10h30 à 12h30 et 15h à 18h

Le reste de l’année, les visites se font sur rendez-vous, du lundi au samedi hors jours fériés, contact par téléphone.

Association Chapelle Saint-Michel

Tel: +33(0)6 77 95 25 57

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