Notre‑Dame Church, Le Juch

Notre‑Dame Church, Le Juch

The church of this old feudal village is dedicated to both Saint Maudez and to Notre-Dame-de-Toutes-Grâces. Its construction spans several centuries: the south porch dates from the 1500s while the apse is dated 1668.

Its prestige comes from its proximity to the Château of the Le Juch Barons, whose lion insignia can be seen on the church. The Barons of Le Juch owned lands that stretched from the furthest coastal point to the west (la Pointe du Raz) right over to Trégourez (northeast of Quimper). Baron Hervé of Le Juch is known for having taken part in the Holy Crusades of the 1200s, leading Breton troops beside Pierre Mauclerc, Duke of Brittany.

The stained-glass windows

Near the porch, the stained glass from 1884 features Clovis – first King of France – in armour, which is most unusual. The main window, representing Christ’s Passion, seems at odds with this. It could be explained by the fact that the apse where it sits was originally flat. It was modified to create an apse with angled corners, so the window might have been reworked to fit the smaller space.

Two recesses with shutters from the 1500s house Angel Gabriel and the Virgin, and the scene of the Annunciation. The shutters show images from the life of the Virgin and the early years of Jesus’ life.

During the 1900s, it was the ‘Devil’ – always a fascinating subject – that brought the Douarnenez sailors to Le Juch. As part of their superstitious rituals, they used to place their old cigarette butts and leftover tobacco between the lips of this ‘Devil’. This sculpture group from the 1600s represents Saint Michael slaying the Devil in the form of a horned half-human figure.

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