In Brittany, i.e. in the north-west of France, there are these wonderful, legendary and usually very picturesque enclos parroissiaux. Such enclosed parishes deliberately separate themselves from the outside world.
Most of them are located (roughly speaking) near the northern coast between Brest and Morlaix.
Often this cluster of buildings consists of the church itself, the triumphal gate, the ossuary and the calvaire. This word can only be translated inadequately as Calvary, because we understand something different by it in the German language.
Next to the church, the calvaire is the centre of the district. Scenes from the life of Jesus are sculpturally depicted on or near it. The crucifixion is almost always depicted at the top.
There are very different calvaires. Some are monumental, some small, simple and quiet. Some are of high artistic quality, some of a peasant, simple, sometimes naive, but always very touching style.
Along with the menhirs of Carnac, these calvaires have become the distinctive mark of Brittany. Charles Le Goffic (1863 – 1932) wrote very aptly: “A powerful idealism runs through these barbaric friezes. (…) The Breton soul quivers in them and can be captured here in one of its most poignant manifestations.”