The Fountain of Barenton

Marque Bretagne

THE FOUNTAIN OF Barenton

A natural spring of magical water at the heart of the Brocéliande

Near the village of Folle Pensée lies a rather peculiar fountain… Robert Wace, a Norman historian from the twelfth century, was the first to mention it under the name of Berrenton, from the Indo-European root bher, which means “bubbling” and the Celtic andon, a “spring”. At the same time, Chrétien de Troyes featured the fountain in his novel Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion. When Yvain arrives in Barenton, he seizes the golden basin that hangs from the pine branch above, plunges it into the fountain and splashes the water onto the stone slab. Immediately, the blue skies darken, rain pours onto the forest and lightning tears up the sky. After a few frightful minutes, the storm finally comes to an end. But then the guardian of the fountain suddenly appears, a black knight galloping at great speed. A terrible fight ensues between the two men… Yvain prevails, new adventures begin…

Yvain’s adventures have lived on in oral tradition. Even today, people say that when water is splashed onto the stone slab, lightning and storms instantly break out…

A fountain with incredible powers

The fountain of Barenton lives up to its name. Indeed, it seems to be bubbling even though its water is as cold as marble! Patience is sometimes required to witness this miracle.

Also, it is said that the village of Folle Pensée (village of Crazy Thought!) was given its name because of the healing powers of the fountain, thought to cure madness.

And of course, for you Ladies searching for love, you can pay a visit to the fountain, present a hairpin and recite the prescribed words: “Laugh away fountain, I am going to gift you a beautiful hairpin”. If the fountain rewards you with its infamous bubbles, you will be married before Easter!

Access

  • Location: Folle Pensée village in Paimpont
  • The site is accessible year-round except Thursdays during the hunting season (30 September to 31 March).

Accessibility

  • The site is not accessible to persons with reduced mobility.
  • Baby carriers can be rented from the Tourist Office (7€ for a day or half-day). Bookings can be made through the Tourist Office.

Click here to download the map of legendary sites and trails 

A few pictures

Guided tour on the site of the Fountain of Barenton The path to the Fountain of Barenton, between pine and deciduous trees At the Fountain of Barenton, with Pascal, storyteller. Guided tour on the site of the Fountain of Barenton