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French Myths, Wives Tales, Urban Legends

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French Myths, Wives Tales, Urban Legends

Can anyone describe or direct me to any myths, wives tales or urban legends that are particularly French? This will be the next discussion topic for my French club. Merci!

Paris, France
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1. Re: French Myths, Wives Tales, Urban Legends

Hi motherof3,

Certainly the Arthurian legends are very much associated with Brittany. Most people assume they are of English origin but it is really a cross channel thing with both sides laying claim to certain parts of the legend. Depending on who you want to believe there are several places in England where Arthur is said to be buried and the same is true of France.

The Forest of Brocéliande in Brittany is supposedly home to Merlins tomb as well as being associated with The Lady of the Lake and other aspects of the Arthurian legend.

http://www.broceliande-tourisme.info/

www.tourisme-broceliande.com/spip.php…

Many of the megalithic monuments have deeply rooted legends associated with them, usually involving fairies or ghosts. Many dolmens take the name of fairies. For example, there is a very famous dolmen known as La Roche aux Fées. In the old days often local people engaged in certain rituals on/around these stones that are too racy to report here but let's just say some very fertility oriented activities took place at these sites.

www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/lrb/lrb05.htm

I have a book called The Discovery of France by Graham Robb and there is one chapter of the book that deals with superstitions of country peasants, not surprisingly involving megaliths. I also have another book called Celtic Legends of Brittany by O.-L Aubert.

If you can read French I have a very thick book called Guide de Paris Mysterieux that might interest you. It touches on lots of things such as pagan myths and monuments, sacred places, christian miracles, fantastic creatures, devils, witches, hidden treasure, secret underground passages etc., etc.

Of course, there is loads of stuff involving The Templars. Hope this helps to get you started.

2. Re: French Myths, Wives Tales, Urban Legends

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3. Re: French Myths, Wives Tales, Urban Legends

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Perpignan, France
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4. Re: French Myths, Wives Tales, Urban Legends

I would start by Contes de ma Mère l'Oye, by Charles Perrault. Written in the 17th century, they served as an inspiration to the Grimm brothers among other writers.

Also the legend of Melusine :

fr.search.yahoo.com/search…

The Graoully of Metz : fr.search.yahoo.com/search…

Catherine Segurane in Nice : fr.search.yahoo.com/search…

The Babau in Rivesaltes : fr.search.yahoo.com/search…

The Pont du Diable in Céret : fr.search.yahoo.com/search…

There are numerous legends about Black Virgins (Le Puy, Font Romeu etc) found by shepherds.

Amherst...
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5. Re: French Myths, Wives Tales, Urban Legends

Check out the three Marys and their Egyptian servant Sarah in the Camargue, also St. Martha and the Tarasque. Plus there are many monsters like the Tarasque in the SW, many celebrated in yearly festivals.

Paris, France
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6. Re: French Myths, Wives Tales, Urban Legends

Diz - I don't know about that story. I'll poke around but I bet you've probably found out everything I could.

Paris, France
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7. Re: French Myths, Wives Tales, Urban Legends

Following up on Pvoyageuse's post in regards to the Pont du Diable, there are a number of bridges in France, and Europe, that are called devil's bridges because the devil was supposed to be involved in their construction. There is a beautiful bridge in Cahors that has a myth associated with it about how the devil was tricked into building the bridge.

Paris, France
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8. Re: French Myths, Wives Tales, Urban Legends

Diz - I was just googling around and I came upon several references to La Table du Sacrifice, which is in the Kerzerho alignments near Erdeven. I'm not having much luck finding anything about legends or myths associated with it though.

Oh yeah, one myth about the alignments at Carnac is that they are Roman legions turned to stone by Merlin. That's what I was trying to remember.

9. Re: French Myths, Wives Tales, Urban Legends

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