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Camelot Days

“Yet some men say in many parts of England that King Arthur is not dead, but had by the will of our Lord Jesu into another place; and men say that he shall come again, and he shall win the holy cross.”

~ Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, 1485

There are over 100 legendary King Arthur sites scattered throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Brittany! The adventures of Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin, Morgan Le Fay, the Lady of the Lake, the Green Knight, Uther Pendragon, Vortigern, the Knights of the Round Table, and the mythical city of Camelot have been told and retold, in hundreds of manuscripts created between the 11th and 15th centuries in at least a dozen languages! The majority of Arthurian legends (possibly based on a fifth-century warrior king) are based in Great Britain, but some stories, place names, and traditions are deeply embedded in history and geography from the sea of Cornwall to Normandy Bay. According to one legend, after many other had tried and failed, King Arthur vows to rescue the Duke of Brittany’s niece, held captive in Mont St. Michel by one of infamous Giants that terrorized Brittany. Although he succeeds in vanquishing the giant, the niece, alas, does not survive. In the later medieval literature (including the popular Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory), after Arthur is injured during the battle of Camlann, he is taken by Morgan Le Fay and other enchantresses by a black boat to the legendary island of Avalon where he dies. Tombélaine, a small tidal island in the bay of Mont St. Michel, is one of the places (along with Glastonbury Tor) which lays claim to be the gates of Avalon. 👑 ⚔️

The Festival du Roi Arthur is a music festival held in Bréal-sous-Montfort, France over several days.  Bréal-sous-Montfort is located in Brittany, a Celtic center of Arthurian legend.    

 

In one of the many legends placing King Arthur in Brittany, legends, Hoël, King of Brittany and the faithful King Arthur (known as The Bear), learn that Hélène (Lancelot du Lac's real mother) is being held hostage by a giant in Mont St. Michel. The night before his arrival at Mont St. Michel, King Arthur has a dream in which a dragon kills a bear, which he interprets as God showing him how he will be defeated by the forces of evil.   Alas, Arthur arrives too late to save Hélène but thwarts the interpretation of the dream, by killing the giant and avenging her.


For more Breton legends and folklore, click "The Death of King Arthur" by James Archer (1860).