La légende de la ville d'Ys - Lanévry, Finistère, FRA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member André de Montbard
N 48° 05.964 W 004° 17.501
30U E 403832 N 5328155
Quick Description: Ys, also spelled Is or Kêr-Is in Breton, and Ville d'Ys in French, is a mythical city on the coast of Brittany but later swallowed by the ocean. Most versions of the legend place the city in the Baie de Douarnenez.
Location: Bretagne, France
Date Posted: 11/4/2020 9:20:55 AM
Waymark Code: WM13C04
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member QuesterMark
Views: 1

Long Description:
The different versions of the legend share the basic common elements. King Gradlon (Gralon in Breton) ruled in Ys, a city built on land reclaimed from the sea, sometimes described as rich in commerce and the arts, with Gradlon's palace being made of marble, cedar and gold.In some versions, Gradlon built the city upon the request of his daughter Dahut,who loved the sea. To protect Ys from inundation, a dike was built with a gate that was opened for ships during low tide. The one key that opened the gate was held by the king.

Most versions of the legend present Gradlon as a pious man, and his daughter, Princess Dahut, as wayward. Dahut (sometimes called Ahez) is often presented as frivolous and an unrepentant sinner, or, sometimes, as a sorceress. However, in another version, that of an ancient ballad, Gradlon himself is blamed by his people for extravagances of every kind. Dahut received the key from him and its misuse led to catastrophe.

One night, Dahut stole the keys (made either of silver or gold) to the dikes from her father while he slept, either to allow her lover inside for a banquet or after being persuaded to do so by her flattering lover. Dahut then opened the gates of the dikes either in a wine-induced folly or by mistake, believing she was opening the city gates.

The sea inundated the city, killing everyone but the king. A Saint (either St. Gwénnolé or St. Corentin) woke the sleeping king and urged him to flee. The king mounted his horse and took his daughter with him. As the water was about to overtake him, a voice called out: "Throw the demon thou carriest into the sea, if thou dost not desire to perish." Dahut fell from the horse's back, and Gradlon was saved. In Le Baz's version, it is Gradlon himself who throws her off on St. Gwénnolé's orders.

In some versions, after falling Dahut becomes a morgen or mermaid, who continues haunting the sea, and can be seen combing her golden hair and singing sad songs. Some 19th century folklorists also collected old beliefs that said, during the low tides, the ruins of Ys could be seen, or the sound of its carillon could be heard.

In Le Grand's version, St. Gwénnolé went to see Gradlon and warned him about the sins being committed in the city, absorbed in luxury, debauchery and vanity. God warned St. Gwénnolé that he was going to punish the city, and the Saint told the king to flee since God's wrath was about to fall upon the city. The king fled riding his horse. A storm fell upon the city and quickly inundated it. The main culprit was Princess Dahut, the king's indecent daughter, who had stolen the key, symbol of royalty, from around her father's neck. Gradlon took refuge in Quimper.

Other versions of the legend tell that Ys was founded more than 2,000 years before Gradlon's reign in a then-dry location off the current coast of the Bay of Douarnenez, but the Breton coast had slowly given way to the sea so that Ys was under it at each high tide when Gradlon's reign began.

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