The Legends of the Pinecones
Legends of the Vendée
A bridge to reach the island of Yeu
In the VIth Century, Saint-Martin -Bishop of Tours- came to the Vendée region to preach the Good Word. One day as he worked along the beaches, he noticed the shimmering of an island off the coast (Ile d'Yeu) and promptly expressed that he wanted to go there to continue the quest of evangelizing the population.
For reasons unknown, no boat could take him there.
The devil, having heard about the plight of Saint-Martin, schemed in the background and before long approached Saint-Martin, proposing a pact: he would build a bridge for Saint-Martin to cross to the island in exchange for the first soul to cross the bridge to belong to him.
Saint Martin gave the offer a good deal of thought and, committed to his work, decided to accept the Devil's offer. Hoping it would get the job done more quickly, Saint Martin countered he had but one condition: that the bridge would be completed by the next day's first crow of the rooster.
But the Devil found a way to plot more time to build the bridge (and thus delay of God's word). At the same time as employing leprechauns to build, the devil also called in some goblins to get the rooster drunk to delay his crowing. It had the opposite effect: during the night, the rooster starts to crow at the top of his lungs. So loudly it caused the leprechauns to drop the blocks they were holding for fear of the devil's wrath.
The next morning, determined not to sacrifice a human's soul to the devil, Saint-Martin cleverly released a black cat on the bridge, chased by a dog. The devil was quite annoyed at having been outwitted by the saint. He kicked the cliff in anger and thus created the devil's hole.
Five petrified monks
According to the second legend, the devil was once imprisoned in the rock ledge. It was thought so because of the loud crashes that can be heard at the le Trou du Diable (Devil's hole). To guard his prison, five monks are said to have been petrified, thus becoming Les Cinq Pineaux.
Visit: practical information
Beach – Sion-sur-l’Océan 10km+
Open – year-round
Shore fishing – yes
GPS coordinates – 46° 43′ 19″ N, 1° 56′ 39″ W
Address – 85270 Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez
Nearby – le trou du diable (devil's hole) 46° 41′ 50″ N, 1° 58′ 22″ W
Nearby Sion forest – The bay of Sion featuring the nearly 500 hectare Forest of Sion with extensive hiking trails among maritime pine trees, cypresses, and holm oak forest and wildflowers as well as a hiking and cycling path of 9km to Saint-Jean-de-Monts along the dunes between sea and forest,
Images – Copyright_A.Lamoureux_Vendee_Expansion
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