The Camino de Santiago Shrine, at the bottom of the Chateau’s tree lined avenue, dating from the 12th century, provides an exciting alternative ceremony venue. The Shrine is built around a pure water source and provided a refuge for medieval pilgrims en route to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in North-West Spain. Many follow the network of pilgrim routes, known in English as ‘The Way of Saint James’ as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth.
The shrine is characterised by an enormous shell. This scallop shell acts as a metaphor. The grooves in the shell, which meet at a single point, represent the various routes pilgrims travelled, eventually arriving at a single destination. As the symbol of the Camino de Santiago, the shell is seen very frequently along the trails to guide pilgrims along the way.
During the ceremony, the wedding guests sit beneath the shelter of two huge, holy yew trees. These trees are believed to be over 800 years old, planted above the remains of the 13th century Viscount and Viscountess of Lautrec.
Local tradition has it that this sacred Shrine is also a magical place that stimulates fertility and virility. Couples making love near to the shrine, are believed to be expecting a child within a year of the event. Strangely the lime in the water has formed a sculpture that resembles a large labia at the centre of the shell. The shell itself resembles an enormous pubis. Perhaps this is what has influenced some of the mythology of the Shrine..….. !
This location has sufficient seating space for 140 guests.