Not far from St. Malo in Brittany, the priest Adolphe Julien Fouéré created quite monumental engravings in the sea reefs, which have since been at the mercy of erosion. For thirteen or fourteen years, from the end of 1894 to 1907, he chiselled more than three hundred statues from the granite rocks, drawing inspiration from various themes (Gargantua, Croesus, smugglers, sailors, pirates, etc.) Unfortunately, his works are gradually disappearing.
In 1907 he was severely restricted by a stroke and was forced to stop all his activities. He died at his hermitage in Rothéneuf on 10 February 1910.
Background information about the person of Abbé:
Born in Saint-Thual in Brittany (France), Adolphe-Julien was ordained a priest in 1863 and subsequently worked in various Breton parishes. In 1894, as rector of the parish of Langoët, he tried to solve a financial problem of the parish, but his superiors did not agree with his attitude. Despite a petition from the local population in his favour, he was dismissed from his post. Still a priest, but now without a parish, Fouré retired in October 1894 to a hut on the coast, in Rothéneuf, not far from Saint-Malo. Although Abbé ("Father") Fouré would later become known as "the hermit of Rothéneuf", he still welcomed visitors who wanted to see his art.
The retired priest devoted himself to creating various sculptures in wood and carving figures directly into the rocky coast along his hut, which he opened to guests. Fouré placed his wooden sculptures in and around his hut and sold postcards depicting himself among sculptures with folkloric, religious and historical themes. Among the 300 figures that he carved into the rocks with the help of an assistant were imaginary portraits of a local 16th century family who were considered pirates and bandits, and representations of the Virgin Mary.
Strangely enough, the hut disappeared during the Second World War, including almost all the wooden sculptures. However, the extensive rock sculptures have been preserved and the site is accessible to tourists for an outrageously high entrance fee. Despite the high income, no one cares about its preservation, which currently has no protected status and will probably disappear in the not too distant future.
Remarkable at this place are also further and probably much older reef formations at the foot of his rock sculptures, which were worked into basins and connecting bridges and are not in any sightseeing catalogue.