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HISTORY OF THE PENDRAGON OAK
In the heart of Saint-Léger-en-Yvelines, The Pendragon Oak stands where tired travelers once found rest and comfort.
The history of this establishment begins with its original incarnation as a former coaching inn, a strategic location for changing horses and supplying stagecoaches.
As modes of transport evolved, the post house was transformed. In the 1920s, it became “L’hôtel du Gros Billot”, run by the Boquet family. Under the management of Monsieur Henri Boquet, the hotel became a haven of conviviality and gastronomy, where residents and travellers came to sample local dishes and soak up the warm atmosphere of the region.
In tribute to the chivalric spirit and rich history of the place, “L’hôtel du Gros Billot” was reimagined and renamed “The Pendragon Oak”.
Today, it continues to perpetuate the legendary hospitality of its predecessors, between tradition and modernity, inviting you to discover the many facets of a region steeped in legend.
The Hôtel du Gros Billot, by Maison Boquet, in 1923.
a tale of chivalric adventure and heroism through the ages
The Pendragon Oak pays homage to Arthur Pendragon and the coat of arms of the town of Saint-Léger-en-Yvelines.
The legend of King Arthur and his knights has grown and developed over the centuries.
Adventure is the essential element of this great myth that spans the Middle Ages: knights set out to prove their courage, and above all, with the Quest for the Grail, to test their faith and virtue… The exploits of King Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot and Perceval continue to fascinate our imagination over the centuries.
This story would not be what it is without mentioning the legendary sword: Excalibur.
Excalibur is the name of King Arthur’s magic sword. It is often confused with the Rock Sword, which was set in granite and could only be extracted from the rock by Arthur, thus confirming his status as the rightful king of Brittany.
The sword of the rock was Arthur’s first weapon, but it was broken in battle. So the Lady of the Lake – a fairy with whom Merlin was deeply in love – asked the elves to make a new sword for Arthur. Excalibur was forged from an enchanted metal so hard that nothing could break it. It had the power to ensure victory for its wearer, even if he seemed weaker than his opponents.
It was thanks to this sword that Arthur brought together all the previously divided camps of Brittany and unified the Breton people, whose finest knights sat around the Round Table in Camelot.
According to legend, Camelot attracted knights from all over the world to join the Round Table in search of adventure, glory and renown, and this quest became a symbol of the search for the absolute… the Grail.
The Grail is said to have been carved by angels from an emerald that fell from Lucifer’s forehead when he fell. It was then entrusted to Adam, who lost it after the original sin, then Seth found it, and from there it reached Christ.
Joseph of Arimathea is said to have recovered the chalice of the Last Supper (Christ’s last meal), and to have brought it to Brittany, via the fortress of Mont-Ségur, the last Cathar stronghold.
From Brittany, the Grail Quest is said to have started and ended in Armorica, among other places, but the Grail was never found.
However, certain legends still tell us that it was buried under an oak tree, and that only once a year, for a few moments during the summer solstice, does this oak become entirely covered in gold…
17 Rue de la Croix Blanche
78610 – Saint-Léger-en-Yvelines
+33 1 34 86 30 11
+33 6 85 06 47 02
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