Claude Ponti - In Nantes Botanic Gardens

The Little Door
texte et dessin : © Claude Ponti

The Little Door

Opened in 1485 at the behest of the Duchess Anne of Brittany on her 8th birthday, this Little Door closed on the day of her death, the 9th January 1514. On the day of the Grand Opening, turning towards her governess, Francesca of Brighton, and her new housekeeper, John Mechine, Anne spoke these words, which have since become legendary:

“If you close this Little upright Door on Brittany, Brittany is great enough to flee at will.”
A sentence so famous, that there is nothing left to add.

A common traditional saying is:
“ Open little door, when the Breton high tides spill over the river Erdre’s banks!”
Anatol the Brave in Rennes, Foggy Earth Press 1999 which is generally understood to mean that Anne’s Little Door would open when enough love for Brittany is felt.
Another common saying is:-
  • “Bellpots go through the Little Door,
  • From one country they will come
  • From one side to another in their own sweet way.”
    Oregon Perderna in ‘The Life and Secrets of Anne of Brittany
    Nantes, Nantes Bridge Publishing House, 2012.