Fontaine de Barenton
Fountain of Balanton, Fountain of Barenton, Spring of Balanton
Barenton, also referred to as Balanton, is a magical spring featured in medieval Arthurian romance literature, including Chrétien de Troyes’s romance Yvain, the Knight of the Lion. This particular spring is associated with enchantment and mystical occurrences.
In Yvain, Barenton is described as a spring or fountain located in the enchanted forest of Brocéliande, the legendary and fantastical forest often associated with the Arthurian legend, and appears in various medieval romances, particularly those of French literature.
The Spring of Barenton had healing powers and it was sometimes linked to the presence of magical or supernatural beings. In some versions of the legend, the Lady of the Lake or other enchantresses are associated with the magical waters of Barenton.
Yvain (Ywaine), the valiant knight, comes across the Fountain of Barenton in the enchanted forest. This fountain is describes as having healing properties, and it is said that any knight who bathes in its waters will be healed of his wounds and injuries. Yvain is accompanied by a magical lion, a companion he acquired earlier in the story. The lion plays a significant role in various episodes of the romance, and its presence at the Fountain of Barenton is notable.
Yvain decides to take advantage of the healing properties of the fountain. Before doing so, he follows a knightly ritual by sounding his horn three times, signaling his arrival and attention to use the fountain. As Yvain bathes in the fountain, his appearance undergoes a transformation. The magical properties of the water affect him, and he experiences a change in his physical state.
Yvain, or Le Chevalier au Lion | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century