I do my runs in my area and each time there is a wonderful surprise. Yesterday I set out to visit Carhaix in the Finistére and needed to drive past some nice country towns of the Morbihan. Passing on the road D769 I saw the signs for the Church and Abbey of Langonnet, heard briefly on them and decided to cut my trip and go for Langonnet.
The tourist office for the area is here; http://www.tourismepaysroimorvan.com/accueil/navigation/visites/patrimoine-curiosites.aspx
the site for the city of Langonnet tourist info is here in French too; http://www.langonnet.fr/index.php?post/D%C3%A9couvrir-le-patrimoine
and the main Abbey has its own site here in French ; http://abbayedelangonnet.fr/
There is the Church of St Pierre et St Paul with a wonderful mémorial to the Fallen and Calvary outside. We could not go in as there was a funeral going on. However, walking around the property it is a goal to come back here soon. This is a nice site lets you see the Church in 360 degrees; http://www.360cities.net/image/eglise-saint-pierre-et-saint-paul-langonnet-morbihan-3889
However, the best is yet to come. Seeing the panel near the Church of the abbey we took the plunge on the side road D128 which becomes the D790 to the abbey entrance about 100 meters from it where the parking area is located. You go in and ride into the abbey property to the parking in the back. And this is the Abbaye of Notre Dame de Langonnet! Right behind the Chapter chapel passing buildings where the monks live,once out you see to your right the walk path of peace and meditation where you find fountains and trails to prayer; then if turn to the left , you come into the main entrance of the abbey. Push the door right in and walk right into the cloister garden. Around it you will see door one small one with stained glass go ahead and open the door and the light is on the wall by the door as you come in ,turn it on yourself! Once out back in the cloister corridor you come to another door less nice but go ahead and open it too, Inside is the wonderful chapter chapel gorgeous.
The Notre-Dame of Langonnet Abbey contains an African Museum that it says is quite remarkable with a permanent collection, although raining no time to see this time. It has room or salle I general presentation of museum with the masks; salle II Tools of the kitchen ,home décorations;salle III music instruments;salle IV weapons;salle V African masks We did saw the chapel and the major chapel and grounds of the abbey with a friendly help from the guardian, very nice.
The story goes that at the request of his mother, Ermengarde, in 1136, Conan III, Duke of Brittany, grants to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, great figure of the Cistercian order, land on the banks of the Elle to found an Abbey. The wars of religion, mainly the League from 1590 to 1598, were fatal to the Abbey. The expelled monks will only find ruins back in 1598. The Abbey will be rebuilt from 1688 to 1788.
Following the French Revolution, which marks the end of the presence of the monks in these places, buildings and close dependencies, reserved by the State, are transformed in 1806 in national Stud. In 1858, he transferred to the former Cistercian Abbey of women in Hennebont.
After various transactions, the missionaries of the congregation of the Holy Spirit settled in the Abbey. Nowadays, they still occupy it and founded an African Museum. Currently the Abbey is as follows: three-body logis Horseshoe shape enclosed by the Church, built around the cloister.
Massive and modest, the Bell Tower is typically Cistercian. The Hall or room of the chapter shows an already fine Gothic art, with this elegant arch lowbed based on thin pillars. Its capitals are decorated with clover leaves, acanthus, Ivy or oak. The architecture of the chapter room is always very neat. Each morning, the monks gathered there to read a chapter of the rule of Saint Benedict, commented on by the Father Abbot, who then read the tasks of the day.
Opening hours: from 1 May to 30 September every day from 14h to 18h, except Tuesday. from July 15 to August 15 from 10h to 12h and from 14h to 18h except Tuesday and Sunday morning; October 1 to April 30, Saturday and Sunday from 14h to 18h.
And of course ,you need to see it, its awesome;and I myself and the family will be back! Enjoy the photos.