Archive for January 20th, 2013

January 20, 2013

Concarneau a city within a city, the ville close.

This is one of those towns you would like to visit and visit , nothing espectacular, just a strange attraction to the old and quaint and airy. It is about a an hour from me along quaint old departemental roads close to the ocean. I did a privious post on it back on January 8 2012 in my blog,so this is almost the anniversary. Of course , I am talking about Concarneau in the Finistére dept 29 of Brittany. For reference the tourist office site is

You best reach it by car, along the N165 expressway motorway from nantes-brest. Get off at exit/sortie coat cong no 51 on the road mapping, and go down on the road D70 to city center. However, i do it several ways ,and for me the most scenic way is to get off at Kérandréo exit 48 on the road D4 you go past Pont Aven (see previous post on my blog) ,then follow signs on the road D783, much nicer ride.  You can come by train from Paris Montparnasse to Rosponden or Quimper and take a bus here. see  the webpage for public transport in Brittany.

You have beautiful rides along the blvd Alfred Guillon to the beaches especially that of Sables Blanches with great views over the city. spent the whole day visiting the wonderful ville close or fortified city within a city, with its grand rue Vauban and the place du petit chateau, get to know the intimate of its wonderful shops especially our favorite the chocolatier Larnicol right on rue Vauban, the main street inside the fortress. See them all here and they are two stores here in  Concarneau,

You have wonderful breton cookies and cakes done at La Trinitaine, another of our favorite stores in the area, always recommended, they are in the ville close too at rue Vauban, webpage How about a nice pizza at Lobelys, 9 Avenue du Docteur Pierre Nicolas,  webpage , facing the ville close but outside across from wonderful parking at place du 8 mai 1945, and close the the covered market Les Halles. Here you have a big market with foods and other items on Fridays outside, however, inside there are 17 stores front welcoming you everyday from  8H to 13H , and some from  17H to 19H30. Offering are fresh produce, seafood, fish, sausages cold cuts, fruits ,flowers, meats, cheeses, and regional products such as fish conserves,  crêpes,breton cakes and many more.

The in between period we spent inside the ville close, or fortified city ,only 380 meters on its longest stretch and  100 meters on it average widest point. A wonderful time as it was chilly and hardly anybody there but locals and daring like us ::) See the nice church of Saint Guénolé, built in 1830. It was partially destroyed in  1937, and now only remains the facade and the base of the belltower. Inside you can see the cannons from the ship Venus now on displayed, get up on the tour du gouvernor, The belltower or Beffroi  done in 1906 on the old guard post lookout, that can be seen from outside and nice quaint from the inside, and of course the ramparts, (this time close due to the windy weather). The other attraction not stop this time but very nice and worth the trip is the museum of fishing or musée de la Pêche, main entrance inside the ville close. A wonderful unique place to see the fisherman life, boating and fish industry of the area, webpage

See the granite houses along rue Vauban, very nice architectural insight into the area and its inhabitants, as well as the nice Chapelle de l’Hôpital de la Trinité done in the 15C. 16e siècle Concarneau possède une chapelle-hôpital.  It was dedicated to the holy trinity. Its two halls could welcome several sick men and women. The halls gave direct access to the chapel, and from their bed could do their daily routines, it was to care for the homeless ,however by the 19C the hospital was in ruins. Only remained the wooden door facing rue Vauban. We can today admire the door in pillars and cap in stones and on top the blason or idenity shields of the founding lords. To the right of the door, there is a modest statue of St Guénolé done in 1954.

We were a bit late so we try another resto in the pl du 8 mai 1945, at the street alongside it, La Croisiére at 11 Avenue du Docteur Pierre Nicolas. This is family own serving delicious seafood/fish dishes and some meats. tel +33 (0) 2 98 97 01 87.  There is a pleasant modern salle or room in the street level and a nice with great views on top looking towards the ville close and the pleasure boat marina, with a nicer terrace in good weather . All that with great food of mussels, fish, pizzas and white meats. We had dourade royale or sea bream type fish in sauce nantaise (butter sauce) and rissotto with mushrooms, a large pint of bitburger german beer, and a café gourmand (expresso coffee with small cakes panacotta, brownies, sweet meringue cookie), the rest had assortments of mussels rocquefort,curry, bretonne (bacon=lardon, onions, cream,and white wine), tea gourmand with the same as coffee,and more pints of beer bitburger,and a juice non alcoholic drink for the wife, all five for 120€. Just my number and the food was fantastic, the welcome very warm and the server from the marne dep 51 (Champagne) lol!!!

On our way home, we had some groceries to do so we due that is was cold weather, we stop at the Leclerc hypermarché just outside Concarneau on the road D783 and did our groceries there. Coming home same route it was a breeze. Another weekend trip in wonderful Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh. Cheers.


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