My Travels in the Morbihan XXV

Hello y’all, I just came on a bit of old information on Vannes and thought would be great to share it with all my readers here. As you know by reading my blog, Vannes is the capital of the department of the Morbihan dept 56 where I live and ,also,the city I work.

It is a very old city left untouched  by the ravishes of war that went on around here in years past so the architecture still is very middle ages look with wooden houses going back to the 14C.  And here are some tidbits of it here, and you can find photos in my other Vannes posts:

You come to the wonderful Place des Lices where the great Saturday morning market is held today. The square is on a sloping hill and irregular shape communicating to the north of it (far up the hill) to the Cathedral of St Pierre by the rue de la Monnaie and on the south (harbor area) by the rue Saint-Vincent and Porte Saint-Vincent. It links to the Place du Poids Public and the ramparts of the old now gone castle. The square measure about 200 meters long and 25 meters wide. You can see at an angle a building call the échauguette( towers at an angle)  on the left (looking from rue Saint-Vincent) ; however, the local people know it as the Hôtel de Francheville, and further new finds as it is now under renovation have found it was called before the Hôtel Mynier!16C with foundation even going further back,  and on the right you have the old Halles or today covered market. On the further right you see the Hôtel de Marboeuf named after one of the protectors of Napoléon I that someone mentioned could have been his father! as his mother Laétizia followed the Count of Brittany in 1769 and the emperor could have been born out of this adulterous relationship in Sainte-Séve near St-Pol-de-Léon (from his name napo-leon) and not at Ajaccio as originally thought by many.

One of the interesting streets here and we do shopping there is the rue Joseph-le-Brix that has at its back the rue Thiers on which lies the Hôtel de Ville (city hall).Facing this street lies the rue du Mené and avenue Victor Hugo that takes you directly to the train station or Gare de Vannes. Here it was an old church (Notre Dame du Mené) now you see the department store Monoprix there, where we shop! Looking towards the right from the store you see the Hôtel du Commerce and Hôtel de l’Epée that now houses a big garage for 20 cars.  There is a narrow street rue Traversiére that used to housed private baths!  Other religious buildings that have been destroyed and gone today in this area are the Chapelle Saint-Michel,Chapelle du Faitil, Chapelle Saint-Julien, Chapelle Sainte-Anne, and Chapelle de la Madeleine.  And on their place or near new ones were build such as Pie X, St Guen,St Vincent Ferrier, and Notre Dame de Lourdes.

Our favorite parking by car and entry by public bus to the city today is the Place de la Libération.  It was an old slaughterhouse here early in the century call Champ de foire. The current name was given in 1964 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the liberation. There is a famous restaurant but never tried yet A l’image Sainte-Anne opened in 1948 behind the square.  Here too was a police station still there today; and a place to guillotine that were still carried out until 1930.

There are the wonderful laundries or lavoirs built by 1817 to 1821. With the ramparts and the porte Prison (prison gate) it is a wonderful place to walk by today and see its picture perfect gardens. You had a lot of apple and other trees here who were sold to private hands and the city hall in the 1920’s and it this that allow the city to do the gardens.

By the rue Billault you can see the emblematic building Burton (of the men’s clothing chain); style Art Nouveau. The locals had know it as Au Progrés, le Saint-Remy, Le Biberon and Burton. The construction began in 1912 and finished in 1923. It marked the birth of department stores and new architecture.

By the wonderful harbor or le Port, the most visited area in Vannes and for good reason, simply awesome. You have the harbormaster, carrousel and tourist office there. Also, a cultural kiosk and a nice esplanade for family gathering. Since 1977, it is a harbor housing 230 boats with a floating basin. In the old days you can buy the sardines right off the boats here, and boats doing commerce as far as Wales until the train in 1862 kill this commerce.  The basin had a lot of stones and gravel and little water. Now it has 2,10 meters minimum depth.

And another of my favorite shopping areas is the before mentioned Place du Poids Public.  It was called before Place du Poids Ducal ,then, Place du Poids Royal, and place de la Revolution (French revolution time) ;It had lots of shops here and you pay the taxes to bring merchandise into the city here. The sea even reach here in times passed and you can see wooden houses from the 15C and 16C here.  The Saturday and Wednesday markets are held here, and they are superb!  The old Café des Arts was destroyed in 1923-24 to enlarge the square unto rue Noé to allow for the automobile. You have the Halles aux Poissons just behind it.

Just some of the magic of Vannes and to be continue………………………………………………………..Enjoy your week.

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