The Enclos de Sizun and the charm of Hanvec, Finistére

Ok so driving around the region of the Bretons or Bretagne or Breizh we come often over to our neighborly department 29 the Finistére. This past Sunday or Palm Sunday or dimanche des Rameaux or Domingo de Ramos we went over to Sizun.

In getting there , we took the N165 with heavy traffic and deadly accident as well as near misses but we made it alright. Passing on the road D18 we came upon the picturesque town of Hanvec.

The first thing we notice here is the monument to the Fallen,by the Church. Or the monume,nt aux morts.  The monument named 168 soldiers dead for France including 136 from WWI and 27 from WWII. It has the name of Etienne Rozuel inscribe on the canon Surprise, he was born here in 1853 and goes on to a distinguished career that takes him to Mayotte in 1870, Saigon in 1872, on the sea of China and Japan in 1875, to Indochina area in 1880, with the float at Tonkin in 1883, until finally died at  Tientsin in 1875 during a French expedition in China.

This is, also, the town where the wife of painter Eugene Boudin (of Honfleur fame) is from ,and they were married in 1853 at Le Havre. He wrote about the town on several occasions.

There is a nice Church here that caught my attention while passing thru the town of Hanvec. This is the Church or église de Saint Pierre done in 1875. Of the old church only is left the porch dating from 1625, the bell tower was from  1648,but today is gone. The Church is consecrated in 1877 and the spiral tower is done in 1879. Thérèse, the biggest bell weighting 1100 kg and 1,20 meter in diameter was dating from 1964 was damaged and repair in 2013. The Church is a Latin cross building which includes a nave with aisles of five bays, a transept and a deep chorus of a right span with bedside three-square. The retable of the Rosary dates from the 17C (c. 1687): we see a table dated from 1888. The brotherhood of the Rosary was founded in 1687 in Hanvec by François de Carne, Lord of Kerliver and his wife Mathurine de Brezal. The pulpit date from the 18C. The modern stained glass windows date from 1936. The Church houses the statues of St. Peter, Holy Philomène, Saint Nicodemus, Saint Corentin, Saint Herbot and a Crucifix of the 17C.  More here in French: http://www.mairie-hanvec.fr/patrimoine.php

We arrived at Sizun, and the first thing we did was eat lol! right off the D18 you go into city center and just around the big square, Pl Charles de Gaulle,  we see the restaurant L’Orée des Monts, a very nice friendly place with good food and nice prices. We pay 16.50€ per person with pizza orientale with chorizos, calzones, tagliatelle bolognaise, pizza four cheeses, and pizza Indienne; all down with good pints of beer pelforth brune and grimbergen as well as coffee espresso for all. Now we were ready for the day; more here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/l-or%C3%A9e-des-monts-sizun-2

Then , we got to one of the exceptional Parrish sites of the Finistére; that of the theater church of Sizun. this is a monumental building including several ones all surrounded by a wall that is why they are known as enclose or enclosures. Here you come for the relics of Saint Suliau, who taken to the banks of the river Rance with four picks created magic that the wild animals who came to ravages his vineyards become domesticated, according to the legend.

First ,you see the Triumphal door or Arc de Triomphe giving access to the cemetery which once was located around the church,one of the most beautiful in Brittany. It is 14,5 meters long formed by 3 arches separated by Corinthian columns and capitals. The Central part is topped by a calvary. It is estimated done by 1588-89.

The Ossuary is next to the Arc and divided into three records with decorated weapons of the Rohan family;the lower register contains stones in yellow granite and semicircular windows and has a date engraved of 1585.  The third register is formed by a series of twelve niches separated by fluted Doric pilasters in which the statue of the twelve apostles are place. At the top of the pediment above the arms of Rohan you see the date entered of 1588, and there is a small statuette of Saint Suliau holding away small sticks.

The bell tower is based on four pillars and has no foundation! It is one of the best of the Breton school, with 24 meters high tower and on the gallery 30 meters high octagonal shapes, with dates on it of 1728 and 1735.

Going around the Church we see sometimes at eye level several depictions of animals with the Church main door adorned with a pediment with the face of a philosopher, birds and characters of the harvest of wine. You see at the top its seven pigeons surmounted on lanterns and richly decorated. The sacristy is link to the choir in octagonal shape.

The high altar and the altarpiece is the expression of Mary Joseph, the child, characters from Peter and Paul on either side of the tabernacle. You gaze up and see animals fox, lion, eagle, lamb and also a child as the resurrection.  Above Joseph and the Child you see the statue of Saint Suliau, the Patron saint of the parish. On the other side you see the Virgin and the Child.  Left in the Chorus the altarpiece of Saint Augustine and the history of the Holy Trinity. At the top the statue of Jesus with the world face turn towards the Altar. It is done with limestone of Laval the others in oak.At right the altarpiece of the baptism of Jesus, under the statue of Saint Yves,and the St Peter altarpiece opposite Saint Guillaume, the right pillar is Saint Maudetz. The pulpit to preach is from 1784.

The retable of the Rosary is from 1668  the most remarkable is the pink column that frame the picture of the Rosary. They are chiseled in vine where animals and characters flolics. The statues of Saint Dominic and St Catherine of Siena. In the upper part the statue of the Virgin and Child frame by two angels. Opposite this altarpiece you see the oldest statue of Saint Saliau, gothic, polychrome. the altarpiece of the north transept ,of the dying two very sober columns that represent death of a faithful in the presence of Dom Michel le Nobletz a Breton noble missionary of the 17C from each side of the statues of St Peter and St Paul.

The glass enclosure showcase is not a museum but actual objects and liturgical clothings which are part of the heritage of the parish. ON occasion of pardons, chalices, ciborium ,the bust of Saint Saliau, statue of the Virgin takes place in the festivities. The most important pieces are: Bust reliquary of Saint Saliau, relics embedded in his head, it is sterling silver made in 1625. The statue of the Madonna and Child in silver 17C; A chalice from 1660 in silver ; A silver ciborium punch of 1780, and the gilded silver chalice of Saint Eloy 16C. 

See, also, the monument to the fallen here in the enclosure complex of Sizun.

More here on the city page in French: http://www.mairie-sizun.fr/fr/information/83056/l-enclos-paroissial

and much more in the department 29 Finistére tourism page here in French: http://www.finisteretourisme.com/les-enclos-paroissiaux

Again more from the religious site on saving heritage sites here in French: http://www.sprev.org/centre-sprev/sizun-enclos-paroissial-saint-suliau/

A magical site and to think I have seen two with this one, see my post on Pleyben; there are at least 10 more in the Finistére alone! Enjoy the photos and Brittany, France; have a great week ,Cheers

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2 Comments to “The Enclos de Sizun and the charm of Hanvec, Finistére”

  1. It looks like a very pretty place. Glad to know you had a good time despite holiday traffic. Our road (main road between 2 towns) has been very busy too for the last couple of days and the ambulance service seems to be working overtime.

    Liked by 1 person

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