Archive for September 4th, 2018

September 4, 2018

The Rhuys Peninsula of the Morbihan!

I live in the department 56 Morbihan in the region of Brittany. We have inland towns of great historical interest and many coastal towns of equal importance and distance. I live about 30 km or 18 miles from the coast of the Morbihan. In our department there are two major peninsulas, one is Quiberon and the other is Rhuys, the one I will like to tell you a bit more today.

There are towns and beach towns and there are harbors in towns; all is of course surrounded by water and beautiful beaches. We have even rode tandem bikes here from Crouesty to Navalo. I like to tell you more about this jewel of the Morbihan Breton.

Sarzeau is in the department 56 of the Morbihan, south of the region Brittany. It is located on the peninsula of Rhuys, between the Gulf of Morbihan and the Atlantic Ocean. It is limited to the west by the towns of Arzon and Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys, to the northeast by that of Saint-Armel and to the southeast by that of the Tour-du-Parc; To the north by the Gulf of Morbihan and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean. With more than 65 km of coastline, Sarzeau is one of the towns of Brittany and even France that have the longest coastline.

It has several islands outlying in its territory such as The île des Oeufs or Egg Island, a tiny boulder with a farmhouse, is located off the tip of the Ruault, south of Iluric Island . It has a maximum altitude of 4 meters. Godec Island, although separated from Sarzeau by a deep channel, is also attached to Sarzeau. It is a low island surrounded by oyster parks that separates it from Huric.  Stibiden Island, with an area of 8 hectares, comprises several granite buildings. Highest (11 meters)  Govihan Island, off the Port de Logeo, is the largest in the town. Its two highlights, north and south, reach 14 meters. A group of houses is located to the southeast. It is one of the few islands in the Gulf to have as many beaches as rocks.  Brannec Island has two recent houses, facing the Ile aux Moines.  All of them are private properties. If once Ilur, while attached to the mainland, was the seat of a large parish which covered the territory of Sarzeau and far beyond , it has been attached to Arz  island since the 16C.

Things to see in Sarzeau are

 The castle of Suscinio (see post)  is the main historical monument of Sarzeau. Several castles in the area the better ones in my opinion are the Kerlevénan Castle (18C),(call ahead for hours); Chinese pavilion, family Chapel and English garden. Those of Neret, and Kergeorget, also built on the shores of the Gulf, date from the same period. The Château de Truscat, of 1702, redesigned towards 1830 at the site of a 16C manor, after 1850, the work of embellissment continued. The 17C Chapel. The castle is in the middle of a beautiful park at the edge of the gulf with century-old trees; It belongs to the descendants of the Francheville for more than five centuries. In 1815, General Bernadotte, the future king of Sweden (and today descendants), presided over the feast of Pacification. A friend of Jules de Francheville, Frédéric Ozanam stayed there often.

Also, has several megaliths or stones the best one in my opinion is the menhir of Kermaillard there are dolmens in Brillac (Er Roh), in Kergillet (Lannek Er Men) and two other large menhirs lying down, one in Largueven, the other, named Men Heol, near the town Villeneuve. Churches and Chapels abound, the best ones in my opinion are Notre-Dame-de-la-Côte ,Chapel from 17C and 19C built in Penvins between land and sea. Saint-Saturnin church built in the 17C nearby, the Abbaye Saint-Gildas de Rhuys 11C. Several beaches as well, the best in my opinion is the Le Roaliguen, beach on the ocean located south of Sarzeau, forms with that of Kerfontaine to the west and those of Landrezac and Penvins to the east a ribbon of sand 12 km long.

Some webpages for additional info on Sarzeau are

City of Sarzeau on history of the town

Tourist office of Morbihan on Sarzeau

The castle of Suscinio, built at the end of the Middle Ages (in the 13C and in the second half of the 14C), residence of the Dukes of Brittany, is located on the edge of Mor Braz (Atlantic Ocean) in the town of Sarzeau in department 56 Morbihan in the region of Brittany. A wonderful place with nice arts exhibits and in a quaint village outside the city limits of Sarzeau. See town above.

A bit of history I like

The first building, a manor for hunting, is built for the Duke of Brittany, Pierre de Dreux, in 1218, between freshwater ponds in the north, marshes of Suscinio in the south. In 1229, his son, Jean I le Roux, continued the construction of the castle, and closed a large part of the forest of Rhuys which would become a hunting park. Duke John IV of Brittany puts the castle at the disposal of the English, his allies. The fortress, commanded since 1365 by an English captain, was reconquered for the crown of France by Bertrand du Guesclin in 1373.. The Dukes John IV and John V undertake work of consolidation, expansion with the construction of the castle after 1380 and of the West building around 1430, and the construction of a new tower. In the 15C a bunker was set up to house artillery while large windows were pierced in the outer walls, the progress of artillery and a more serene political climate swaying between the worries of defense and a greater desire for comfort, air and light. Then, the castle is gradually neglected, the Dukes of Brittany favoring their castle of Nantes. It becomes in 1520 property of the crown of France under Francis I who entrusts his mistress in use of it with the lands surrounding to high figures of the Court, in particular one of his mistresses, who perceive the incomes of the estate. In 1798, the castle already very degraded was sold as a national property (expropriation during the French revolution) to a fairground merchant in Lorient who exploited it as a quarry for building stones and just junk the sculptures. Bought in 1852 by Viscount Jules de Francheville, his family did everything possible to save the existing castle until the sale in 1965 to the department of the Morbihan. In 1975, the Chapel of the priory, burned in 1370, which has a remarkable pavement of about 300 m2, is discovered nearby. This one is studied, restored and exposed in a room of the Castle!

The architecture of this wonderful castle fortress

The castle of Suscinio, girded with moats deep of 3 -4 meters, affects the shape of an irregular quadrilateral flanked by seven towers, including a quadrangular defending the West curtain. These towers as well as the towerettes that it commands are in their low bases, essentially vestiges of the 13C castle; The high bases date from the 15C. The entrance is protected by two powerful towers of 12 meters in diameter, a drawbridge preceded by a stone-sleeping bridge and guarded by four lookout posts in the main base. The towers and curtains are crowned by the Breton machicolations, formed by consoles in decreasing pyramid. The enclosure is shouldered south by two artillery bastions built at the end of the 16C in the time of the Wars of the League.  Separated by a large courtyard, two housings in broken granite are connected by curtains. The northern courtship was mainly intended as a passageway connecting the Ducal residence , it includes a ceremonial hall, a wicket with a pass-through, the bedroom of the Duke close to the chamber to be adorned, the ovens, an oratory that overlooks the north tower at the west building and also houses a less important north building in view of the four large mullions that have been pierced and two of which are walled. The so-called Duchess Fountain, near the village of Folperdrix supplied water to the castle, through underground conduits.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to the castle of  Suscinio are here

Official webpage of the Castle of Suscinio: Castle of Suscinio official web page

Tourist office of dept 56 Morbihan on the Rhuys peninsula :

 Touristi office of dept 56 Morbihan on the Château de Suscinio:

I move on to the wonderful ports or harbors of the Rhuys peninsula, the best ones in my opinion.

The port of Crouesty (see post) is a marina created in 1973 on the site of a marshy area located at the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan on the territory of the town of Arzon. Today the marina, which has recently been enlarged, can house more than 1 500 pleasure boats on pontoons making it the largest marina in Brittany. A thalassotherapy center is located near the port.

Some webpages from tourist view and marine harbor info on Crouesty are

Port de Crouesty :

Touristi office Rhuys Peninsula on Crouesty harbor :

Tourist office dept 56 Morbihan :

 Port-Navalo (see post) is a former coastal fishing port dating from the early 20C. It is located in the town of Arzon, in the Morbihan Department of Brittany. Located on the Rhuys Peninsula on the northern edge of Mor Braz (Atlantic ocean) and at the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan, this coastal resort offers a panorama of Quiberon and Locmariaquer as well as the interior of the Gulf. The lighthouse of the pointe of Port Navalo; since 1840, a lighthouse indicates the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan. The current lighthouse dates from 1891.

The corresponding support documentation to really enjoy Navalo are here

The tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan and town of Arzon on Port Navalo:

The tourist office of the region of Brittany on port Navalo:

port d’Arzon (port Navalo) :

Tourist office of dept 56 Morbihan :

And the other city that controls the harbor such as Navalo and Crouesty is Arzon.

Arzon (see post) is in the Morbihan 56 of course and in the region of Brittany. Located at the end of the peninsula of Rhuys, it is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Morbihan, to the south by the Bay of Quiberon, western part of Mor Braz (Atlantic ocean), and to the east by the commune of Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys. The town has two seaside resorts of very different character: Port-Navalo dating from the beginning of the 20C; the Crouesty, modern seaside resort, in constant development since 1973 and until today, built around the largest marina of the Breton coast.   Right at the end of the peninsula Rhuys it has several points or ending cliffs to the ocean, with great views some of the best are Pointe du Béché; Pointe de Benin; Pointe de Bilgroix: Point of Kerners; Pointe du Monteno; Pointe de Penbert; and Pointe de Saint-Nicolas. Other sites worth a detour are the Assumption Church. The mound of Tumiac;, also called “hill of Céasar” the alignment of Kerjouanno; The cairn of the Petit Mont; The Cromlech of Er Lannic with double enclosure. As well as the tomb of the Little Moss (petite Mousse) ; Text of the memorial plaque: “on October 2, 1859, near Port-Navalo, the Sea rejects a corpse that has stayed for more than two months in the water and that no one can recognize. He is a man of thirty years… On the waistcoat and trousers, copper buttons with anchors and cannons”……Go figure it!

Well as better weather is coming and summer planning is a must will tell you the beaches here with hightlight black my favorites. These are the  plage du Fogeo-Kerjouanno,  plage du Kerver,  plage de Port-Sable , plage de Port-Lenn, Plage des 3 Fontaines, and plage du Tréno.

The cairn of the Petit Mont ;It houses a monumental ensemble composed of two adjoining Cairns, built in several phases during the Neolithic era, and two dolmens whose rooms are richly decorated with engravings. it faces the island of Houat. The view from its top allows to embrace almost the entire Bay of Quiberon. 

The webpages to help you more on Arzon are

Tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on Arzon:

City of Arzon on heritage in French :

And one of my favorite beach here, Kerver beach  more info in the Gulf of Morbihan tourist office:

The official Cairn of petit mont of Arzon

There you go here you go on a world of its own , Rhuys Peninsula, enclosed by three bodies of water, therefore a peninsula.  Wonderful world, even in winter. You should check it out and let me know if need more info.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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