Archive for February 18th, 2019

February 18, 2019

Church of St Pierre , Plougastel-Daoulas!

And I sticking around the area to take you to another off the beaten path of my lovely Brittany. This time is a wonderful town of many nice memories for my family. We first came to Plougastel-Daoulas on a rainy day and had lunch where we met the owners and try a delicious African chicken dish from Senegal. To our surprise the city is full of memorable places to see and it must be seen.

Plougastel-Daoulas is in the dept 29 of Finistère in Brittany/Bretagne. It is a town in the Brest harbor, located on a peninsula in the southeast of the city, which is separated by the mouth of the Élorn. The town is part of the former bishopric of Cornouaille. Plougastel-Daoulas remained very isolated, the Élorn being an obstacle to its relations with the Bishopric of Leon and especially with Brest. Before the construction of the Albert-Louppe Bridge in 1930, only one ferry allowed to cross the estuary starting from the place called the Passage to lead to a place of the same name located on the current town of Relecq-Kerhuon. The WWI painfully strikes Plougastel, which accounts for 212 deaths during this conflict. In  1944, a parachute unit of the 3rd Parachute Fighter Regiment, was parachuted into the Plougastel-Daoulas area as part of Operation Derry to open the way to the 8th US Army Corps, commanded by General Troy Middleton, responsible for taking Brest, to support the local resistance and to avoid the destruction of the Plougastel bridge. The Task force  “B ” continued its advance and showing a very high attack power clearing the Plougastel Peninsula on August 30, 1944.

The parish Church of St. Peter, once a priory dependent on the abbey of Daoulas, dating from the 15C, but then too small, was destroyed in 1870 and replaced by a Church of Flamboyant Gothic style at a site of a Chapel.  The initiative probably comes back to the Lords of Léon and the family of Rohan. The Church was completed in 1623 with a 28 meters high bell tower in a round turret containing the staircase to access the bells.  A Renaissance porch is added between 1640 and 1650. It was destroyed by WWII  and it was rebuilt with the bell tower done with concrete. However ,some items do remain such as the descend of the Cross and two retables one of Saint-Peter ,and the other of a Rosary.

Plougastel Daoulas

plougastel

The first that you see upon coming to town is the Church of Saint Peter rising above the place de l’église, monumental front and great bell tower. It was rebuilt as it is today in 1950.  The current Church was rebuilt in cross–shaped, style  with a recessed Spire, a nave of five bays with aisles, a crossroads with lantern and wings at the center of which is the choir, then another nave of three bays with aisles terminated by a right chevet. The Church of the 19C has retained a beautiful retable of the Rosary (dated 1654-1656) and topped by an altar the tomb of 16C of the Fallen Christ. The modern altar, made with marble of Mayenne dedicated in 1957.  There is a path of modern cross and the baptismal fonts from the 12C. The Church houses a statue of St. Peter and a Pietà.

Plougastel Daoulas

Plougastel Daoulas

Plougastel Daoulas

A lovely ensemble around the main square of the town, the Church, (calvary next and strawberry museum afterward). A great day for the whole family on a lovely traditional Breton town, and it was here that we first heard the Breton language spoken by folks in the restaurant!!

Some general webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Brittany on Plougastel-Daoulas

Tourist office of Finistére dept 29 on Plougastel

city of Plougastel on heritage

There you go enjoy a nice Church St Pierre in an nice town off the beaten path and trails of coastline to fall in love with!

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

 

 

February 18, 2019

Castle museum of the Navy, Brest!

As I like to stick with maritime heaven of Brest, let me bring you into something more historical , older, and with great architecture. Just what I like to see. I have come to Brest several times with the family, and we have stop here each time with each trip more in depth visits. The diversity of things to see here allows for the opportunity to come back again and again to see these jewels of my beloved Brittany and  belle France.

One of the sights that rigth away comes to your eyes upon entering the city is the Castle , a wonderfully preserved one indeed. However, the best of it is what is inside! A navy museum of France! It is a must to see indeed and good for the whole family! So I like to tell you a bit more on the National Museum of the Navy at Brest!

Brest

The National Museum of the Navy of Brest is one of the five national Museums of the Marine with Port-Louis, Rochefort, Toulon and Paris. The Museum of Brest, located within the framework of the castle, houses a heritage testifying to the history of the arsenal of Brest and the French Navy.  The visit of this Maritime Museum combines interior and exterior and allows discovering its maritime collections: models of ships, navigational instruments, paintings, sculptures (figures of bow and stern, busts of legendary figures linked to the world and objects of art.

Brest

Within the recently renovated Brest Castle, rich in 17 centuries of history, the National Museum of the Navy, traces the history of the arsenal and large sea fleets from Primauguet and Richelieu until today, and confirms the close ties between the city of Brest and this maritime history. By browsing the different rooms of the castle, the historic heart of the city, and one of the few vestiges of its past, you will enjoy a superb collection of models of ships, paintings, sculptures, the pocket submarine, the evocation of the old Brest, The memories of the prison… all in connection with the great naval adventure. Alone or in the company of a speaker, discover this exceptional site that offers a superb panorama of the harbor, the Penfeld and the city.

brest

brest mus marine insignias weapons nov13

Heir to the historical halls of the arsenals, the great collections of Paris, Versailles and the practical Works Hall of the School of Engineering Builders, the National Museum of the Navy is both museum of art and history, science and technical, human adventures and popular traditions, a center of maritime culture open to the widest public. It is intended to be the showcase and the Heritage Conservatory of all Marines. With the Museum of the St. Petersburg (Russia), it shares the privilege of being one of the two oldest maritime museums in the world by the importance and diversity of its collections.  Around its permanent collections, large models of arsenals, paintings including the series of the ports of Vernet, of objects witnessing maritime activities, and by its temporary exhibitions, the National Museum of the Navy sensitizes the public to the maritime fact. It offers to the visitor not only a permanent collection but also temporary exhibitions as well as numerous animations, workshops and visits with family or for the younger ones.

brest

brest

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official National Museum of the Navy at Brest

Official tourist office of Brest on the museum

There is a great parking area just in front of the castle ,where we always parked and from there is easy walking all over the city center. A wonderful time well spent with the family and highly recommended as one of the best maritime museums in the world! Enjoy it

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

 

 

 

 

 

February 18, 2019

Océanopolis at Brest!

So let me bring you up north of my Brittany and into the seafaring tradition of the Bretons. The sea is all around us and is part of the history and traditions of this region so no surprise that one of the best aquariums are here too.

I have written before about Brest of course, but believe showcasing this aquarium or Océanopolis of Brest is worth it. I say it is worth a detour, wonderful place indeed. It is impressive enough arriving on the point of the city next to the harbor and sea making a roundabout turn to get into it and there you have it , again , a wonderful place to visit, and good for the whole family.

Océanopolis is a center of scientific culture dedicated to the oceans, located in Brest, near the marina of the Moulin Blanc. Rue Cormorans, Brest. The shape of the first building, the temperate pavilion, is reminiscent of a crab. Océanopolis opened its doors in 1990. The first goal was to offer a showcase to the sea science through the temperate pavilion. In fact, Brest brings together 60% of European research on the sea. Fully refurbished in 2000 with the addition of the polar and tropical pavilions, Océanopolis proposes a scientific approach to the marine environment as a whole. For this, about 50 aquariums from 50 to 1 000 000 liters for the shark basin are offered to the public. In addition to the basins, different supports (video, interactive kiosks, panels…) provide additional information on the biology of species, the protection of the environment, the functioning of ecosystems. The center is cut into three pavilions, corresponding to three different environments: temperate, polar and tropical. 10 000 animals and marine plants of 1 000 species can thus be discovered in this complex. Océanopolis includes 8 700 m2 of visiting areas and 4 million liters of sea water including 1 million for the shark basin.

Brest oceanopolis boutiques restos nov12

A bit of history I like

Éric Hussenot, marine biologist passionate about marine mammals and Jean-Paul Alayse, oceanographer and specialist of basins, have a joint project of Aquarium-Museum from the beginning of the 1980’s. These two researchers from the CNRS write the thesis “Project for the creation of an aquarium-museum in Brest” highlighting the potential of the ecosystems of the Sea of Iroise. In 1988, the work of Océanopolis, called “The House of the Sea”, began. It opens its doors to the public on June 21, 1990 with the label of center of Scientific and technical culture. By creating in 2000 two new pavilions (one showing the polar ecosystems, the other the tropical marine environment), the center passes from the simple aquarium stage to the ocean Discovery Park.

It is divided into zones or basins such as:

Pavillon Bretagne : The first pavilion of Océanopolis, the temperate pavilion was designed to serve as a showcase for marine and scientific activities in the region. From the bottom of the Atlantic continental Shelf to the fine sand beach, we discover animals and plants of the Breton coast in reconstituted environments in the nearest reality. At the end of the pavilion, visitors have the opportunity to familiarize themselves even more with the fauna and the coastal flora thanks to the demonstration puddle where they can touch the inhabitants of the seaside: starfish, anemones, sea urchins… Among the animals that can be seen in the basins: bars, marine seals, bats and spotted local sharks.

Brest

Pavillon Polaire : Opened in 2000, this pavilion presents the fauna of the north and south poles. At first, it is the penguins and birds that inhabit the sub-antarctic islands that visitors may encounter.  A little further afield, a transitional space allows us to learn more about the food relations in the poles and the Inuit people living in the Arctic. In a second step, the Polar Pavilion proposes to discover the Arctic fauna

Brest

Pavillon Tropicale :  Open at the same time as the Polar Pavilion, the tropical Pavilion is built as a four-step journey through the tropical seas. At the entrance of this tropical pavilion, the visit begins with the lagoon, a new aquarium that allows observing from the surface of the water the species of a tropical lagoon of shallow depth. Each stage of the visit then corresponds to a tropical zone and one or more basins as well as a theme. The Pacific Ocean and the Sharks, the Indo-Australian archipelago, the coral and the inhabitants of the reef, the Indian Ocean and the large tropical fish families, the endemism of the Caribbean regions. The visit of the pavilion ends with a walk in an equatorial forest, carried out in partnership with the National Botanical Conservatory of Brest.

Brest oceanopolis to tropical sect nov12

Outside the Océanopolis building is a marquee that welcomes a new exhibition every two years. Océanopolis has expanded by creating a new outdoor space dedicated to otters and sea lions. This space of 300 m2 is specially designed to discover two new coastal ecosystems, one northeast Atlantic and the other Californian. Océanopolis also offers general public lectures available for free. Océanopolis also hosts annual cultural and scientific events, such as the Oceanographic Adventure Film Festival, the Science Festival or the night of the researchers.

Brest

The Marine Mammal Studies Laboratory of Océanopolis (LEMM) was established in 1989. Its mission is to study the coastal populations of marine mammals in Brittany. The species studied are mainly: the grey seal of the Mullein Archipelago and the Sept-Îles, the great dolphin of the island of Sein and the archipelago of Mullein. It is part of it and tours can be arranged with the Océanopolis.

Brest

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Official Océanopolis in English

Tourist office of Brest on Océanopolis

There you go, again , a wonderful trip with the whole family and fully educational with fantastic views of the basin in all pavillions. Hope you enjoy Océanopolis as we did.

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

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