Inland beauties in the Morbihan, Maletroit and St Marcel!

Here I am back in my neck of the woods . I was drawn to Maletroit, and Saint Marcel inland Morbihan. It was a thrill to find more gems there, and on  historical St Marcel as well. A great Saturday indeed.

No train station, there is a bus line no 4 from the train station in Vannes or pl de la LIberation in Vannes to Maletroit; the schedule in pdf file here: TIM line 4 Vannes to Maletroit

Then best is by car from Vannes take the N166 direction Rennes and come off at exit D776 Maletroit, follow the signs for the city. Or a bit further or coming from Rennes closest is the exit D10 Serent/Maletroit. From Nantes you take the N165 to the N166 direction Rennes and follow above. Its a gem and best by car.

Maletroit as other 23 cities in Brittany receives for its historical richness the title of « Petite cité de caractère » or small towns of character. All works around the river Oust, that connects here with the wonderful Canal Nantes-Brest. You have many things to see here and a day will be filled with goodies to enjoy,such as the place du Bouffay (houses from the 15C to 16C intermingle), L’île Notre-Dame(isle of Notre Dame between canal and river), Church of Saint-Gilles (12-16C), Chapelle de la Madeleine (where treaty of the Hundred years war was signed), Monastery of the Augustines, see and walk medieval streets such as rue du Général de Gaulle, rue Sainte-Anne ,and rue des Ponts (houses from the 15-16C), see the stone shales in purple, green,and blue, sand, tiles, stones, and granite in the architecture of the buildings and houses. See the windmill of flour,and the ecluses or levies on the river and canal, plenty of houses of wood front from many years old since 15C ; and see the house of water and fishing or maison de l’eau et de la pêche.


The region of Broceliande  tourist info is small here in French

More information is in the city of Maletroit :

The Tourist office of Brittany has more info on Maletroit:

The Church of St Gilles was under renovation but still open, and very nice in a pedestrian section by the pl du Bouffray, really nice,the most impressive is the meridional  façade shown very high on the front. On each side of the south portal you have two doors sculpture from the 17C, you can see encrusted on the wall the sculptues that comes from the church of the 11C, great reliefs rounded, chapters and corbets, all representing a melee of attributes of the evangelists (lion of Saint-Marc landed by  Samson  that symbolises maybe the man of Saint-Mathieu,the deer of Saint-Luc resting on a socket decorated with the eagle of Saint-Jeanand ) ,a nice place to eat at Bar du Bouffray lights meals and drinks (which we did) , other heartier restos abound. The statue called Notre-Dame-de-pity dates from the 16C. It is carved in a wooden monolith. It was before the French revolution in the chapel of the Augustinian monastery  in the Notre Dame island, then thrown by the revolutionaries to be burned, it was exchanged by Pierre Evain, carpenter, against 5 ropes of wood. He hid it before installing it in the Church. From the Romanesque period, there remains the square of the transept and its south-extended cross-vaulted apsidal, which opens onto a southern façade with a rich iconography. At the 16C  Northern nave in flamboyant Gothic  was attached to the southern nave radiating Gothic. These two naves, separated outwardly by an octagonal turret and communicating inside by large arcades, confer to the ensemble a great originality. Then it was rebuilt and enlarged in the 17C following the fire caused by the Leaguers in 1592.

Inside, you will notice a beautiful polychrome Pieta of the 16C, the stained glass of the tree of Jesse  15C, the large stained glass window, to the left of the high altar of 1900) which represents the life of Saint-Gilles , the Chair aux Sirens  17C and the reliquary hand of Saint-Gilles, 15C in silver bronze.  On both sides of the south gate, consisting of two doors carved from the 17C, one can see, embedded in the wall, sculptures that come from the Church of the 11-12C. Large reliefs in the round-bump, capitals and corselets, they represent a jumbled of the attributes of the evangelists , the lion of St. Mark crushed by Samson which symbolizes perhaps the man of Saint-Mathieu, the Ox of Saint-Luke  rests on a pedestal adorned with the Eagle of St. John, vices (protest, impurity, debauchery, adultery, lust, drunkenness, avarice) or the Acrobat, an interesting allegory of man leaving the station right to sink in the aforementioned vices.



At 4 Faubourg Saint-Michel  ,you see the wonderful Monastery of the Augustines, and next door the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. A wonderful history even narrated in French at the webpage, There were Augustins on the isle of Notre Dame from 1633 to 1791, stop by the revolution . In 1828, Jean-Marie de Lamennais. that came to found the Congrégation des Prêtres de St Méen, buys the building and creates the  Novitiate. In 1866, well welcome by the locals, the new monastery under the support fo the Immaculate Conception came back to be. However, the laws of 1902 against the Congrégations teaching in France needs to close and the Sisters flee to England. In order to continue the Sisters need to have a nurse degree to care for the sick.  In April 1915, the group arrives back again to Malestroit, the room welcome the refugees from Belgium due to WWI,  Friday September 13 ,1918, all the community gets together for a geste that give birth to a house, the consecration of the Sacred Heart that still is celebrated on that date to this day. The official hospital next door to the monastery has a webpage in French:  Clinique des Augustines 


In WWII ,they did heroic acts curing and guarding resistant’s fighters in their monastery and clinic at great risks, the Géneral Audibert, chief of the Résistance de l’Ouest, hid in the clinic, made prisoner and deported to Buchenwald, mentioned on his return « Elles ont agi avec joie, espérance et charité ». “they acted with joy, hope, and charity” BRAVO! This is their webpage in French,


Other wonderful thing to walk ,see and admire is the magnificent Canal Nantes Brest that passes the town along the river Oust. A bit of info on it, the Canal link the two cities in the name from Nantes to Brest, taken the valleys of the rivers Erdre, Isac, Oust, Bravet,Doré,Hyéres,and Aulne; these rivers are link by three canals that joints flanking the lines of water. Its construction goes back to the first half of the 19C and it has 364 km long. The idea was to link by water as by road was more difficult the whole of the Dukedom of Brittany, idea as far back as 1538. After many hesitations and the ravages of war, the project took fly in 1803, and was achieved in 1858 ,with the presence of emperor Napoleon III and the Imperatrice Eugene at the levy of Guilly Glaz.


On my way to Maletroit, passed by St Marcel, and notice a sign for the Museum of Breton Resistance in WWII or Musée de la Résistance Bretonne. it was a pleasant surprise for military history lovers like me; the weapons are all spread out n the yard from guns to bunkers and great history inside. If by car, you can combine a visit to both St Marcel and Maletroit very nicely and get away from historical, navigable, and military sightseeing at its best.  The inscription in their site pretty much sums up everything indeed,  Saint-Marcel, in the forests of Lanvaux, sheltered the largest Breton marquis (resistant fighters), where on June 18, 1944, a memorable combat of the Brittany and French history proceeded. Before the allies unload in Normandy, the parachutists of Free France were released on Brittany, and in the days which followed to Saint-Marcel where 2500 Breton gathered. These feats of arms of Resistance in Brittany, one of the first areas of France recognized for its heroism and its sacrifices deserve to be recognized, explained, commemorated and preserved forever. You come here and you too will recognized them.  You reach here by car on the N166 from Vannes or Rennes, and get off at D776 direction St Marcel/Maletroit, at the roundabout take direction St Marcel and follow the signs to the museum. webpage in French, hit Visite:




Some of the off the beaten path folks asked me all the time well plenty in my belle France still to be discovered by many. Enjoy Maletroit and St Marcel in inland Morbihan of Brittany!

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

2 Comments to “Inland beauties in the Morbihan, Maletroit and St Marcel!”

  1. That museum is similar to the Batterie Todt in Audinghen, Pas de Calais, where they have a huge cannon still pointing at England.
    It has a range of 80km, I seem to remember! absolutely fascinating and frightening.

    Liked by 1 person

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