The Abbeys of Plouharnel

So, in my previous post I told you about wonderful beach and megaliths stones in close by Plouharnel. But this off the beaten path gem has a lot more and I like to tell you about it.

As you know Plouharnel is just south of my town say about 25 km or 15 miles. It is in the Morbihan dept 56 of Brittany. And it has two wonderful abbeys that looks like only one! Let me tell you a bit about these two that can be visited, the Abbey of Sainte Anne de Kergonan and the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Michel.

The Abbey of Sainte-Anne de Kergonan is a Benedictine Abbey and is part of the Solesmes congregation.The jewel of neo-roman art, the Abbey of Sainte-Anne de Kergonan is built in grey granite. The monks ‘ Church was built in 1968 , and comprises a set of non-figurative stained glass.

The Abbey of Sainte Anne de Kergonan little story  started in 1897  when  10 monks who came from Solesmes, under the guidance of dom Paulin Joumier are welcomed at Kergonan . In 1901 the religious buildings are not allowed and the monks leave for Belgium, the property is turn into a school; in 1914 the community becomes autonomous; and the monks come back from exile in 1920.  In 1942, the monastery, close to the « Atlantic Wall » of WWII, and  is commandeered by the Nazis. The monks seek refuge in the Chartreuse of Auray. By 1943, the community settles at the castle of  Nétumières, near Vitré. By  1946, the monks come back from exile. In 1968 the construction of the abbey Church is began.

In Sainte-Anne de Kergonan, the day of the monks is punctuated by the Vigil, the first Office that gathers the community in the Church for a prayer of Psalms and readings. The laudes, the great Office of praise in the morning. After breakfast, grooming and cleaning, the monks continue in cell their Lectio Divina (reading things that speak of God). The Mass sung, introduced by the Psalms of third. The Office of Sexte precedes the 14h meal in the refectory. With a quiet lunch, the monks listen to a reading, then go directly to the Office of None, followed by recreation. The afternoon is devoted to manual work for outdoor maintenance, crafts…   The Vespers: great Office of the evening to say thank you and forgiveness to God for the past day. Then, several times a week, the community meets to hear a spiritual teaching of the Father Abbot. After dinner 19h30, the Office of Compline is the prayer that gathers the monks before dark. And the offices and the Mass are sung in Gregorian, according to the tradition of the Congregation of Solesmes.

The handicraft occupies an important place in the daily life of the Benedictine. The monastery shop offers artisanal products such as apples, compotes, ceramics and earthenware, Gregorian chant CDs made by the monks of Sainte-Anne, as well as products from other monasteries and local handicrafts.

Official site of the Abbey of Sainte Anne de Kergonan

Tourist office of Plouharnel on Ste Anne

Plouharnel

 

Adjacent there is the Abbey benedictine of Saint Michel , at the end of WWI it was house by US troops. The Abbey of Saint-Michel de Kergonan is a Benedictine monastery, depending on the Solesmes congregation and located next to the above abbey. It was founded in 1898 by the Abbaye Sainte-Cécile de Solesmes and has several nuns.

This Abbey of Saint Michel de Kergonan , possesses not only a long history of the tradition of Gregorian chant but also that of its precious audience for this tradition. The Abbey still supports Gregorian chant, not only in favor of its offices but also by participating in publications. Thus, it helped write the Gregorian Hours released in 2008. Moreover, the   choir sister Marie-Emmanuel Pierre, published a book on Gregorian chant in 2005: Cantabo Domino. Five Abbesses have succeeded Saint-Michel de Kergonan.

Official site for the Abbey of Saint Michel de Kergonan

Tourist office of Plouharnel on St Michel

Plouharnel

You need to come here by car from the express way N165 ,along the D768/781 direction Quiberon, once at Plouharnel bear left on the circle and slow down will read the panels. In summer you can take the train tire bouchon from Auray with a stop at Plouharnel.

Hope you enjoy the post it is very nice historical , greatly done archictecturally and very nicely done biscuits by the monks! This is the abbeys of Plouharnel!

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

 

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