Archive for April 20th, 2019

April 20, 2019

The Haras National of Hennebont!

So bringing you closer to home in my delightful Morbihan 56 Breton in beautiful Brittany. There are towns here galore that stay on the off the beaten path do not know why. They are loaded with good sights and wonderful small town ambiance of my belle France. I am trying to make them discover for you.

This is the case of Hennebont a fortified city, more of that later. For now, enjoy the Horse Stud Farm or Haras National d’Hennebont!  Various activities are carried out such as  reproduction of stallion, Equestrian Club, dressage, discovery space of the horse, guided visits etc. It is a historical place and very nicely done; worth the detour near me!


A bit of history I like

The deposit of stallions created at Langonnet Abbey in 1806 for the south of Brittany, poorly served by narrow and unpassable roads, was transferred in 1857 to Hennebont in the enclosure of the Abbey de La Joie. The Abbaye de la Joie Notre-Dame or Abbey of Notre-Dame-de-Joy is a former Cistercian Abbey. Nowadays, it is on the site of the national stud farms.  The Abbey of Joy Notre-Dame, founded in 1953 in Campénéac, takes over the tradition now of the abbey of old.

From its inception, the Haras National or national stud farm of Hennebont  became the capital of the Breton horse breeding.  The Haras  comprises seven stables arranged around two courtyards as well as an infirmary, a forge, a saddlery and the dwellings of the Director and staff. Since 2007, the Joint Union of the national stud farm of Hennebont manages the property, outside the Abbey of Joy and the Pavilion of the Porterie.


In April 2016, the city of Hennebont and Lorient agglomeration officially announced that it had negotiated an agreement with the IFCE to become owners of the entire site comprising the 32 buildings, including the Abbey of Joy, spread over 23 hectares,  provided that the partners of the mixed Union are committed to helping to ensure the management of the site.  The envisaged project plans to perpetuate the activity around the horse to make the stud farm a tourist hub of the Lorient basin. Which they did!

An integral part of the history of Hennebont for over 150 years, the Haras National or national stud farm is a unique and prestigious place. The wooded park, located between the city and the countryside, houses the historic buildings of the Napoleonic stables. The birthplace of the Breton draught horse, the stud was originally bred for war horses.  If the activity of the place has evolved over time, it is always dense with reproduction of stallions, Equestrian Club, dressage, carriage rides, sightseeing, and saddlery. A discovery area of the horse is located in its enclosure.


In the great period of the stud farm, more than 200 stallions were in operation. At the beginning of the 2000’s, a total of 50 horses, including 35 traits and 15 horses of blood that live permanently at the Hennebont stud farm. In 2016, there are only a dozen horses in the stud farm.



It was after WWII,  the decline of breeds line began with the progress of mechanization. The Breton breed, by its qualities, nevertheless resists thanks to the meat market in the French and Italian markets.  The techniques evolve and the Haras now transport the stallions by truck to mount bars installed near the farms. The incentive premiums allocated during the breeding competitions encourage the continuation of the activity and allow the Haras National d’Hennebont to maintain its influence.  It also opens up to other uses of the horse, through equestrian sports by hosting the national equestrian society. The number of sports and racing horses goes up to 12 stallions in 1973.  The decline in the line workforce is thus compensated by a progress in the blood workforce.  The number of stations decreases and the techniques become sharper with the emergence of artificial insemination in 1981 to the Haras d’Hennebont,  then the techniques of freezing of semen that allow today to serve the mares without moving the stallions .

Plenty for the entire family to spent an afternoon here ;worth the detour I say. The Haras National  site offers you a two-time tour combining a free and guided course. In an old stable renovated, discover through a beautiful exhibition space with films, computer terminals, panels, the history of relations between man and horse, the activity of the Haras and its trades. Then, accompanied by a guide, you go to meet the horses in the stable n ° 1 through the saddlery of honor and the collection of horse-drawn carriages. The most for us was the animations and Equestrian shows done !

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Haras National of Hennebont

Tourist office of Morbihan on the Haras

Tourist office of Brittany on the Haras

Again lovely place worth the detour. Enjoy the Haras National d’Hennebont in my gorgeous Morbihan 56.

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

April 20, 2019

Basilica of Notre Dame du Paradis at Hennebont!

And I need to take you back to my beloved home dept 56 of Morbihan in my beautiful adopted Brittany. There is so much to see and I feel I just touch the top, there is so much to see and see in depth, hopefully will have life to see them all. Hoping and praying, help me too. I thank you for reading my blog for the last 9,5 years and my almost 9th in the Morbihan!! time flies when having fun they said.

There is a nice fortified town near me that is just a gem and seldom visited even on tourist offices , sort of like an off the beaten path find. I will tell you a bit more of the Basilica Notre Dame du Paradis or Our Lady of Paradise Basilica in Hennebont.


The Basilica of Our Lady of Paradise located in Hennebont dept 56 of the Morbihan in the region of Brittany; it has the status of minor Basilica.


The project of a chapel dedicated to Notre-Dame is presented by François Michart, an ironworker, in 1513, on the place du Paradis. The first stone is laid in 1514 and the unfinished Church is consecrated in 1524. The chapel serves as a parish church from 1590. The Church is of flamboyant Gothic style, and is noticed by the boldness of its porch and the richness of its ornamentation.  The Church was elevated to the rank of minor Basilica by Pope Pius X on January 17, 1913. The Basilica Church Notre Dame du Paradis was miraculously spared by the Nazis bombing of1944, when a large part of the city was destroyed.


The imposing Bell Tower. high of nearly 65 meters, its location on one of the high points of the city makes it a real sight. Moreover, when folks came on a pilgrimage from the west, the first point that could be seen was baptized because of that “mountain of salvation”. As soon as they saw her for the first time, the pilgrims were already saved.   The tower is divided into three parts. The base that opens with a vast porch whose elevation is made even more vertiginous by the carved decoration that adorns it. The massive buttresses are lighted by the presence of niches which may have housed statues   and small vegetal sculptures; at the first Gallery level. From the first balustrade, here is the drum that is enclosed the Bell-room, the only room in the building with a chimney, and the belfry with the bells. And finally, all of lace, the arrow itself that will know many times and restorations. Attached to the Bell Tower, the two turrets of stairs   one of which no longer exist   allow access to the upper parts and still visually lighten the mass of the Bell Tower. The particular color of the granite drawn from the old quarries of Locoyarne gives the Bell Tower a beautiful blond hue especially in the end of the day.


Among the architectural features of the Basilica Notre Dame du Paradis or Our Lady of Paradis, you will noticed as soon as you penetrated into its walls the vast nave formed by the dark nave and the aisles pierced by large bays to bring the light in. This rather dark nave allows to highlight the most important part of a it; the choir. This polygonal choir receives a flood of light from the five stained glass windows that open into its walls. These stained glass windows are so vast that the walls that surround them seem, in the light, almost non-existent. Now masked by the organ, a canopy opens above the western gates; way to add light to the bottom of the nave. This emphasis on light is one of the characteristics of Gothic architecture. The oldest organ in the Morbihan which dates from 1652.


In 1652 an epidemic ravaged the region, and nothing seemed to be able to stop it that the intervention of the Virgin to whom the inhabitants promised a silver statue that would be carried out in procession each year. Hennebont was spared and offered to the Church a silver statue in 1700, which unfortunately was melted in the Mint of Nantes in 1792 ,during the French revolution.. Since a new silver bronze statue made in 1818 replaces it. There is a painting evoking this episode: the vow of 1699, work of 1807 by François-Henri Mulard.. See inside the stained glass by Max Ingrand retracing the great events of the history of Hennebont.



An imposing Basilica Church on the now name Place du Maréchal Foch of Hennebont. Another gem of a monument to visit here and walking in town is glorious. We parked by the river basin just behind the ramparts or up behind the Basilica each time in town. We are just 28 km or about 17 miles from it along the expressway N165 direction Brest.

Some webpages as usual by me to help you plan your visit here are

City of Hennebont on the Basilica ND du Paradis

Tourist office of Lorient Brittany south on Hennebont

Tourist office of Brittany on Hennebont

et Voilà you have it all on the Basilica Notre Dame du Paradis and a great part of the city of Hennebont history. A welcome stop easy on and off the N165 expressway and train service abound. Hope you enjoy it as we do.

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


April 20, 2019

The Memorial of the Great war of Sainte Anne d’Auray!

Of course, this is not a tourist site but a travel site it must be for all concern with our freedoms and the effort that some heroes did for us and our future generations. I am always thankful to them. I am lucky to be on the side of areas that remember our fallen for a just cause and have one very near me. So on a nice Palm Sunday in my beautiful Morbihan let me go back and present you with a memorial to the fallen and a resting place of our heroes.

The town is Sainte Anne d’Auray, many posts on it in my blog, the site of one of the Patron Saints of Brittany, mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus according to the Christian bible. One of the biggest pilgrimage sites in France but has a lot more. I like to tell you a bit more on it and maybe in your travels thru the area you too can come and pay your respects.

Sainte Anne d'Auray

The Memorial of the Great War of Sainte Anne d’Auray, built from 1922 to 1932 by the five dioceses of Brittany to keep the memory of the 240 000 Bretons victims of WWI; is a monument of 52 meters high and 12 meters in diameter. Catholic capture of a monument that wanted a Republican commemoration, it was aiming to bring together the names of all the dead Bretons, but only 8 000 are engraved on the wall in the form of horseshoe that encircles   the monument, on marble plaques that accompany a path of the Cross.   A huge crowd of about 150 000 people pressed for the blessing of the Memorial in 1932.

Sainte Anne d'Auray

The Memorial of the Great War of Sainte Anne d’Auray with its fence wall and plate the rotunde, which supports the eight arches, is crowned with a sarazinese helmet roof dominated by an opened cross. The dome houses a monolithic altar in pink granite of Ploumanac’h. The gate is framed by two large granite bas-reliefs representing the protective arms of the allegories of victory and peace. The funeral crypt is organized into 5 apsidioles arranged in chapels for the 5 dioceses of Brittany. With new conflicts that have grieving the country since 1932, a mausoleum has been placed in the center of the crypt, dedicated to all the dead of all wars. The symbolic tombs of the sailor and the missing infantryman, are guarded by Saint Michael, a patron Saint of France, and Saint Yves, a patron Saint of Brittany.

Sainte Anne d'Auray

Nearby you can see the cemetery on the D102 road that leads to my current town.

The National Necropolis of Sainte Anne d’Auray is a French military cemetery located on the territory of the town in the dept 56 of Morbihan, near the Memorial of the Great War. There are graves of fallen soldiers during the war of 1870, WWI, WWII and the Indochina war. There are also many Belgians who felled in France and the land belongs to the people of Belgium. The webpage is here: Roads of Glory French govt site on the Necropolis of Sainte Anne d’Auray

Sainte Anne d'Auray

Some additional webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Sanctuary of Sainte Anne d’Auray on the Memorial to the Fallen

City of Sainte Anne d’Auray on the Memorial and heritage

Tourist office of Auray on Sainte Anne d’Auray

Hope you have the chance to stop by on your runs for travel sites in my area of Morbihan. Respect

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


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