Archive for May 12th, 2019

May 12, 2019

Church of Saint Cyr and Sainte Julitte at Ambon!

In the never ending saga of showcasing my region of Brittany to the world here is more from my department 56, Morbihan. A brief memory refresher, Brittany is Bretagne in French, and the local Breton language it is Breizh! The deparment 56 is the only one in France not French, but Breton as the Morbihan means Mor=sea, Bihan=small; therefore in French would be petite mer but in Breton is Morbihan!

And now let me take you to the south of the Morbihan and the nice beach town of Ambon. There are nice beaches but the Church is a must to see when in town.

Ambon  is a town in the Morbihan Dept 56 of Brittany . It is also part of the twelve towns members of the intercommunality Arc Sud Bretagne and a district area of Vannes. It is a seaside resort with four kms of beaches; which are very good indeed, especially those at Cromenac’h and Bétahon. More on the beaches here:

However, I will tell you here about the monument ,history and architecture. The Church Saint-Cyr-and-Sainte-Julitte is from the foundations of the 4C and then renovated rebuilt thereafter in the 10C, 12C, 15C and 17C. Here the basement is from the 9C! most is built in the 12C with some 15C and 17C renovations.


A bit of history I like

The oldest evocation of the Church of Saint Cyr and Sainte Juilitte dates from 458 in the cartulary of Quimperlé and the parish of the 9C in the cartulary of Redon. In the Middle Ages, Ambon is a very extensive parish which knows its apogee in the 16-17C, especially with its port of Pénerf which is considered the 4th port of Brittany in the middle of the 16C. With the French revolution, an administrative redistricting is operated and the former parish of Ambon loses much of its territory including Damgan with Pénerf which becomes separate towns and Penesclus which passes to be part of Muzillac.


The current parish Church of Saint Cyr and Sainte Julitte is a composite church whose origin dates back to pre-Romanesque times. After some excavations done it was found a choir and a transept were updates of a Roman temple of the 3C .The oldest elevation structures, corresponding to the nave, probably date from the end of the 10C. The transept belongs to the Romanesque period, as well as the old choir, which remains the route, highlighted during a previous restoration campaign. The current choir dates from a reconstruction in the 15C, then the ensemble was included in successive additions, mainly in the 17C.


It is built on vestiges of an ancient church dating from the 4-5C. The Church of Saint Cyr and Sainte Julitte was built towards the end of the 12C had aisles, as evidenced by the examination of the façade wall and a small window from the south side at the corner of the cross brace. From the Romanesque period the façade with buttresses, the capitals and the windows of the aisles are still there. The basement dates from the 9C. The nave, which has five spans, dates from the end of the 10C or the beginning of the 11C; it is very reworked in its lower parts and communicates with the aisles by large arched arches topped by small bays in the middle of the day bites and resting on square stacks. The transept seems dated from the 13C or 15C;   its vault in half-cradle rests on columns with simple capitals or coarsely carved of chips and foliage, engaged in heavy masonry pillars. A large part, built in the 12C, was reworked in the 15C and 17C. The choir was completely rebuilt in the 15C, with a rectangular flat-bedside plan flanked by two chapels. From 1636 to 1649 , new redevelopments take place. The north Chapel of Notre-Dame du Rosaire was rebuilt in 1636-1637. On the north porch which dates from the 16-17C, two new chapels were added: the Chapel of Notre Dame de la Pitié in 1646-1647 and the Chapel of St. James (St Jacques) in the 18C. An enlargement with the addition of a sacristy is carried out from 1636 to 1649 and ; also reshuffled the lower parts of the nave, the façade, the south wall and the high steeple on the transept. In the19C a new sacristy was attached to the south Chapel. The entire church, with the exception of the square of the transept, is covered with a panelled frame. Inside, there are 18C stalls.

Indeed a marble to see when in the area. This is the rich architectural and historical presence of a  proud region of France, the old Duchy of Brittany. And the unique Morbihan dept 56, with beautiful coastal and inland towns with the beach town of Ambon.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Ambon on religious heritage

Official local tourist office on things to do in Ambon

Official tourist office of dept 56 Morbihan on the Church at Ambon

There you go another gem in my map, and hopefully will be yours too. Of course, remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



May 12, 2019

Guivapas, and the cactus!

Well , the only other time past by here was on the way to the airport of Brest ,which is actually in the town of Guivapas on the other side or past Brest centre.   This is an updated repost from July 17 2016.

I like to tell a bit of story on Guipavas if i may please.

Since the territorial reforms which took effect in 2015, the new canton of Guipavas comprises the towns of Guipavas, Relecq-Kerhuon and Plougastel-Daoulas. The passage to Guipavas in 1858 of Emperor Napoleon III and Eugenie of Montijo, as they travel from Brest to Landerneau during their visit to Brittany. In 1861, Princess Bacciochi laid the foundation stone of the Guipavas Agricultural Institute. Her Highness wanted to visit the charity House of Guipavas, directed by the Sisters of Wisdom. It has been founded for only eighteen months and has already produced a considerable amount of property. The sisters provided relief to the sick and instruct the girls in the town.

Guipavas owned an airship center at the end of WWI from 1 July 1917 until 1 January 1919. Dirigible tests were still taking place in Guipavas in 1922. The airfreight shed was put on sale on April 3, 1930, and then closed. A ministerial decision of 1925 adopts the principle of the installation of an airport in Guipavas. On February 18, 1928, Captain M. Waskenheim and Sergeant Major de Freycinet completed the first air link between the Bourget airport (near Paris) and the new Guipavas airport in 4 hours; they put 3 h 20 to make the journey back two days later.

During the Nazis occupation, the Commander settled in the city/town hall. A Nazi DCA battery was installed on the heights of Ménez Toralan. The Château de Kerléon was occupied by the Army. On 7 August 1944 in the evening, the 6th American Armored Division, which made in six days a meteoric breakthrough from Avranches, approaching Milizac, Gouesnou, and Guipavas, its purpose being to take Brest. During the siege of Brest, the village of Guipavas found itself between the enemy lines. The American lines are close to the top of the village, at the height of the hamlet of Menhir, while the Nazis lines border the bottom of the village, controlling the district of Pontrouf . On September 2, 1944, the 2nd Division, which is part of the 8th United States Army Corps headed by General Troy Middleton seized the hill 105 near Ménez Toralan near Guipavas , the conquest allowed the American forces to advance 3 km towards Brest along the Élorn river. On 11 November 1948, the town of Guipavas received the War Cross with star of vermeil; the decoration was supported by the following quotation: “A town whose ardent patriotism has never been denied during the painful enemy occupation. At the vanguard of the resistance in the region of Brest, was the object of hard fights where its children participated, side by side with the American army, to the liberation of their soil, from 20 to 25 August 1944”. I like this had to put it in.

We came here because my dear late wife Martine   wanted to search for cactus trees and she found a place near here that has a large selection. So we went for it from our car trips around the Brest region on a weekend. And we ,also, found a new quant town of our lovely Brittany

The cactuseraie  sits on the road D712 between Guivapas and Landerneau in the village of Creisméas. It has over 6000 m2 of space and over 2000 varieties of suculents or cactus varieties ! It is open all year on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 14h to 18h, during our local school vacations it is open Mondays to Saturdays from 14h to 18H, and from July 4 to September 3 , Mondays to Saturdays from 14h to 18h.



You can visit a part of it call the museum , no bank cards all is French checks or cash euros. The museum has some amazing plants on display. The selection was very friendly and informative by the both gentlemen and we came out with about 7 plants from 4€ to 15€ for our garden décorations. Very good and very good prices indeed. The selection as said is huge.  As you can see in the pictures very nice ambiance indeed; more here in French:



Passing in town one cannot overlook the two churches, the one right smack in city center as you entered on the D712, is the Church of St Pierre et St Paul. The foundations are from the 14C ,restored in 1840;then rebuilt after fire from bombings in 1944 finally done in 1955.  A religious heritage site in French with info on the Church here:


Then ,we went as well in city center and saw the Chapelle Notre Dame du Rhun, from the 15C; during the French revolution it serves as a headquarters of the Republicans army here .  it has been restored in 1805.  It was heavily damaged during the bombings of August 1944; the spiral was destroyed in August 11, 1944,and restored finally between work of 1951-1952.   Some info and photos here in French:


In all a very nice trip for all of us and memorable memories now. This was another example of going out in our region full of surprises and need not tell you about the history and architecture all around it. This is the Finistére and you are at Guipavas!

City of Guipavas on heritage

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


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