Belz, Erdeven, and Etel of Morbihan!

So continue my journey in my beautiful Morbihan and trying to show you different areas with the aim to group them by area for ease of visiting. These nice towns are all coastal and the beaches are obliged. I will tell you here about the historical, architectural richness they have. Oh yes these are Belz, (got ly mussels and oysters here!), Erdeven and Etel.

Belz is located on the edge of the Etel estuary inland sea, about 20 km from Lorient, 15 km from Auray and 35 km from Vannes. The territory of Belz is bounded to the north and west by the ria of Etel, to the south by Erdeven and to the east by Locoal-Mendon. It also includes île Saint-Cado island, located on the Etel estuary, which owes its name to Saint Cadou, who lived there as a hermit in the 6C. It was also from the end of the 19C that the oyster farming gradually replaced the dredge of the natural benches which were exhausted. The Etel river and especially the shores of Belz, including its islets, become an important oyster production center across the Morbihan.

In 1888, 66 bronze axes and gold bracelets were discovered at Belz. These objects are exhibited at the museums of Carnac, Vannes and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The town is now proud of a prestigious prehistoric site. According to the Vita Cadoci, written in the 12C, Saint Cado reportedly built on the island of the same name a beautiful stone church, as well as a bridge leading to the island. The Church still visible today on the island dates from the 11C or 12C.

The Church of Saint-Saturnin once stood in Belz a church of Saint-Saturnin, of Romanesque origin, but whose last great restoration dates from 1678. This church, for lack of maintenance and necessary restoration work, reached a state of advanced dilapidation, and it was demolished in 1913. In neo-Gothic style, the present church was built immediately after, and finished in 1914 . For lack of money, the bell tower was not be built. The old church of Belz, built from the Romanesque period, retouched in the 16C, restored to a large extent in 1678, was of rectangular shape. It was completely redone in 1914, without any of the old construction being preserved. Divided into four spans, the nave has broken hanger overlapped windows. The Choir consists of two straight spans and two lean sacristies. There is an ex-voto in wood of a votive tuna boat that bears the name of “Sainte Anne d’Auray”.

City of Belz on Church and heritage

belz

 

belz

Located on the seafront, Erdeven is a seaside resort. There are wonderful beaches here such as Kerouriec, a family beach , and   Kerhillio, the best known for its flat bottom and its waves that allow everyone to be in the water. The latter continues towards the beach of Sainte-Barbe (town of Plouharnel). This beach extends to the Fort de Penthièvre on the Quiberon peninsula. These beaches are part of the largest dune cordon of Brittany which stretches from the pointe de Gâvres to the Fort Penthièvre on the town of Saint-Pierre-Quiberon. The cartulary of the Abbaye Sainte-Croix de Quimperlé mentions a Roman villa near Saint-Germain from the 11C. Étel is at the beginning a simple village and is part of the town of Erdeven until 1851.

The Church of St. Pierre et St. Paul ;which recognized the Lords of Keravéon for the founders of the town, was entirely rebuilt in the 18C. We owe this church to the Talhouët family, Lords of Keravéon. The date of 1755 appears on its curious bell tower entirely built in granite. Its shape is square at the base and then octagonal and ends in a pyramid dome capped with a skylight under a cross also in granite.

The Latin cross Church of St Peter and St Paul has been modified several times, notably in 1833 where it was enlarged by two collateral. On the other hand, in the 1960’s, the expansion of the road D 781 necessitated to trim the apse and rebuild the sacristy. The three altar altarpieces were destroyed. Inside the ceiling is panelled. The Choir now shows the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul on either side of a large wooden cross. The pulpit in carved wood is remarkable. There are various statues and an element of the old altar altarpiece, a Madonna and Child, facing the pulpit. This set of 12 stained glass was entirely made in 1896. These stained glass windows are mentioned by the generous donors, the families of the village and the clergy, who have financed them. Most of them are portraits of Saints such as St. Michael, St. Joseph, St. Peter, St. John the Baptist, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Anne, St. Louis, Ste. Germaine , and St. Francis de Sales. The two stained glass windows of the Choir show the martyrdom of St. Peter and Saint Helena discovering the true Cross.

Erdeven

Erdeven

Erdeven

Tourist office of Erdeven on religious services on the Church

Tourist office of Erdeven on the heritage

Étel is located 18 km from Auray, 30 km from Lorient and 30 km from Vannes. The coastal coastline of the town is part of the largest dune cordon of Brittany which stretches from the pointe de Gâvres to the Fort Penthièvre on the town of Saint-Pierre-Quiberon. The town was instituted by a decree promulgated in 1850 by dismemberment of the town of Erdeven. Étel was the origin of the development of the sardines port, transforming the small fishing village into a small town. The presses of yesteryear are abandoned and it is to whom will create its fritterer, the easels allowing to dry the sardines before their preparation in order to put them in cans stretching all over the streets. This boom ended with the rarefaction of sardines from 1880, the sardine crisis culminating in 1902-1903. Etel reconverts to tuna fishing on Dundee boats and mackerel fishing. There is now a Tuna museum in town.

Etel

At the mouth of the estuary is the Etel bar, an underwater sand bank formed by the crossing of currents and whose position is variable. This bar makes cruising difficult. A semaphore is built in 1960,on the Plouhinec side, in order to safely guide the sailors towards the entrance of the ria. A single bridge crosses the ria of Etel, it is a suspension bridge named Pont-Lorois (very nice and great restos at its base!) located in the southern part and which connects the villages of Kergo and Kergouric, in the municipality of Plouhinec. The road of traffic on this bridge is the departmental road D781 (which I take regularly!)

Etel

The Church of Notre-Dame-des-Flots or of the Nativity from 1850 is located on place de la République, Etel. The bell tower of the current church dates from 1967. In 1888, the Church, which proved to be too small, was enlarged and a podium was added. The stained glass windows date from 1889. The baptismal font, in marble, dates from the 19C. One can see in the choir a mural of the Virgin and the sea, offering to fishermen of 1958. The polychrome wooden statue of Notre-Dame des Flots dates from the 20C. The wooden statue of St. Anne and the Virgin. The parish church, dedicated to the Nativity, was built after 1850. Its shape is rectangular and its style is Greek: it is a reduction of the Church of Lorient, and one of the last religious buildings of this style, built in the diocese of Lorient.

Tourist office of Etel on heritage

City of Etel a map of the sights

Etel

There you go another dandy route in the gems of the coastal Morbihan in my lovely Brittany. You are in heavens by the sea, the seafood, the ambiance, the sights, and the architecture/history combinations. Remember, Belz, Erdeven and Etel in the Morbihan

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

 

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