Campénéac, Beignon, and Billio in the Morbihan!

And here I continue taking you so some off the beaten paths towns of my beautiful Morbihan, in lovely Brittany, and in my belle France. The quantity as well as quality still amazes me after 16 years living in France almost 20 as French! Let me go ahead and get right to the story ,hope you enjoy it as we do. Oh yes these are on the towns of Campénéac, Beignon, and Billio!

In the heart of the Massif Armorican, Campénéac is located 9 km of Ploërmel, approximately between Vannes and Rennes, not far from the forest of Brocéliande. Here the Gallo is spoken, a Romanesque language (unlike Breton which is a Celtic language). The town was a Gallo-Roman fundus and can therefore be considered as a primitive parish. It is quoted as a parish as early as the 9C; The parish of Campénéac once depended on the Diocese of Saint-Malo. Campénéac is the birthplace of Armelle Nicolas, known as the good Armelle, a servant whose piety, charity and mystical ecstasy aroused a cult that lasted in Brittany until at least the beginning of the 20C.

The Church of the Nativity-of-the-Most-Holy Virgin or Church of Notre-Dame is Campénéac (in French . église de la Nativité-de-la-Très-Sainte-Vierge) .The present church was rebuilt from 1851 to 1860 at the site of the old church. The western porch, the pillars and arches of the primitive Church, as well as some carved stones were reused.


The Church Church of the Nativity-of-the-Most-Holy Virgin has three bays, separated by cylindrical columns in granite. The oak pulpit of the second half of the 19C is 7 meters high. The tank of the pulpit has the particularity of being supported by a kneeling demon. It is dominated by a statue of the Archangel Michael terracing the dragon. The lampshade supports four Angels symbolizing the four evangelists. Another peculiarity is that the access to the pulpit is made by a double staircase. The Church has an exhibition of the Holy Face dating from the second half of the 19C. High of 2.60 meters, it is turned wood, carved, polychrome. The Holy Face is exposed to the center, it is surrounded by the instruments of the Passion. At the top, the thorn wreath, right the pincers and hammer, down the nails and left the whip.


Other places to visit are Château de Trécesson, 15C. Abbey of Joy-Notre-Dame (or Notre-Dame-de-La-Joie), founded  in the 20C. Chapel of Saint John of Campénéac. Château de La Touche-Larcher. Mound of Tiot (Tumulus burial stone).

On the link to follow go to pdf file “Le patrimoine de Campénéac” for things to see in French :  City of Campeneac on things to see in Broceliande

Tourist office of Brittany on Broceliande things to see

The map of Broceliande good for Campénéac and Beignon below is here: Tourist office of Broceliande and the map of things to see

Beignon is a town in the southwest of the Paimpont forest, right up the alley of previous mentioned town. The parish of Beignon exists from the 8C. The lordship of Beignon was probably given to the Bishop of Saint-Malo by the sires of Gaël, ancestors of the Lords of Montfort, so that the prelate would establish his summer residence (more precisely in Saint-Malo-de-Beignon). Other historians bring back this donation to the year 866 where reined the King of Brittany Solomon.

St. Peter’s Church  burned in 1483, it was rebuilt in the 15-16C. It was covered in 1539. Ransacked during the French revolution, it was rebuilt or restored in the early 19C. It is a Latin cross-shaped building with two aisles, the covers of which are perpendicular to that of the nave. The large arcades in third-point are based on simple batteries. You can admire its magnificent 16C stained glass windows depicting the tree of Jesse and the life of St-Peter as well as its carved sandpits on the frame . The decoration of the portals and windows is Flamboyant. The north gate is dated 1689 to the top of the gable and carries an Episcopal crest.

On the exterior, the St. Peter’s Church presents on each side a succession of decorated acute gables. A square bell tower, with a more recent slate spire, rises on the western portal. The sandpits of the Choir represent scenes of the life of St. Peter, explained by inscriptions in Gothic character. The Church has many elements from the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin, including the altar, statues and the processional cross. The scenes of the passion and the life of Saint Peter of the glass mistress date from circa 1540. The stained glass of the choir presents the arms of Mgr François Bohier, Bishop of Saint-Malo between 1535 and 1567. The canopy of the Tree of Jesse, located in the north arm of the transept, dates from 1540 and presents the crest of Mgr François Bohier, Bishop of Saint-Malo. These two stained glass windows were restored in the middle of the 19C by 1855-1859. In the sacristy there is a beautiful chalice, whose chiseled foot is of the 15C, as well as a processional cross ,silver plated on wood  of the 16C.



Other places to visit are:  The birthplace of Father Gabriel Deshayes and the museum dedicated to him. He is a French priest known for his commitment to teaching, especially to the deaf. Superior of the congregations of the Montfortian and Daughters of Wisdom, second founder of the Brothers of Saint-Gabriel and founder of the Sisters of the Christian instruction of Saint-Gildas-des-Bois, of the Brothers of the Christian instruction of Ploërmel and of the Brothers farmers of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Tourist office of Beignon Gate to Broceliande on Religious things to see

Tourist office of dept 56 Morbihan on the Church

Billio is also a town in the Morbihan Dept 56 but a bit away from the other , a change of pace. It is a  small territory, limited to the north by Guéhenno, to the west by Saint-Jean-Brévelay, to the south by Plumelec, and to the east by Cruguel. The city center is only 7 km from Saint-Jean-Brévelay, 24 from Ploërmel, and 28 from Vannes.

The history make us believe that Billio owes its origin to a small monastery, because its name was formerly Moustoir-Billiou. This establishment, perhaps ruined by the Normans, could be replaced by a small parish, at the end of the 10C or the beginning of the 11C. This parish appears to have been made at the expense of Guéhenno, and to have been put on the principle under the patronage of Saint Corentin, Bishop of Quimper. Billio appears as a separate parish in the titles of the chapter in 1387 and 1422; but before the end of the 15C it was united with Cruguel.

The Notre-Dame Church  built from 1471-1860. This church was erected to replace an ancient church dedicated to Saint Corentin and whose structure was decorated in the 17C. From this old church, there remains a carved stone giving the date of 1553. The oldest parts date from 1471. The present Church is built in 1860. The stained glass of the Virgin, dates from the 20C  representing  the Virgin surrounded by cherubs. One can admire a chalice in vermeil from the e18C  to the arms of the family of Lantivy, and two processional crosses, of the 18C also, one of them in silver.


City of Billio and Notre Dame Church

There you another wonderful ride thru the nice off the beaten paths towns of my Morbihan. We love the rides and do so every weekend, with so much to write I am always behind lol! Bear with me and you too can have an unique visit to unique places on the off the beaten path trails of my beautiful Morbihan, lovely Brittany and belle France.

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



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