Archive for May 20th, 2019

May 20, 2019

Saint Jean Brévelay,, Guehenno in my Morbihan!

Moving right along in this fast pace world of travel in our days, I take you once again to the my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Brittany. We will go into towns off the beaten paths ,and some well known, and most that needs to be known!  Today , I will tell you about Saint Jean Brévelay and Guehenno, two unique close by towns of my Morbihan. Enjoy them as we do.

The town of Saint-Jean-Brévelay, was a Saint  fleeing the Norman looters, the Bretons temporarily fled to England. Upon their return to Brittany, they reported relics of a Bishop of Exham and York, who died in 721 in Beverly, where he founded a monastery. They then named their parish the name of the Saint, which gradually became Saint Jean Brévelay. In the middle ages, Saint Jean Brévelay was part of the Viscount of Rohan, divided into 20 lordships.  In the 18C, after 1797, the town embraced the Royal cause. During the Chouannerie, it was noted the passage of Georges Cadoudal, Lieutenant General of the Reds. Pierre Guillemot, called King of Bignan, one of the main chefs Chouans was also noticed passing here.

The Church of Saint-Jean-de-Brévelay  was built  from the 15C to the 19C. Dedicated to Saint John of Beverley, an English Saint of the Medieval Kingdom of Northumbria Bishop of York who founded the monastery and the town of Beverley in East Yorkshire, died in 721 and canonized in 1037. The church is in the form of a Latin cross, with warhead windows. The Church of Saint-Jean-de-Brévelay gathers parts built in several eras such as the Romanesque gate dates from the 15C, the transept and the choir were reworked in the 17C, the Chapel of St. Joseph added in the 17C, the current nave was built in 1825, the porch bell tower was completed in 1879. A very colorful Altarpiece 1640, in stone and marble,  occupies the background of the choir, with a large painting of Pentecost in the center, surrounded by two statues, Saint Peter holding the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and Saint John of Beverley in Bishop with a pig.

City of Saint Jean Brevelay on heritage

Tourist office of the Central Morbihan on the town heritage

Saint Jean Brevelay

st jean brevelay

The battle of Mont-Guéhenno took place during the Chouannerie (the wars against the French revolution and for king). In 1799, a Republican (French revolutionaries) detachment was surprised and was destroyed by the Chouans near Guéhenno. The fate of the Republican prisoners is not known with certainty. According to some witnesses , the prisoners were shot.

The Church of St. Peter and St. John the Baptist is located in Guéhenno. Externally, there remains a gable with hooks, a door with braces, hooks and cabbage. On the left, touching the transept, a butt fort has been preserved, at the top of which is a stone Virgin. Inside, giving in the Choir, there remains an altar pool with crest appearing accompanied by a butt. The Church of St. Peter and St. John the Baptist done from the 16C up to the 19C. This church, which dates from 1859 , replaces an older Church of the 16C which was burned in 1794. From the ancient Church of the 16C, the sacristy was preserved in the south, and It’s pretty flamboyant door as well. Inside you can see, besides a 16C pool, a stone bas-relief from the old porch and depicting various scenes of the Passion and a Virgin to the Child in polychrome wood dated from the 18C. The cowl dates from the 19C. There is also a cranberry credence of the 16C which was updated during the restoration work in 1957.

Guehenno

Guehenno

Guehenno

City of Guehenno under renovation but come back soon

The Calvary of Guéhenno, which was one of the most beautiful Breton calvaries, was ransacked during the French revolution. The Calvary of Guéhenno is one of the seven monumental calvaries of Brittany and the only one located in the Dept 56 of Morbihan. At the time of the reign of terror, in 1794,during the French revolution, the architectural ensemble composed of the 16C Church (see above), the Calvary erected in 1550 and the ossuary, was devastated by the Republican troops. It is only fifty years later that the Church will be rebuilt and the Calvary restored. It will be necessary to await the arrival of Abbé Jacquot in the parish in 1853, so that the restoration actually begins.

Guehenno

Guehenno

An Altar, where the descent to the underworld is carved, is dominated by a pedestal where the scenes of prayer are depicted in the garden of olives, the flagellation, the crowning of thorns and the Entombment. On this pedestal rises a triple Cross from 1550, to the right and left the two thieves, on the central Cross, at the top, Christ with the Virgin and St. John, below a character crowned and half-lying, further down a Virgin of Pity. At the foot of the Cross, on the pedestal, is depicted Jesus carrying the cross between soldiers and Saint Véronique: at the angles are the figures of the four evangelists. The Entombment dates from 1853, and is composed of seven characters in 19C costume. The resurrection, dated 1853, appears on the two bases of the Calvary: we see the risen Jesus Christ appearing to the Holy women. In 1855, the perimeter of the Calvary was paved.

Guehenno

Guehenno

Official 7 Calvaries site on Guehenno in English

Tourist office of Central Morbihan on the Calvary of Guehenno

And again, you see simply beauty before your eyes, these are monumental examples of mankind and when you think of Europe devastated by two world wars and see these again brought back and or save is amazing the human spirit can still do anything. You owe to yourselves visiting in Brittany and see these marvels. We love them. Be welcome at Saint Jean Brévelay and Guéhenno in the Morbihan of course!

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

 

 

May 20, 2019

Grand Champ, Locmaria, and Plumelec in the Morbihan!

And following my now popular series on towns of the Morbihan, my dept 56 of lovely Brittany, we must continue. There is no end really, I am just mentioning those already visited but there are more to be seen! And this is the time to visit really, fine weather and nice history/architecture all around you. Let me go quickly into the best in my opinion of the towns of Grand Champ, Locmaria-Grand Champ, and Plumelec in inland Morbihan.

The town of Grand Champ is located about 15 km from the city of Vannes, capital of the dept 56 Morbihan; and I passed by here every day to work!  The town is a dismemberment of the former primitive parish of Plumergat. The existence of a place-known as “Grandi-Campo ” (big field) was mentioned in the 10C. Originally, Grandi-Campo is a great Roman camp. Around 1342, Jean de Montfort stayed at Grand-Champ to prepare for the attack on Vannes during the War of Succession of Brittany. There are a number of references to King Stevan, including the host country of King Stevan. battle of Grand-Champ in 1795, during the repression of the chouannerie (local rebels against the French revolution). On December 1, 1870 the balloon dirigible Bataille de Paris, flies from the Gare du Nord in Paris then beset by the Prussians and finishes its course at Grand-Champ, after having travelled 460 km.

The Church of Saint-Tugdual , 15-16C, rebuilt in 1865. The first stone was laid  in 1865 and the church was inaugurated  in 1867. The bell tower dates from 1867. The former church of the 15C, which had been roof covered in 1428 and adorned by a beautiful tower with stone spire begun in 1669, was demolished towards 1865 to make way for an ordinary Gothic-style church. The main work was completed in 1870. The stained glass gallery  houses two carved wooden panels from the Chapel of Notre-Dame du Burgo. It preserves a chalice in gilded silver from the middle of the 18C from the Chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Moustoir, a beautiful processional cross in silver, of 1763, and a silver censer of the second half of the 18C. The Saint Tugdual, the church is name after died in Tréguier, and was a 5C religious, native of Wales, who came with seventy-two religious to evangelize Armorique by landing at Trébabu in Leon. He died in 564 and his celebration Saint day is November 30.

City of Grand Champ on heritage

Parish of Grand Champ on the Church

Grand Champ

grand champ

The town of Locmaria takes its name from the term “loc” from the Latin “locus” which means “the place” followed by the name of Saint Honoré on site (here Mary) and its common “mother” . The township was united in Locqueltas (then Plaudren) in 1802 to form a unique place.A parish reorganization of the diocese in 1802, was erected in Locmaria ward or branch, but without ceasing to belong to the town Grand Champ. The town of Locmaria-Grand Champ is only a town since 1889.

The Church of St. Mary (Sainte Marie) of Locmaria-Grand Champ ( admin apart but really just next to Grand Champ) was rebuilt in neo-Gothic style and completed in 1882. The tower is surely the most beautiful architectural element of this church. Whole granite carved, it rises on three floors. On the ground floor, the porch is opened on three sides by large broken arcades. The floor of the bells presents on each of its faces an oculus over long bays divided into two lancets. Inside the church lies the ruler of a Lord of Coet Candec. Carved and sculpted in a white stone monolith, the lying one, turned according to the custom towards the choir, measures almost 2 meters long for a width of 90 cm. It rests on a base that is probably not original. The recumbent are more likely the portraits of characters of the 15C such as Pierre Chohan who married, around 1534, Jeanne Grillon de Rosnarho, in the town of Crac’h.

City of Locmaria Grand Champ on heritage

Tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on Locmaria heritage and Church

Locmaria

Locmaria

It is probable that between 460 and 660, Bretons inhabitants of Great Britain, fleeing their island enslaved to Anglos and Saxons, arrived one fine day on the heights of Lanvaux coming from the North from Saint Malo, then along the Roman road of Carhaix , which passed to the South of the town. This group, marveled at a magical landscape, while contrasting, with its mountains and valleys, all scattered in a wild but very beautiful nature, settled there.  These new occupants organized themselves in community, their “Plou “, which has the common sense of parish, to which they added the name of a Benedictine monk who evangelized their country, “Melec”. So therefore, Ploumelec which became simply Plumelec.

City of Plumelec on heritage

The Saint-Maurice Church is located in the center of the village of Saint-Aubin, on the eastern boundary of the town of Plumelec, on the road D174, 5 km from the town.  Built in 1513, the Saint-Maurice Church replaces the old chapel of Saint-Aubin founded by the Lords of Callac. It became a parish in 1872. Since 1985, it no longer has a priest. The Rector of Plumelec is of office.

The nave does not have a side-aisle and the transept is characterized by overflowing cross-braces. The choir is higher than the rest of the church and the bedside is flat. The Baptismal font Chapel replaced the former ossuary dated 1690. The bell tower is a 17C square tower.  The framing, worked as laces, is remarkable and rare. The beams and the sand pits represent countryside scenes and the passion. They are finished with gargoyles yelled: a dragon throwing up a dragon who vomits a dragon. Or would it be the reverse,,,a dragon swallows a dragon that swallows a dragon… An allegory of political and economic power that destroys the people according to the explanatory text proposed to visitors. Outside, under the south porch, there is a stele on the ground and, embedded in the wall, a cowl.

Tourist office Central Morbihan on Church

Plumelec

Plumelec

There you go another wonderful trio of nice unique and local towns to indulge yourselves into the real French life. If only Hemingway would had traveled more he would have certaintly written a second book, France is a Movable Feast! Enjoy Grand Champ, Locmaria-Grand Champ, and Plumelec in my beautiful Morbihan.

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

 

 

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