Museum or musée des guerres de l’Ouest at Plouharnel

I went by again by it and needed to tell you more on the local history. Bretagne or Brittany or locals call it Breizh has a long history not always attach to France. In fact, there was a dukedom here until 1532 union with the kingdom of France due to the marriage of convenience between the king of France Charles VIII and the Duchess of Brittany Anne de Bretagne.

However, by the time of the French revolution the Bretons pretty much wanted their way to stay independant and fought in many battles on what is known as the wars of the west which included the area of the Vendée, Mayenne, Anjou Normandy as well as Brittany. In Brittany none other then General Georges Cadoudal lead the West army against the Republicans or French. Long battles that some skirmishes lasted until 1832. Before finally peace came back and finally Bretagne remain French. However, the spirits of independance are still within the Bretons even if today peacefully.

And there is a museum that tells you all the story from the patriots or rebels or chouans point of view. This is at Plouharnel just before entering the presqu’ïle de Quiberon. It is call the musée des guerres de l’Ouest or the museum of the wars of the west! And I would like to tell you a bit on it. Hope you enjoy and do come to see history, the real one.

Plouharnel

Its probably one of two muséums on the Chouans, the farming folks who rebels against the French revolution. There is another in the Vendée region, this one is right in Plouharnel. I am in the middle of this historic region. Plouharnel is a town on the road D768 going towards the Presqu’île de Quiberon or peninsula of Quiberon.

The musée des guerres de l’Ouest or museum of wars of the west (before call the museum of the Chouannerie) sits in an old bunker of WWII near the beach, and surrounded by sights that tells you that this was a heavily fortified place with machine guns part of the Atlantic wall of WWII.

However the museum is an educational fact finding beauty. Most folks think that the  French revolution was just an attack on the Bastille to get rid of the king Louis XVI. However, what they don’t know is that frontal army attacks and later guerrilla warfare was carry out in the Vendée and up to Bretagne and  even further into Normandie against this revolution. One if not the most bloody event in France’s history.

The National Day is more a day of reconciliation of these events, as the Place de la Concorde in Paris along will tell you, the concordia of people after been name place de la revolution and before place royale. The reign of terror and the guillotine are testaments of this horrific period.

This is the part in English from the Plouharnel tourist office: City of Plouharnel on the museum

Brittany, has an old State identity ,strong, earth firmly rooted in its Christian faith, deeply rooted in its multi-centenaires traditions, even multimillenaires, viscerally attached to its structures and its men is seen as an entity to make it disappear at any price. In order to justify the unjustifiable, to think the unthinkable, jacobins policies , particularly Parisian, will strive to do the Bretons as rebels of Conservatives, bandits, robbers, in a word of chouans. Journalists, painters, writers… are not to be outdone, making this portion of France a land of arrears, exotic outdated and vulgar, not considering of the Bretons only that and as well as  subhumans barely out of muds of a medieval barbarian and dirty. With the union with France in 1532 , Brittany will not hesitate to resume a war  to defend its rights where the case of Bonnets Rouges (name also given today to demonstrators against the current govenrment policies) in 1675 and the marquis de Pontcallec in 1719. The chouannerie lies in this logic: negation of its rights -.refusal of dialogue , insurgency , crackdown, the Central power  not knowing what to do use extreme force to impose its will.  Taken from the museum text.

The war of guerrillas goes on until 1832,and the confirmation of the restoration of many rights and properties to the Bretons, not all. The museum founded in  1985 ,and open symbolicall on July 14 ,its a unique museum in France links entirely to the  Chouannerie, in the Vendée,and on the wars of the west ( Guerres de l’Ouest as they are known in Brittany); proposing over 400 items from maps, documents, weapons, customes, diverse objects, engravings from Marcel de Villemoisson, and many more, all retracing the events of the wars of the west from  1793 to 1832, showing windows in glass cover and tables of events of the wars.

The webpage of the museum of the wars of the west are in French  is here: The official museum of the wars of the west webpage in French

One of the main heroes is General Georges Cadoudal of Auray neaby and my former home, where he is buried in his own property with a mausoleum his descendants open to the public. Call the Champ de Martyrs or the field of martyrs for the massacre of chouans done there in 1795, the remains are now kept in the  Chartreuse of Auray nearby. Very much revered by the locals.

Enjoy a history of no more révolutions. I hope that my introduction will led you to learn more of this important historical event that is still very much alive here in Bretagne/Brittany or Breizh ,the land of the Bretons. Bretons forever , as they say or as the sign in the near me peninsula or presqu’ïle de Conleau says Bretons toujours, français jamais (Breton always, French never). I say leave it as it is.

And there you go a nice piece of history seldom shown or one heck of a off the beaten path thing to do! Hope you enjoy it and do stop by

And of course , to make you even more enticing to come here see the museum is in a WWII bunker left from the Atlantic wall by the nazis! and all around the museum is a graveyard of bunkers and guns of WWII in open aire display!! Worth the detour!

Plouharnel

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

 

 

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