Archive for March 14th, 2020

March 14, 2020

A wonderful Castle/Chapel in my Morbihan!

We went by looking to locate the new school of my twins and came upon about this marvel the Chapelle Saint Avoye or chapel of Saint Avoye, in nearby Pluneret,near Auray.  I have read about it,seen the panel indicating its direction but never went by. Finally ,curiosity sit in and did pay a visit. There are so many chapels around here it could fill up your year.  A wonderful architecture marvel from the 16C in the middle of country farms. Very nice indeed, took some shots, not open yet but will surely come back,

The Chapelle de Sainte-Avoye is located more precisely in the village of Sainte-Avoye, in the town of Pluneret in my Morbihan. The chapel is located on the heights of the right bank of the Bono river.  Of course, this is Bretagne or Brittany or Breizh!

The Sainte-Avoye Chapel was erected in the 16C by the Lestrelin family, whose escutcheon surmounts the south door, owner of the Château de Kerisper (see below) which is close to the village. It is a stately chapel funded by the Count of Lestrelin. The family armorial bearings include the family coat of arms. They represented four ducks which were roughly removed with a knife during the French revolution.


Originally,  the bell tower rose well above the current bell tower. This bell tower was a bitter for the sailors and a lookout for its owner who could thus control the traffic on the Bono river. It was struck down in 1727 and its upper part was then replaced by the current frame roof, which is surmounted by an arrow. On October 16, 1987 a storm weakens the bell tower again; it will be rehabilitated in 1988. In 1746, a hurricane breaks the stained glass, during the renovation from 2004 to 2006, will be refurbished in an identical manner to the originals.


The interior flooring is clay. It is an almost unique arrangement of a mixture of lime and earth. The roof of the nave in the shape of an overturned ship’s hull is limed in the old style. Four farms for the nave; three main farms for the choir; croaks, and sculpted sand pits dating from 1557 on the choir pits.

The Saint Avoye Chapel houses a Renaissance rood screen in polychrome oak wood. Executed between 1554 and 1557 by a carpenter by the name of Bizeul; he separated the choir from the nave. It is carved on both sides. The visible side of the nave presents the twelve apostles, The visible side of the choir presents the seven Catholic or theological virtues, and five saints including Saint Yves. The chancel is made up of four panels, one of which has a double leaf door. The chapel also houses a polychrome wooden statue of Saint Avoye dating from the 16C.

The town of Pluneret has schedules and hours for visiting the Chapel in French here: City of Pluneret on the Chapel

The local tourist office of Bay of Quiberon has a bit more in French. Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on the Chapel

As we were nearby and on the same road as the school of my twins, we continue to seek this castle they talk about in the Chapel. And voilà we found the Château de Kerister now in the limits of the town of Le Bono.


We then went to see the Château de Kérisper , the oldest parts are from the 14C, and has 800 m2 along the Bono river, with private ownership of the Sirs of Montigny, ancestors of of Lesterlin. more history: In 1426, it was in the hands of the Sires de Kerisper Lestrelin; at the end of the 15C  to 16C; in 1601 to Montigny, who retain the until the French revolution. To the 19C and 20C, the area belonged successively family Montaigu aux St-Pern in 1876,to the  Grand family in 1897, in 1900, Douault,  and Pommois in 1979. The old castle was partially destroyed. The castle has been modernise at the beginning of the 20C. Octave Mirabeau would have stayed there in 1887-1888  and allegedly wrote “Abbé Jules”. In 1990 the Castle houses the Théatre de l’écume  and an exhibition of floral art. Surrounded by a large park, Kerisper castle is visible at 4 km south of Pluneret. to the left of the road D 101 to Le Bono, between the rivers of Auray and Bono and literally at Le Bono.  It is a castle now preserve for weddings, event, birthdays ,and seminars, on a nice verdant space near the above jardin de mémoire on the same road, first the castle on the left hand side and then the gardens in the right hand site.  more info here:  Chateau de Kerisper on weddings in French



And there you go folks, some nice place to visit in off the beaten path Morbihan, both very near me and welcome. Hope you enjoy the tour and my Morbihan.

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

March 14, 2020

Pluvigner and two chapels!

So let’s stay in my lovely Morbihan dept 56 of my beautiful Bretagne and tell you about two country chapels that endure the tradition of these Breton lands. All very near me  ,in fact its my town!

A bit of instroduction: Pluvigner is located between Pontivy and Auray to mention the bigger towns in the department of Morbihan , closer to Auray. The name of the town is of Breton origin ,and comes from the toponymic name Ploe, and from the anthroponym Guigner, referring to Saint Guigner, patron saint of the town. The name of the town in Breton is Pleuwigner.

Some historical anecdotes of the town. The Pluvigner treasury contained hidden coins at the end of the War of Succession of Brittany (de Blois vs Montfort) between 1360 and 1364; it contained in particular 259 Flemish currencies, which constituted 84% of the whole of this monetary treasury. On January 23, 1943, an American B-17 bomber, damaged during a mission and chased by two Nazi planes, crashed in woods of Kéronic. Seven airmen were killed and three survived. Two stelae were inaugurated on November 5, 1994 in the presence of Charles Roth survivor and Mel Schulstad, usual pilot but absent the day of the mission. The steale stone still here!

And the event that put us in the map at least in Europe happened on September 19, 2019 a F-16 fighter plane of the Belgian Air Force, departing from the base of Florennes and having to refuel at Lann-Bihoué, crashed at a place called Le Poteau up the D16 road towards Landaul. The cause told was engine  failure, partially destroying a house during the crash; the two pilots were able to eject in time, one of them remaining suspended by his parachute for two hours on a high voltage line. And we later found out, the planes were armed, and it took military personnel all over to “clear the area” of you know what….We were in TV’s all over!!!

Now, let me tell you about the chapels ok. First the one closest to me literally behind my house road. Oh yes just translating the page from the city of Pluvigner on both ok.

The Chapelle de St. Guénaël, rebuilt at the end of the 19C in an isolated place and mentioned in 1930, nearest to me. The name in Breton language is Chapel Sant Wenael.


In 1888, the Chapel of St Guénaël was in ruins. A farmer from the Parc farm then took the initiative to sell one of his seven farms so that he could rebuild the chapel elsewhere. Originally, the chapel was located on the edge of the Le Pratello estate. As Saint Guénaël removed the cataclysms.  The exterior can said to have a pinnacle rising at the top of the west gable. It consists of three parts: a square stump, a chamber of bells delimited by two cornices and a short conical arrow. Inside, it can be said that the chapel is made up of six spans. The windows represent different saints: Saint Guénaël is represented on the north side and on the south side, Saint Guigner. In addition to the statues, including that of the saint celebrated here (and town main church see post), the chapel contains a rough stone altar.


City of Pluvigner on St Guénaël in French : City of Pluvigner on chapel of St Guenael

The Chapelle de Notre-Dame-de-la-Miséricorde , 17C. The name in Breton language is Chapel Itron Varia Miserikord. The chapel was built by the lord of Grand Ville in 1600, then bought by the Le Gouvello family from Pierre de Kériolet, living in the nearby Kerlois castle (see post). This chapel would have been the place of prayer of Pierre de Kériolet, nicknamed the “devil of Kerlois”, who led a life of debauchery before converting and being ordained priest in 1637. The chapel, marked by its seigniorial origins, presents an architecture between two stylistic eras: flamboyant gothic and renaissance.


The exterior offers four buttresses to support the angles. On the south side, there is a wall bench and a drip tray decorated with four masks. There is also a sundial with the date 1600. The two doors of the chapel are in the Renaissance style. One is semi-circular and the second is a basket handle. The windows keep on the contrary a Gothic style with their broken arch and their wide rectilinear splayings. Near the imposing chestnut tree which adjoins the building is a cross.  In the interior you will be able to discover the furniture of the chapel as well as sculpted sand pits, 14 heads and vine branches. There is also an inscription which shows that the chapel was wooded in 1603. The chapel houses an altarpiece dated from the 18C, where the statues of Notre-Dame-de-la-Miséricorde (Our Lady of Mercy ) and Saint Isidore, saint of farmers are placed . A rood screen with tribune also adorns the chapel. It dates from 1623. Moved to the 18C, the twelve sculpted apostles are presented in this gallery. One of the chapel’s other attractions is the remains of the mural on the north wall.


The city of Pluvigner on Our Lady of Mercy in French: City of Pluvigner on the Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy

So there you have it, two chapels of my dear  Pluvigner (the smallest town I have lived since my birthplace!). There are so many, almost on every farm! These two are the closest to me and just took a nice ride into the farming area not far from my house. Hope you enjoy this off the beaten path tour and do come for nature’s beauty with car..

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


March 14, 2020

Close and nice Landaul!

Here I go again, well hard to come up with titles when trying to tell you about off the beaten path sites in my belle France. This is a small town very near me, I passed by it several times and hardly done a castle on it and that is it. I fell it needs a bit more so therefore, here is my take on Landaul.

Landaul is a town located in the department 56 of Morbihan in the region of Bretagne. The Breton name of the town is Landaol.

During WWII, Landaul was the scene of events linked to its proximity to the battles for the Lorient submarine base. The bombings of Lorient from 1942 gave rise to air combat over the town. On January 23, 1943, an American bomber, the “Beats Me”, hit by nazi fighter planes dropped its bombs on Kergolven before falling down at Kéronic in Pluvigner (yes near the castle see post very near me! he came in 1994 to open a stone memorial (still in my town!!!). The crew included eight airmen: seven were killed, only one, the radio, escaped. His name was Charles Roth. Landaul being located at the edge of the Lorient pocket where the nazis did not capitulate until May 9, 1945.

 Some other things to see here are the Castle of Kerambourg, 15C , a wedding event place now. Castle of Kerambar’h 16C held by the Parmentier family since 1851. It once owned a private chapel, a dovecote and a well. The gardens of Kérambar’h Castle, classified as a Remarkable Garden, is a walk from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance through themed gardens , very nice indeed. The monument to the martyrs of Landaul shot by the nazis on April 30, 1944, located opposite the main entrance to the church, a few meters from the place where they were executed.

And what took my curiosity was the Church of Landaul. A bit of history on it ok.

The Saint-Théleau or Sainte-Marie-Magdeleine Church 15C. Sainte-Magdeleine replaces Saint-Thuriau at the beginning of the 19C and Sainte-Magdeleine is replaced by Saint-Théleau in 1903. The parish church of Landaul having been demolished in 1862, the Chapel Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours founded by the Kerambourg family (see above) and which was close to it in turn became a parish church in May 1863, after having been completely transformed by adding two large chapels forming crosses to the north and south. The chapel had been built around 1450. Fortunately, the beautiful western portal with bays in a basket handle has been preserved intact. The arches are decorated with foliage scrolls, taken under a large arcade in a third point with several archivolts surmounting a tympanum. On the gable rises a square bell-tower, posterior of at least a century, formerly surmounted by a stone spire and flanked by a cylindrical staircase turret. The nave dates from the end of the 15C. Against the north gable, sealed on a granite slab, are aligned the stone statues of Saint Barbe, Saint Isidore and Saint Marguerite.


According to tradition, it was built by a lady from Keramburg, in fulfillment of a wish she had made during a trip to Hungary where, in the crossing of a forest, she had been attacked by ferocious animals. The sites dedicated to Marie-Madeleine attest to the presence of an old infirmary. These communities that treated lepers had a chapel under the patronage of Saint Mary Magdalene or Saint Roch. A cemetery once surrounded the church, bounded by a low wall. In this enclosure there is still a stele engraved with a cross, a Calvary and a yew of venerable age.


Now, this is back country Morbihan in Bretagne and my belle France, a car is king here to see these marvels and well worth it. I give some public transport info as a guidance but be known never taken them for it.

Gare de Landaul-Mendon TER Bretagne in 18 mins to Vannes. Webpage here: TER Bretagne on train station at Landaul Mendon

A Brittany site for all public transports mode in the region no all modes is Breizhgo or Brittany on the go, webpage here: Breizhgo public transport on schedules et hours

And further, for the road.  Department Route D16 can be reach in 8 minutes from my house,and Landaul is connected with the expressway N165 that connects you to Vannes (25 min), the capital of the Morbihan, and Lorient (23 min) the sub capital. Only 18 min from the beaches of Etel and even 21 min from beaches of Carnac; 39 min from those of Quiberon.

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Landaul on heritage in French: City of Landaul on heritage

Local tourist office of bay of Quiberon on Landaul in French here: Tourist office of Bay of Quiberon on Landaul

And there you go another nice off the beaten path in my Breton lands, as traditional as you can get in France. Hope you enjoy the tour of Landaul and do come over for a stop to the wonderful beaches south of here.

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

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