Archive for July 19th, 2020

July 19, 2020

Quimperlé: Pont Lovignon or Fleuri!!

So passing our day again in lovely quant Quimperlé in the pretty Finistére of our lovely Bretagne and in our belle France let me continue our walking journey. Again, bear in mind this is a town visited several times and plenty of posts on my blog. These are new photos.

Also, me think, not written enough on the bridge just passing and it deserves a bit more, therefore, let me give you a post on it ok. It is more locally known as the Pont Fleuri or flowery bridge but also known as  pont Lovignon as the name of the square before it. You get to it walking past the Abbey Church of Ste Croix (see post) on rue Ellé until you see it.

Quimperle

The older bridge here called Pen Pont Ellé dated from the 15C. Built on the frontier of Vannes, and Cornouaille where Quimperlé was the gatekeeper. It was on the road Quimper to Nantes giving access to the three fortified gates of the enclosed town. This bridge it is said was crossed over by Duchess Anne of Bretagne in 1505. It is by this bridge as well that in 1590 the troops of Henri IV entered the town by surprise and vandalised it.

The Pont Lovignon or Fleuri  is a small bridge over the Ellé river. It goes back at least to the 17C. This bridge crosses the Ellé river at the level of the place Lovignon ,and was  until 1643 the only means of access to Quimperlé from the east.  It has 2 of its arches rebuilt in 1746 during the flooding. The bridge was guarded by two towers on heavy thick walls surrounding the lower city or basse ville opening out with three gates following to roads , Vannes-Quimper and Quimperlé-Carhaix. The ramparts were done between  1250 and 1270, became in ruins after the war of the 100 years and were erased for good by 1680.  The granite blocks salvage were then used to built the quai Brizeux bordering the Laita river.

Again , it was discovered in 2003, a sixth arch backfilled on Place Lovignon. The pont Lovignon or Fleuri has retained its medieval appearance with a donkey profile, cobblestones and above all powerful spurs to split the sometimes devastating waves of the Ellé. Recall that Quimperlé is located at the confluence of the Ellé and the Isole then forming a coastal river La Laïta. In 2000, Quimperlé experienced a millennial flood with an overflow threshold of almost 6 meters. As recently as 2018 the flooding here can be devastating yet nothing is done , and folks renovate again and again.

quimperle

From the tourist office of Quimperlé a bit more on the rivers and the Laita especially in English: Tourist office of Quimperle on the rivers

Hope you have enjoy this brief story on the quant bridge, very narrow maybe 10-15 meters on the Laita at rue Ellé and Place Lovignon in Quimperlé.

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

 

 

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July 19, 2020

Lesconil, again the Finistére!

And going into the confines of my lovely Bretagne, and the beautiful Finistére we got into another cave of ocean beauty , lovely by the coast. Let me tell you a bit more and update on Lesconil.

We took a winding ride by car on the N165 by reaching the D44 and later the D102 roads the town of Lesconil. The city of Lesconil a fisherman’s harbor paradise. Here you have all the action around the harbor with lots of fisherman’s boat even if the trade has almost disappear, you can still see plenty of boats and the off island of Men ar Groas visible from the harbor deck. There is a lively square with plenty of restaurants and shops and a really good one in the Cantine de Mer. Good one from the menu and prices not try as we were heading home early on a Sunday. You can even see the friendly seagull that came to welcome me in the harbor looking for food seems so used to that and is not good to do so please.

Lesconil

The new town of Plobannalec-Lesconil is typical coastal town, in the south of the Bigouden country, the new name is Plobannalec-Lesconil and is ideally located. This of course is in dept 29 Finistére, and in my lovely Bretagne. It is close to La Torche, the shopping town of Pont-L’Abbé and the magnificent natural sites of the Bigouden region, the town is at the heart of the south coast. And what a beautiful south coast it is!!  The Quimper train station is 23 km from Plobannalec and 26 km from Lesconil and the Quimper-Bretagne airport is 19 km from Plobannalec and 22 km from Lesconil.

The town is made up of two agglomerations: the initial borough of Plobannalec, inland, rural and conservative tradition; the fishing port of Lesconil, further south, maritime tradition and opinion more to the left, which began to develop in the mid-19C, which declined from the 1970s, and whose trawl fishing activity disappears in the early years of the 21C. The territory of the town forms a vast inclined plane towards the ocean and, from almost all points, the sea appears on the horizon. The coastal part of the town is, outside the port, quite narrow, essentially comprising the Goudoul rock and a few other rocks with picturesque shapes.

The first significant event was the creation, between 1804 and 1806, of a semaphore on the coast, about 600 meters west of the port. This building is part of a network of semaphore signals whose implementation was decided at the beginning of the 19C by order of Vice-Admiral Decrès.  It was equipped with a telephone, a telegraph and masts with arms used for the communication by semaphore, or to give meteorological information to the sailors at sea. In the event of sinking, it can alert the lifeboat of the port (built later) using a small gun. A line-throwing cannon is used to establish a back-and-forth movement with stranded boats. At the end of WWII, the semaphore was abandoned. A lighthouse was built in 1905 on the islet of Men Ar Groas, the lighthouse has since been connected to the mainland.

lesconil

In the first half of the 19C, the initial port of Lesconil was only a beaching port in a small natural cove offering only a precarious shelter in good weather only to boats, which had to take refuge in heavy weather in the ” Ster Nibilic ”, small arm of the Ster estuary (still used today for small boats), or, for larger ones, in Loctudy The current port is created on the other side of the overland, in a rocky cove called Pors Carn, for the time being open to the sea. The kick-off of its foundation was, in August 1878, the decision of the SCSN (today the SNSM) to build a lifeboat station In 1879 , the shelter and the hold, 90 meters long; are finished. They can accommodate the Foubert de Bizy lifeboat (named after the donor), a 10.10-meter straight canoe.

lesconil

Lesconil

The port of Lesconil remains exposed to offshore swells, and is not equipped with any quay. Unloading boats is often done by canoe. Rock is present everywhere in the cove during low tides, and the rocky harbor remains a concern for several decades. Lesconil, like the other ports of the Pays Bigouden, was very affected by the sardine crisis of the first years of the 20C it began in 1902, the work of the Bigouden picot saving the families of fishermen from famine. We then leave the big boats for the small ones. The activity goes from fishing for sardines and mackerel to that for crustaceans (lobsters and langostines) and the net. A mole-shelter, 333 meters long, was built between 1907 and 1914 and allowed the port to develop its activities considerably . After WWI, 8 large sloops practiced lobster fishing. Lesconil was the 4th fishing port of the Pays Bigouden. Some are fishing for tuna. The last lobster sloops disappear. In 1949, it mainly fish crustaceans and, in priority, Norway lobster. The port still has only nine trawlers, but in the 1950s their number continued to grow. The decline in professional fishing was accentuated by the closure of the Lesconil auction in 2008, the few remaining fishing boats now landing their fish in Guilvinec.  In 2015, there was one trawler and three canoes left.

lesconil

More on the port of Lesconil in French here: marina harbor of Lesconil

The commercial port of Finistére on  Lesconil: Commercial ports of Finistére on Lesconil

Other than the sea, the main monument to see in all this ocean is the Church Notre Dame de la mer . The creation of the church of Lesconil at the beginning of the 20C is linked to the will to implant the Catholic religion in the town with protestant tendencies. Protestantism took root in Lesconil, thanks to the efforts of William-Jenkyn Jones, Welsh pastor of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Foreign Mission, who arrived in 1893. On August 15, 1924, a Catholic parish was created in Lesconil. The Sainte-Anne chapel becomes Church Notre-Dame-des-Flots ou de la mer (waves or sea).

The plage des Sables Blancs beach to the east, opposite Anse de Lesconil, belongs to the town of Loctudy, and the beaches of Kersauz and Squividan, to the west, to that of Treffiagat. There are only two small beaches on the same territory of the town (one at the foot of the semaphore, the other of artificial creation, between the port and the Ster). But the most popular are the Sables Blanc east of the Ster, a kilometer long beach, in the territory of Loctudy, and the Grande Plage in the west, in the territory of Treffiagat.

One big event here every summer, Fête de La Langoustine or festival. Organized every year on the 2nd Saturday of August in the port of Lesconil. Usually from 10h-13h will see about this year 2020.

A presentation of the city of Plobannalec-Lesconil: City of Plobannalec-Lesconil presentation

And there you a general overview of a wonderful area plenty more to see I was touching the bases this is a gorgeous area that need to be visited more, a lot more. Plobannalec-Lesconil or for me rather Lesconil is pretty, and I will be back soon. Hope you do too and enjoy the post.

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

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July 19, 2020

Le Conquet, the westernmost part of continental France!

Ok this is a re write as the previous post was not really complete as to my wishes and after some time at home and reproofing some of my older posts, I decided to just completely redo this one. The pictures are from 2016.

We got on the car and drove about 2h30 to Le Conquet, the westernmost part of continental France in gorgeous Finistére dept 29, and my lovely Bretagne. Easy ride on the N165 towards Brest and there get on the direction Guipavas airport following Guillou Saint Renan and finally Le Conquet, most on the D67,and finally entering town on the D789.

Le Conquet is the most western town  of continental France. In metropolitan France, only three island towns Ouessant, Île-Mullein and Île-de-Sein are further west. The Breton name of the Le Conquet is Konk-Leon. The second element of the Breton form is Leon, which is the name of the historical region where the place is located: the Land of Leon. Le Conquet is located north of Pointe Saint-Mathieu (town of Plougonvelin). In addition to its territory on the mainland, these islands of the archipelago of Moléne are also attached to the town of Le Conquet:  Île aux Chrétiens, Île de Balanec,  Île de Bannec,  Île de Béniguet, Île de Litiry, Lédénes de Quéménès ou Ledenez Kemenez,  Île de Morgol,  Île de Quéménès ou Kemenez, and Île de Trielen. This is as best ocean living as you can get!

We hit the city/town hall ,park behind it for free, and walk all over. The city hall or mairie has a nice history: A rich industrialist built a sumptous home in 1859 to host big elaborate parties and bring the crowd from Paris. In 1922 , the house was sold to another businessmen from Brest who built a hotel in 1922, the Beauséjour; again bringing the crowd from Paris, this lasted until 1935 when the city of Brest purchase it and created a family campground there. In 1940, it became the general headquarters of the nazi commander in the area ;before going back to a children campground until 1975.  Later,the city of Le Conquet purchase the building and grounds and finally in 2000 it was made into the City/Town hall we see today!

Le Conquet

we move by car to the plage de Blancs Sablons in the presqu’île de Kermorvan, once there we set out on foot all over. There is a huge beautiful sandy beach after a long passageway of sand and wood stairs down to the beach. You can see bunkers of WWII gun emplacement and Fort Saint Louis done by Vauban in 1694 and used again in WWII. The expanses of this beach should be marvelous in summer and we may come back for that.

Le Conquet

Fort Saint-Louis (b.1850),It was a priority  to put in defence the cove of the Blancs Sablons whose device extends from the cove of Porsmoguer to the North (Plouarzel) at the Pointe de Kermorvan to the south or Le Conquet. Six works are thus raised from 1846 to 1852 and two redoubts for the infantry are modernized  originally, Vauban style. The defensive device combines the action of coast batteries, trenches, redoubts and mobile troops. The first three redoubts dating from the end of the 17C were largely rebuilt in the mid-19C as attested by the vintage  “1850 ” located above the entrance.  It was designed in a square plan for  60 men and protected by a dry ditch.

Le Conquet

You continue on the main road the trail up the protected site of Kermorvan, here is glorious walks amongst old stones with beautiful views of the sea and the rocky canyons done on it by the sea; all the way to the pointe de Kermorvan and a lighthouse as well as a fort de l’Ilette, another military marvel done in 1847 and still accessable in low sea levels on foot. We made it all the way to the pointe to see the lighthouse of kermorvan, which is not allow visits.

Le Conquet

We stopped by chance into Les Korrigans grill pizzeria restaurant at 7 rue Lieutenant Jourden and what a nice surprise, friendly talkative owners servers, and a nice English Setter dog, very well behave who play with the kids and my sons!!!  We sat down and ate our favorite pepperoni pizzas-2, calzone, galette bolognase, galette campagnard (potatoes and sausages), all wash down with wonderful Breton beers such as Lancelot blonde, Celtika with raspberries, Coreff blondes, bonnet rouge etc. Dessert for some were poire belle hélene, crêpe banana chocolate,and crêpe marrons(chestnuts). All for 23,60€ per person, reasonable.  No webpage .And we will be back!!

Le Conquet

Le Conquet

After the good meal we were ready to walk,small town. We did get some goodies at the Le Petit Coin de Paradis at 11 rue Poncelin, nice miniature decoration cup for our dining room; nice store loaded, and came back home. webpage Le Petit Coin de Paradis

Le Conquet

And there you another beautiful spot in my lovely Bretagne, right up the alley from my house along the voie express or expressway N165 Nantes-Brest. Le Conquet is a sublime seafarers town and the ocean is always knocking. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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

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