Archive for September 1st, 2020

September 1, 2020

Ruffiac: Church St Pierre et St Paul!

So Sunday is usually the day of travel with the boys, and this was no different. I look up all photos and realise not been back here in a few years with only 1h05 from home and one of my dear late wife Martine favorite. More on next posts.

In passing taking a new route from the N24 highway to the D8 we came upon a new town , rather village and a nice big church that even if passing made me think to come back for more. Therefore, let me give you a primer on the town of Ruffiac and its Church of St Peter and St Paul.

The town of Ruffiac is located in the Morbihan department 56, in the region of Bretagne. It is a town in the canton of Malestroit; and on the Malestroit-Guer and Ploërmel-Redon highways corridor. This territory is limited by the towns of Caro,by Missiriac and Saint-Laurent, by Saint-Martin, by Saint-Nicolas and Tréal. It is 45 km from Vannes.

In the 9C, the territory of Ruffiac largely depends on the Abbey of Saint-Sauveur in Redon. This territory was devastated by the Normans in the 10C. From 830, the cartulary of the abbey of Redon, mentions the parish church of Ruffiac. In the 11C, the monks of the abbey of Redon founded the priory of Notre-Dame-de-Pitié.

The Church Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul b.1920-1921. A primitive church is mentioned from 830 in Ruffiac, rebuilt in the 12C, enlarged in the 16C, restored in the 18C and in the 19C. The new church was rebuilt in 1920. Of the Romanesque construction, there remains a semicircular portal, decorated with small columns with simple capitals, a small window very splayed in the wall of the nave, and flat buttresses not protruding. The triumphal arch which separates the choir from the nave, is from the 15C. All the rest of the building has been redone in modern times. In 1956, the old bell tower built in 1920 was knocked down. On a stained glass window are represented the arms of the families of La Bourdonnaye and La Rués. The liturgical ornaments, offered by the Marquis de La Bourdonnaye, date from 1751.

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The parish church of Ruffiac is under the invocation of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The current church contains some remains of an old construction; thus, at the nave, there is a small very narrow Romanesque window; a semi-circular portal with three retreats, with small columns with simple capitals. A later period is the large ogival arcade, resting on simple cutters, between the choir and the nave, as well as a window accosted by the carved escutcheons of the Bourdonnaye and the Rués families.

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The city of Ruffiac on its heritage, do not know why does not list the church! http://www.ruffiac.fr/accueil_ruffiac/decouvrir_ruffiac/plan_dacces

In all, one of the highlights of my road warrior incursions into the Breton territory is that each time you find something to make you come back for more and this is the case of Ruffiac and its surrounding. Hope you enjoy the primer as I did.

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

September 1, 2020

Belz: Saint Cado and its chapel!!!

And here I am again on beautiful historical Saint Cado on a small island in the middle of the Etel ria in my gorgeous Morbihan! Eventually this Etel ria takes you to the Atlantic ocean!

I have been here before and just recently . My luck has it was able to go inside the famous Chapel of Saint Cado here, an architecture and historical marvel. Let me tell you a bit more with new text and photos!

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The Chapel of Saint-Cado is located in the estuary of Étel, on the island of Saint-Cado  town of Belz in the Morbihan dept 56  and dates mostly now from the 16C , the nave, the aisles and the choir date from the Romanesque period. Saint Cado (Kado), was born in 522 in Glywysing, former Kingdom of South-East Wales, son of King Saint Gwynllyw, and his wife St. Gladys.

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The village of Saint Cado has a rich historical and cultural heritage: chapels, stone houses, menhirs, dolmens, fountains, etc. The village is linked to the mainland and to the town of Belz by a stone bridge. On the other side of the legendary bridge, you will be seduced by the beautiful fishermen’s houses. On a small islet, a small oyster fisherman’s house, dating from 1894, photographed many times, has toured the world.  Open to walkers, the only coastal path on the island of Saint Cado will allow you to walk around it. From the stone bridge, the trail forms a loop and will bring you back to your starting point. By the presence of many small boats and equipment, fishing is still very present in the area. Absolute calm and a beautiful sunset over the water perfect the moment.

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The Hermitage of Saint Cado became a monastery, but, despite the gifts of the local lords, it failed to sustained itself. The present Chapel, measuring 16 meters long by  over 10 meters wide, and was restored in 1959, however most dates from the 12C. From a classic plan, it consisted of a nave with 3 spans, two aisles and a semicircular apse in the oven-bottom extending the nave. A beautiful altar Calvary dating from 1832, testifies to the spiritual activity of the place. It is one of the most curious Roman style churches in the Morbihan department. Built by the monks of the priory in the 11-12C, today only its nave and apse choir remain. A large chapel was added to this church in 1842, with a small porch and a sacristy.

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Inside, you will find the bed of Saint Cado, which in fact is a small altar always bathed in legends, since by bending down you would hear the sound of the sea and this would heal the deaf. Since then, the chapel has become, in fact, the center of pilgrimage for the hearing-impaired who come to seek healing. Below, a small fountain of devotion 18C (see post), regularly submerged by the tide. It is located at the edge of the foreshore on the Etel estuary. Built on a rectangular plan, it is made of a stone roof in the shape of an inverted nave, surmounted by a Celtic cross.

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Saint Cado was a monk from Wales in the 6C. He lived in Armorica (part of present day Brittany) between the 5C and the 7C. He came to find his compatriots driven out by the Saxon invasion and resided on the island of the Etel river which today bears his name. He built an oratory there, founded a monastery and devoted himself to the evangelisation of the countryside. He was also at the origin of the construction of the 100 meters causeway which connects the island to the land, which earned him a popular legend.

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The city of Belz on Saint Cadohttps://www.mairie-belz.fr/saint-cado,311.html

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Saint Cado: https://www.baiedequiberon.bzh/saint-cado-ria-d-etel

On the other side of the legendary stone bridge, you will let yourselves be seduced by the beautiful fishermen’s houses. The Etel estuary, fed by several rivers, forms with the picturesque Saint-Cado island one of the most beautiful corners of the region. A river valley invaded by the sea, it is a sheltered bay, dotted with islets. Very close to Lorient, oyster parks, peninsulas, wild beaches, dunes and marshes offer, in this inland sea, an unusual landscape of great beauty. You can discover, in the Etel ria, an incredible flora and fauna of the ria like herons, cormorants, sandpipers, and terns, etc. However, the pride of the Etel region is especially the oyster. You can also find mussels, clams, cockles or periwinkles. Enjoy it as we do!

A real paradise of seduction, calm, architecture, history and above all the beauty of the sea. The island of Saint Cado and its chapel are only  21 km from my house! It is worth the detour for all to see it. Recommended.

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

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