Saint Gildas de Rhuys , the ocean views!

And continuing in my road warrior trips in my beautiful Morbihan (Breton language for small sea as French would be petite mer). It never cease to amazed me the wonderful treasures architecturally, historical and just plain sights of my Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne or Breizh .

Again I have come here before, but this time took a bit more time with new text and photos on Saint Gildas de Rhuys!

Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys is on the Presqu’ïle de Rhuys peninsula. Its coasts open onto a part of the Atlantic Ocean called Mor Braz (sea from the Gulf of Morbihan to the Atlantic Ocean), but also on the Gulf of Morbihan.

It was at the beginning of the 6C that a monk named Gweltas (Gildas) fled Great Britain and founded the Celtic abbey on the peninsula. Everything begins to come to life: the impenetrable forests are demolished, the salt flats dug, the first tide mills begin to grind the grain of the harvest. Neither Sarzeau, nor Arzon, nor Suscinio, nor the port of Crouesty still exist, but the Saint-Gildas de Rhuys Abbey (see next post) carries its influence well beyond the borders of the peninsula. Under the French revolution, the town, then simply named Saint-Gildas, temporarily bore the name of Abélard.  It was in 1961 that the town singled out its name by adding de-Rhuys.

Simone Signoret accompanied by Yves Montand bought a corner lot of land, towards the port aux moines; Simone’s daughter, Catherine Allégret became its owner.

Some other things to see and do here are:

Head for the Pointe du Grand Mont and the discovery of the Port aux Moines.Facing the ocean, a rocky coast intersected with creeks ends at the Pointe de Grand Mont. Admire remarkable views of the islands of Houat, Hoëdic, Belle-Île-en-Mer and the Quiberon peninsula. To the north, discover the Gulf of Morbihan and its many small cut out bays. You then arrive at the Grand Mont. All along the path, the succession of creeks and cliffs offer an incredible spectacle in all weathers.

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This simple Cross, built on the height of the Grand-Mont, rises thirty-two meters above sea level. Each year, a pilgrimage takes place there for a final tribute to the missing sailors. From the point, a flight of stairs, carved into the rock, leads to the cave of Saint Gildas, at the bottom of which is a statue of the saint. He would have approached there in the 7C to evangelised Brittany. A truly original location for a statue! A customs path winds around the Pointe de Grand Mont tip, and allows you to walk several kilometers without leaving the edge of the ocean.

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The Port Aux Moines , formerly a natural shelter in a rock fault used by the monks of the abbey, Port aux Moines still exists within the current port. Note in winter the port is empty of boats all in protected garages.  The dolmen of Port-aux-Moines  is a megalith located at the Pointe de Men-Maria, just west of the Port-aux-Moines. The dolmen is made up of half a dozen orthostats covered by a single cover slab. Nothing remains of the original corridor of this dolmen.

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The city of Saint Gildas de Rhuys on the Port aux Moines: https://www.saint-gildas-de-rhuys.fr/le-port-aux-moines/

The Tour Prison at Place Mgr Ropert;  Dated by many from the 16C, the prison tower could have been built after the abbey of Saint Gildas was granted a third pillar of jurisdiction by the Duchess Anne of Brittany in 1503. From then on, the monks had authority of high jurisdiction (death penalty) but did not themselves render the sentences that were delegated to lay officers of the abbey jurisdiction.  After the French revolution and according to tradition, this building adjoining the bailiff’s house was used as a home for the coast guards, as a seneschal; court, then as a sobering up room under the surveillance of the rural guard. Until the 1955s, it had an exterior stone staircase giving access to the room on the 1st floor, replaced by a staircase on the garden side. Nowadays, this tower is the privileged place for bargain hunters of old books, prints etc. Pascal Mauffret’s little book paradise opens its door to the garden.

The city of Saint Gildas de Rhuys on the tour prison bookstore: https://www.saint-gildas-de-rhuys.fr/tour-prison/

The main beaches here we like and written before are the Plage de Kerfago beach is a small family beach, about 160 meters long. Practical: Access by road from Port aux Moines. Car park. Swim at your own risk. Pets not allowed. Children’s games, fitness trail. GR 34 hiking trail,  and the Plage de Port Maria beach is the smallest beach closest to the village of St Gildas. It has 2 accesses: by rue Pierre Mesmer from the abbey church or by rue Pierre Michelot from the port aux Moines. Port Maria beach is about 150 meters long. Practice: Unsupervised swimming. Animals not allowed. GR 34 hiking trail.

The city of Saint Gildas de Rhuys on its beacheshttps://www.saint-gildas-de-rhuys.fr/categorie/decouvrir/les-plages/

This is a great natural area along the coast with great big cliffs overlooking the ocean and nice places to unwind with the whole family. We do come often but not enough again ::) Hope you enjoy the post as we do

The Gulf Morbihan tourist office on Saint Gildas de Rhuys :https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/presquile-rhuys/saint-gildas/

You have it all for a great time as each time here we do. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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6 Comments to “Saint Gildas de Rhuys , the ocean views!”

  1. I especially like the story of the cross and the missing sailors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very scenic and calm views. Ocean views are always fantastic. I never heard of the Gulf of Morbihan so I’m glad to learn about it here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A new place I have never heard of before, and I also like the picture of the cross. Thank you for posting this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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