The Abbey of Notre Dame de Langonnet!!

And off I go again into the updating revising and exchanging pictures from old posts to give them a refreshing new life and updated links. Thanks again for following me along the trail in my road warrior ways.

This time I  bring you to one of the off the beaten path monuments of my lovely Bretagne. Let me tell you a bit more on the Abbey of Notre Dame de Langonnet!!

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This is really the town and the abbey with a church (see post) all in one, even a unique park! All this in my beautiful Morbihan!

Langonnet is part of the Cornish area of the Morbihan and bordering the Côtes-d’Armor Dept 22. The town  was part of the bishopric of Cornouaille. The language used was Breton Cornish until the linguistic changeover to French which took place in the 1950’s. The Cornish was used in the cantons of Gourin, Faouët, while the rest of the Department spoke the Breton Vannetais (except the eastern end that spoke Gallo). Langonnet is equidistant from Gourin and Faouët at about 9-10 km and is located in the center of a triangle linking the towns of Gourin, Le Faouët and Plouray.(see posts) The main admin town is  La Trinité-Langonnet , bordering the Gourin-Glomel-Rostrenen road; while the Langonnet Abbey is located on the road to Plouray.

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A bit of history I like , brief ok….

In 1136, Duke Conan III of Brittany, at the request of his mother the Duchess Ermengarde, granted the founding charter of Langonnet Abbey. Monks from the Abbey in the Diocese of Blois settled on the edge of the Ellé river near the Roman way Vorgium-Blabia (current Port-Louis). Around 1146, Maurice de Carnoët or Saint Maurice  became the Abbot before becoming the first Abbot of the Abbaye Saint-Maurice de Carnoët en Clohars-Carnoët (see post). Langonnet Abbey had to suffer from the League War. The monks were forced to leave the premises and the Church was transformed into a stable. When the monks returned in 1598 after three years of absence the Lords of the vicinity had seized most of their land.

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The story goes that at the request of his mother, Ermengarde, in 1136, Conan III, Duke of Brittany, grants to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, great figure of the Cistercian order, land on the banks of the Elle river to built an Abbey. The wars of Religion, mainly the League from 1590 to 1598, were fatal to the Abbey. The expelled monks will only find ruins back in 1598. The preacher Julien Maunoir preached missions to Langonnet in 1646 and 1666.  The Abbey will be rebuilt from 1688 to 1788.

The property of Langonnet Abbey is sold at auction as national property in 1791, during the French revolution as many of course.  In 1793, the Abbey became a rallying place for the region’s Chouans (fighting back at the French revolution); at the end the Abbey was occupied by Republican troops (revolutionaries) from 1795. Following the French Revolution, which marks the end of the presence of the monks in these places, buildings and close dependencies, reserved by the State, are transformed in 1806 in Haras National in Hennebont. In 1858, the  monks transferred to the former Cistercian Abbey of Women in Hennebont.

Emperor Napoleon I settled there by decree in 1806, the first public stud farm of Brittany with forty stallions and ten broodmares. The Langonnet stud was moved to Hennebont in 1856-1857 (see post) and the Abbey returned to the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit to  rediscovers its religious vocation. Like the other towns of the surrounding townships, Langonnet experienced two waves of emigration to North America the first in the 19C, when one of the first to leave made a wonderful account of his expedition and the second in the 1950’s, when the Consul of Canada made a promotional campaign in this part of Morbihan, and 59 persons from the town departed to Canada and 62 to the United States between 1948 and 1953. So check out your lineage!!

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Therefore, we went and nice signs to lead you here on the side road D128 which becomes the D790 to the Abbey entrance about 100 meters from it where the parking area is located. You go in and ride into the abbey property to the parking in the back.  And this is the Abbaye of Notre Dame de Langonnet! Right behind the chapter Chapel passing buildings where the monks live,once out you see to your right the walk path of peace and meditation where you find fountains and trails to prayer; then if turn to the left , you come into the main entrance of the abbey. Push the door right in and walk right into the cloister garden. Around it you will see door one small one with stained glass go ahead and open the door and the light is on the wall by the door as you come in ,turn it on yourself! Once out back in the cloister corridor you come to another door less nice but go ahead and open it too, Inside is the wonderful chapter chapel gorgeous.

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After various transactions, the missionaries of the congregation of the Holy Spirit settled in the Abbey. Nowadays, they still occupy it . Currently the Abbey is as follows: three-body logis Horseshoe shape enclosed by the Church, built around the cloister.  Massive and modest, the bell tower is typically Cistercian. The Hall or room of the chapter shows an already fine Gothic art, with this elegant arch lowbed based on thin pillars. Its capitals are decorated with clover leaves, acanthus, Ivy or oak. The architecture of the chapter room is always very neat. Each morning, the monks gathered there to read a chapter of the rule of Saint Benedict, commented on by the Father Abbot, who then read the tasks of the day.

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The Notre-Dame of Langonnet Abbey contains an African Museum that it says is quite remarkable with a permanent collection, although raining no time to see this time. It has room or salle I general presentation of museum with the masks; salle II Tools of the kitchen ,home décorations;salle III music instruments;salle IV weapons;salle V African masks We did saw the chapel and the major chapel and grounds of the abbey with a friendly help from the guardian, very nice.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must are

Official Abbey Notre Dame of Langonnet: http://www.abbayedelangonnet.fr/

The city of Langonnet on its heritage: https://www.langonnet.bzh/2018/05/16/decouvrir-le-patrimoine/

Local tourist board on the country of king Morvan on Langonnet: https://www.tourismepaysroimorvan.com/en/the-local-towns-and-villages/langonnet-1010500

There you woulf have a wonderful full day in lovely old Langonnet to enjoy these wonders of our world. Do enjoy the Abbey and Church and more in Langonnet, my Morbihan of course!

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

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