Archive for January 12th, 2021

January 12, 2021

The Alignments of Carnac, Part II!

Now this is a heavy subject and I won’t claim to know it well but live nearby so visit several times for the learning curve! The Alignments of Carnac are world famous even Unesco world heritage site and I am just 25 minutes from them! I have written before on them plenty of detail and history so will concentrate on the newer pictures shown here.

They are just south of me about 25 km or 12 miles, and we past by the famous megalithes or stones, as well as stopping by once for the formal knowledge about them. Indeed they have been here for centuries, and very popular now. I am not much into stones, mind you,  but its very historical and folks all over come to see it. The locals have a predilection for stones even decorating their homes with it on the facades. Which we of course ,have copy for our house! Carnac is nice for the ambiance of its restos bars and beaches in summer; its a place to go eat seafood, fish, and the great Breton galettes/crêpes with the cider or the white wine of muscadet/loire or the Breton beers.

The alignments of Carnac  are an exceptional megalithic  alignments located in the town’s limits of Carnac. They are the most famous and most impressive megalithic ensembles of this period with nearly 4 000 stones lifted around 4500 years BC. The alignments are however accessible to the public in high season through the visits conferences with a guide proposed by the Maison des Mégalithes,  and are on open access in winter period or between October and March.  They include 2 733 menhirs, probably largely below what existed in the Neolithic era!

Ideally, your visit to the Carnac alignments should start with a visit to the Maison des Mégalithes or House of Megaliths. The good news is that it is free to access. Its hours vary according to the season, so check the tourist office.

The Le Menec site is the easiest to access. It faces the House of Megaliths, a reception and information center for the alignments. Its spacious parking lot and the location of the museum are not the only reasons for its success! It is the site with the most menhirs. With the 2nd major site Kermario count nearly 3000 megaliths on site!

Carnac maison des megalithes jul12

It is at Menec that it is easiest to grasp the notion of stone alignments. On 11 very distinct rows, you have 1050 aligned stones, in ascending order of size. The spacings are regular enough so that we can clearly see the lines appear when we observe each row.

Carnac maison des Mega menec from roof jul12

At the Kermario alignments, you face the largest monoliths in the Breton region. Here, 1029 menhirs are aligned in 10 rows. Nearby, you will discover the Giant of Manio, the highest standing stone in Carnac with a height of 6.50 meters, or the strange quadrilateral of Manio.

carnac Kermario menhirs jun13

On the Kerlescan site, the alignments are more modest. You have 555 megaliths aligned in 13 rows in front of you. It is completed by the nearby Petit Menec site.

 

I will repeat and update several webpages that will help you further understand these stones and plan your visit to this wonderful area of Carnac.

The unique webpage of the Menhirs of Carnac stones: http://www.menhirs-carnac.fr/en/

The city of Carnac capital of the megaliths: https://www.carnac.fr/Territoire-d-exception/Capitale-des-Megalithes

The Carnac tourist office on the megaliths: https://www.carnactourism.co.uk/discover-carnac/standing-stones/megaliths-carnac

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on the Carnac megaliths: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/megalithic-sites-of-carnac

The dept 56 Morbihan tourist board on Carnac things to see: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/carnac

The Brittany tourist board on the megaliths of Carnac: https://www.brittanytourism.com/offers/les-alignements-de-carnac-carnac-en-1994701/

The Ministry of Culture of France on the Carnac megaliths: http://www2.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/megalithes/

There you go now you are loaded to come and see them. Worth the visit and let me know when in town. Carnac is special for the stones and more! Hope you have enjoy the tour.

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

January 12, 2021

And there is Locminé!

Oh well again one of the souvenirs of looking over older posts is that you find spots where I have not written before or very little even having pictures! This is one example of it and I am glad I found it as is very near me and passed by almost every week! Let me tell you a bit about Locminé

Locminé is located in the Morbihan department 56 , in the region of Bretagne. Its name means “Oratory of the monks” , and in the Breton language is call Logunec’h.

A bit of history I like

 Locminé in the 6C was founded a monastery by Saint Colomban. In the 7C the Abbey of Saint-Sauveur de Moréac was founded by the disciples of Saint Gildas in Locminé. Following the Viking raids around 919, the old monastery was destroyed. In ruins, in 1008, Félix, a monk of Fleury was called by Duke Geoffroy 1er to reconstruct the Abbey of Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys and the Abbaye Saint-Sauveur de Locminé. After having definitively settled in Rhuys in 1025, he retained Locminé as a simple Priory. Locminé will remain a Priory of Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys until 1791 . The importance of the priory of Sain-Sauveur declined over the centuries, to the point that in 1701, its buildings no longer exist.

The town was the scene of two battles during the Chouannerie wars against the French revolution. First, the Battle of Locminé in 1796. On April 7, 1796, on the orders of Georges Cadoudal, (native of Auray) general of the Catholic and Royal army of Morbihan, ordered Colonel Pierre Robinault de Saint-Régeant, commander of the Loudéac division, to go to the vicinity of Locminé. Pressed on several points, the Republicans revolutionaries retreated and took refuge in the city of Locminé. The second battle was call the Battle of Locminé of 1799. On October 29, 1799, the town of Locminé was attacked by the Chouans of the Bignan division commanded by Colonel Pierre Guillemot. The Republicans quickly took refuge in the city center. After trying for a while to resist in the cemetery, the Republicans fled in the direction of Baud, the Chouans in pursuit.

Like I said, passed by here many times and of course stop by. On one of my sons job, his bus stop here and we came to pick him up by the school Lycée agricole Anne de Bretagne at place Anne de Bretagne! Some of the more interesting things to see here are

The Chapelle Notre Dame du Plasker is in the city center of Locminé, a place of prayer would have existed in its location as early as the 11C. The present Chapel dates from the 16C. During the French revolution, the chapel was transformed into a material depot and served for some time as a deciders temple. In 1804, the town brought down the upper part of the bell tower and replaced it with the current  stove.  On the occasion of a marriage, in 1675, the register of catholicity called it Notre-Dame de la Belle-Place (Our Lady of the Beautiful square). Apparently, the square that bordered her had no particular beauty.

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Built in the mid 16C, of a rectangular shape church flanked to the north by a square chapel, opening onto the main nave by a large third-point arcade penetrating into committed columns. This Chapelle Notre Dame du Plasker, which supports a small square tower, was to be vaulted as the births of the warheads were seen, but the vault was never finished. The third-point windows have a flamboyant network: above that of the bedside outside, there is a mutilated crest. The Chapel is covered with a roof with a frame whose entrails, with crocodile heads, have been cut. There are some fragments of stained glass from the 16C and a pretty flaming pool. The Altarpiece dates from the 16C.

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The city of Locminé on the Chapelle Notre Dame du Plasker: http://www.locmine.bzh/94-decouvrir-locmine/213-la-chapelle-notre-dame-du-plasker

The Central Morbihan tourist board on the Chapelle Notre Dame du Plasker: https://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/chapelles-calvaires-et-leurs-mysteres/105-la-chapelle-notre-dame-du-plasker-a-locmine.html

The  Church of Saint-Sauveur and Saint-Colomban initially from the 16C was a compromise between the ancient granite facades and the modern Church of concrete, carpentry and slate. The facades are that of the old Chapel of Saint-Colomban, from the end of the 15C, to the left and that of the old church, on the right; the City Council had decided, in 1972, to demolish the Church which had become obsolete, nowwith  only the two portals of the west façade. In the old church there was a stained glass window of Saint-Colomban integrated into the new construction: the panels of this stained glass were reassembled in a vertical strip behind the altar.

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The Church of Saint Sauveur and Saint Colomban, finished in 1976, however the old church  was used for meetings of corporations of butchers, tanners, carpenters, etc. During the French revolution, the chapel was transformed into a material depot and served for some time as a decider temple. In 1804, the municipality had the upper part of the steeple cut down and replaced it with a stove. When the town was endowed with a fire pump, the municipality found nothing better than the shed for the carriages. Throughout the 19C, and even beyond, the chapel became the meeting place of the Marian Congregation of young Girls. At the beginning of the 19C, the church escaped demolition.

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This current Church of Saint Sauveur and Saint Colomban preserves the facades of the old church and the neighboring Chapel of St. Colomban from the 16C. The two churches have the same flamboyant décor with third-point doors with decorated or basket handles inscribed in large curly braces, windows with flamboyant lattice. On the western portal of the Church rises a large square stone steeple with polygonal arrow. Church and Chapel, which communicate with each other through a huge modern arcade, are covered with frames redone in recent times. As the stained glass windows of the chapel are of the 16C, well preserved, depicting various scenes of the life of Saint Colomban. The altarpiece of the high altar, and known as altarpiece of the true Cross, in polychrome wood, dates from the 16C.. The reliquary and the hunting of Saint-Colomban, in wood and white iron, date from 1758.  The Church was made up of two aisles and exhibited various carved motifs such as gargoyles, crests, etc. The Cross presents a crucified Christ with characters at his side, the Virgin on the back, all topped with a small pediment. The cylindrical barrel is plugged into a cubic base. The whole is on a pedestal bearing various names engraved to correspond to a re construction  in the early 19C.

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The city of Locminé on the Church Saint Sauveur and Saint Colomban: http://www.locmine.bzh/94-decouvrir-locmine/212-l-eglise-saint-sauveur-et-saint-colomban

The Central Morbihan tourist board  on the Church Saint Sauveur and Saint Colomban : https://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/chapelles-calvaires-et-leurs-mysteres/119-l-eglise-st-sauveur-de-locmine.html

Locminé is part of the Central Morbihan agglo community of 18 towns. The webpage: http://www.centremorbihancommunaute.bzh/nous-connaitre/communes-membres/locmine/

And there you go folks, a newbie in my blog and so deservently, and there is Locminé. Oh best to reach it from the N24 expressway out of Rennes, Also D767 from Vannes and from me the forest beautiful D16. The market is held every Thursdays from 8h to 13h in city center. the train station closest is at Vannes and the airport at Lorient (see posts) . Limited bus service line 3 to Vannes via Breizhgo, the Breton transports site at Place Anne de Bretagne. Hope you enjoy the post, and thanks for reading me!

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

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January 12, 2021

Auray : harbor of Saint Goustan!!

And again bringing back older posts to give them a new light and for me nostalgia moments of always; thanks for reading me and our support all these years. Let me tell you about a nice post me think that I will update the links and revise the text a bit. Hope you enjoy as I

Today was a nice weather day ,hot and plenty of tourist from all over the world is the mood here in my coastal breton lands of the Morbihan. We are getting ready to go out in our vacation to the Pyrénées and before visit by the wife’s brother and family from the ch’tis nord 59!

We went out to Saint Goustan not far from where we used to lived in Brec’h  before moving to Pluvigner. Still we are about 14 km from Saint Goustan or less than 9 miles.

What can I say more, it is sublime like an islands in heaven. The only drawback is the climate for most of the year is windy ,cold and rainy, but around June to September very places can compete with any in the world. I have written several posts on Auray in general so lots of info in my blog on this area.   At Saint Goustan, a very steeply area by the Loc’h river  , confluent of the Auray river that ends at the Atlantic ocean. You can get on the little train or petit train in the Place Saint Sauveur for a first look without breaking your knees! the place is very hilly and cobblestones floors.

We went out with the family and the visiting family to our favorite galette place at Saint Goustan , a memorable historical and gorgeous harbor to eat at Créperie Saint Sauveur.  We had our usual galette madrilene, savoyards, goat cheese salads, etc with coco nuts ,banana splits ices and plenty of bottles of the local Coat-Albret brut cider all for about 18 euros per person,  great place, great food, good friends and reasonable prices, heavens. The visitors like it too….  It has become our central foodie place and already know the owners even seen them shopping with us! webpage: https://www.creperie-saint-sauveur-auray.fr/

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As the brother and family were trying out our Interceltique festival in Lorient, all about the Celtic people from France, UK, and Spain with lots of celebration superb but we have been already. It is something to see indeed. webpage: https://www.festival-interceltique.bzh/

We headed back to Vannes to do some last minute shopping for our trip and some tools for the house like a lawnmower machine! and then headed back to Saint Goustan for ice creams at the L’Igloo !!! superb ice cream I had the dark chocolate large cone with five flavors from strawberry ,coconut, mousse de chocolat, chocolate raspberry, and banana wow for 5,70 euros ;great you should try it big cone! Over 150 flavors and branch in Carnac Plage/beach too which we of course have tried too . Tourist office of Carnac webpage: https://www.ot-carnac.fr/fiche/glacier-l-igloo

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I believe I have mentioned this before but here it goes again; who was Saint Goustan? The district bears his name now, the patron Saint of the fisherman and marines. He was born in 974 in Cornouailles and raised by pirates at 18 yrs old, wounded he was left abandon in the island or île d’Houat out from the Gulf of Morbihan  in the Atlantic ocean where he lived by providence that provided him with fish , so he is represented by a fish, and the care of Saint Félix, that will convert him to Christianism.  He became a monk in 1025 and founded a priory on the island or île de Hoëdic  also close to the island above. He now rests with his brother monks in the abbey of Saint-Gildas de Rhuys ,Presqu’île de Rhuys (see post).

Not only Benjamin Franklin has a plaque, and wharf name after him but also a bar, resto, and the auberge with a plaque. We remember Benji a lot!!! As he landed here to ask the king of France for help in the US Independence war inspired by Lafayette!  However, here ,also set sail for Acadia (Canada) “Razilly’s expedition ( brothers Isaac de Razilly  and younger Claude)  of three ships, holding 300 men, perhaps a dozen or so women, and supplies aplenty, all financed by his own trading company, departed Auray in early July 1632 and arrived at La Hève three months later.  He left most of the men and supplies at La Hève (Nova Scotia), until then just another fishing station on the Atlantic shore of Acadia but now his new headquarters, and hurried to Port-Royal ( today Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia ) to take possession of the old post from the surviving Scots, who he returned to Britain via France.  After 18 years of neglect and English interference, French suzerainty in greater Acadia finally was restored.

The Bay of Quiberon area tourist office on Auray/Saint Goustan in English: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/the-port-of-saint-goustan-in-auray

The south Morbihan tourist board on the islands in French: https://www.morbihan.com/accueil/cote-mer/les-iles-terres-du-large

The tourist office of Bretagne on Saint Goustan in English: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/auray-port-of-saint-goustan/

We then did our usual walk around this gorgeous place taking some pictures all seems beautiful to me. Enjoy the Morbihan, and do try Saint Goustan. You will love it as we do!!

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

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