Archive for February 20th, 2021

February 20, 2021

Church of Saint-Mathieu at Morlaix!

This is a nice church off the beaten path in Morlaix and I will update for all with new text and links. The original story was from January 2019! Hope you enjoy the Church of Saint Mathieu in Morlaix!

Ok so let me tell you a bit more on a nice church on a nice town we had visited couple times, this is Morlaix. Hope you enjoy the brief tour as I ,and thanks for reading my blog all these years since 2010! See my other posts on Morlaix in my blog.

The Church of Saint-Mathieu is located in MorlaixFinistère, Dept 29, region of Bretagne. It was during the 11C that the Abbey of St. Matthew near Le Conquet, founded in Morlaix, the Priory of Saint-Mathieu.  The current Church was built in 1824; it replaces a Gothic church dating from 1498, succeeding itself to the primitive priory Church probably Romanesque. The Bell Tower, it, dates from the 16C. It is one of the first witnesses of the Renaissance style in Brittany.



The jewel of the Church of St Mathieu is the opening statue of Notre Dame du Mur (Our Lady of the Wall). This Virgin is in the catalogue of the treasures of the churches of France; It was reportedly carried out around the year 1400 in the Cologne region (Germany).  Also note to the left of the Choir, two polychrome wooden bas-reliefs representing the Last Supper and the foot washing. To the right of the Choir, a high relief of the crucifixion. All, coming from the Collegiate Church of the Wall.  The whole of the Crucifixion , the great Christ, probably from the Spanish origins has the strange and painful expression. To its right, Mary, mother of Jesus. To the left: John, the Evangelist. The statues are ancient, they come from the old Church of Saint-Mathieu, or from the collegiate Basilica of Our Lady of the Wall destroyed in the French revolution.




The stained glass windows evoke the life of St. Mathieu. The choir, made in 1883, represents above  Saint Mathieu writing his Gospel  , and downstairs, the four great doctors of the Latin Church with in the middle, the Pope Gregory the Great; right, Saint Augustine holding his Treaty of the city of God; back, Saint Ambrose; left, Saint Jerome. You see below this stained glass, the golden wooden Tabernacle of the late 17C.  The organ buffet is from 1667. The organ, transformed by Heyer in 1872, has 2 keyboards of 18 sets.

And I said brief ok. Here are some webpages to help you enjoy the trip to Morlaix, worth the detour indeed.

The city of Morlaix on its heritage in French:

The Bay of Morlaix tourist office on Morlaix heritage:

The Finistére dept 29 tourist board on Morlaix:

The Bretagne/Brittany tourist board on Morlaix in English:

It is a nice harbor bay city with lots of interestings things to see, as written in my previous posts on Morlaix. However, the old architecturally nice historically relevant monument such as the Church of Saint Mathieu are our favorites.

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

Tags: ,
February 20, 2021

Sarzeau ,and its castles!!!

Ok so I bring you back to my Morbihan and wonderful Presqu’Ïle de Rhuys where we have the main city Sarzeau. The area here is filled with castles but unlike other areas of my belle France, here they are mostly still private properties.   Let me tell you again about Sarzeau , and its castles! Hope you enjoy as I.

I have to say as many here do with pride, this is the only administrative department of France that the name is not French! You will be in Dept 56 Morbihan or in French would be Petite Mer, small sea. This is what is call in Breton language, Mor=sea bihan=small. And you should know my lovely Brittany is Bretagne in French but in local Breton is Breizh! And now you come into the Presqu’île de Rhuys or the Rhuys peninsula to visit the nice small town of Sarzeau. The most known castle here ,Suscinio, and resident of the Dukes of Brittany had a separate post in my blog.

Sarzeau has several islands which are administratively attached to it such as the Isle of Ouefs, Godec Island, Stibiden Island, Govihan Island, and Brannec island.  Sarzeau is limited to the west by the towns of Arzon and Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys, to the northeast by that of Saint-Armel and to the southeast by that of the Tour-du-Parc; To the north by the Gulf of Morbihan and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean. With more than 65 km of coastline, Sarzeau is one of the towns of Brittany and even France that have the longest coastline!!


We at at the Connetable Hotel Restaurant, Place Marie Le Franc facing place Richemond by the church , and it was wonderful of mussels, steaks, banana splits, and good rose wine of Bordeaux! However, they are closed and new owners created the L’Hôtel du Golfe which we have not try yet. Here just for the memories!

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist board on Sarzeau in French:

This peninsula of Rhuys has plenty of castles , unfortunately most are private, still in old families descendants or partially open by reservation or in Summer. And we keep missing them by traveling outside the area in those months! So when we tried again and again and more of the same lol! These are very proud and private folks.  Let me just give you a couple of examples ok

The Château or Castle of Kerlevénan is built in the late 18C, by 1780, the Castle, built in the classical style was restored in the 19C in the Italian taste. Chinese pavilion, family Chapel and English garden/ park. All done on behalf of Marie-Joseph-Armand de Gouvello, Lord of Keriaval, Kelevenan, Kerhar, Kerbot and Kerlen. Born in 1747, he married in the same year 1780, Catherine-Charlotte de Peyrac, a native of Santo Domingo. He is a member of the Court by the order of nobility, in the States of Brittany of 1788. He emigrated from the French revolution in Augsburg, Bavaria, and then to Brighton, Sussex, England. The castle is sold as a national property during its exile. Under the restoration of the monarchy, the castle is bought by his son who had also, emigrated with his parents in Bavaria and England, then in Italy (see post on the Hotel de Limur of Vannes) heir to the Castle, the founding son of the rural senior rest homes of Kerhar and Kerbot, in Sarzeau, near the Castle of Kerlevénan. He is a legitimist Royal member of the Morbihan from 1871 to 1876, President of the society of patronage of the agricultural orphanages of France, Honorary President of the society of Breton rescuers and of the Board of Directors of the École Saint-François-Xavier in Vannes. The castle is open every day from July 1st to September 15th, except on Wednesdays, from 14h to 18h, and by appointment from October 1st to June 30th. Which we always missed lol! 

The Morbihan dept 56 Tourist Board on the Kerlevénan castle in French:

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist board on the Kerlevénan castle in French:

The Bretagne tourist board on the Kerlevénan castle in English:


The Château or Castle of Truscat, is from 1702, revamped towards 1830 at the site of a Manor of the 16C, after 1850, the works of embellishment were carried out. The Chapel is built between 1625 and 1630. The castle is in the middle of a beautiful park on the edge of the Gulf of Morbihan with centuries-old trees. It belongs to the descendants of the Francheville family for more than five centuries. In 1815, General Bernadotte, the future King of Sweden (and from which Royal line is today) , presided over the feast of the pacification. A friend of Jules de Francheville, Frédéric Ozanam often stayed there. A private property is not visit. Even with call for reservation!!


Both of these castles have to be seen up close otherwise the park property is too far to be seen from the road. Kerlevénan can be seen a bit from the road D780 that goes into the peninsula but rather fast difficult for pictures.

You all come here to the Presqu’ile de Rhuys!! And of course Sarzeau and a lot of off the beaten path places to see and enjoy.

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

Tags: ,
February 20, 2021

Guerlédan and the Chapel of Saint Suzanne!

In my continuing saga of road warrior trips and lately updating my older posts in my blog , I take you to a real off the beaten path spot in my lovely Bretagne. As I rode more into deep Bretagne, more beautiful spots emerge each with a story of its own, rather nice. I like to take you back to Guerlédan and the Chapel of Saint Suzanne or Chapelle de Sainte Suzanne!

There is so much to see in Bretagne, imagine France, no wonder is visited by so many and leading. I have criss cross this region and I am amazed of the beauty here. I like to tell you about a small Chapel with a lot history in off the beaten path area of my Bretagne.   Guerlédan is a town in the Côtes-d’Armor Dept 22 of the region of Brittany/Bretagne. The town was born from the consolidation of the towns of Mur-de-Bretagne and Saint-Guen, which became delegated towns in January 2017. Its capital is located in Mur-de-Bretagne. From Paris to make it easier for most visitors, you can come here by car on the A13/A84 and at Rennes take the N164 direction Brest; never done it but do not think there is train service here. The estimated car travel from Paris is 4h30. I must add this town is famous for hosting the Tour de France bicycle race. From my area you go up from Vannes on the road D767 direction Pontivy/St Brieuc.

I have driven by here several times but hardly ever stop as it is a cross road town. However, there is a nice place call the Sainte-Suzanne Chapel of now Guerlédan before in Mur-de-Bretagne. It was built from the end of the 15C with the help of Rohan who were the Lords and pre-eminent family. It bears the name of Suzanne, an Israelite Princess who lived in the 6-7C BC. The book of Daniel, incorporated in the Old Testament, refers to her life in the chapter.


The local story tells that the parishioners were hostile to the move of the Chapel to the village, and the day the statue of Sainte Suzanne was to be transferred; only the sacristan was there. The statue was laid on a cart harnessed by young oxen. As the loading was over, the oxen were packed in the descent and the statue was thrown ashore. She was found standing at the foot of an oak tree not far from the present Chapel. The faithful saw a sign and accepted the new place of worship!

The Chapelle de Sainte Suzanne is notable for the motifs of its paneling and other 18C paintings. The Bell Tower was built between 1757 and 1764, thanks to the generosity of the parishioners. Elegant without a doubt, the double arcade of its porch, its two galleries with molded balusters, its slender and serrated arrow, the pinnacles, the numerous skylights and gargoyles are beautifully combined with the building. One will notice a wrought iron grate in one of the shutters of the great portal that allowed the Lepers to follow mass, without going into the Chapel. The size and shape in the Latin Cross, would have allowed her to play the role of Church, which she did on two occasions: during the reconstruction of the Church, at the end of the last century, then after the storm of October 1987.

The Oaks surrounding the Chapel of Sainte Suzanne were planted around 1700 by the Lords of Rohan; they were immortalized by the painter Jean-Baptiste Corot, he is considered one of the greatest master painter of the 19C, for both his landscapes and his figures, his style is simple, sensitive and pure. He came several times to Mur de Bretagne between 1829 and 1854, greeted with his friend Alfred Le Cerf (at the Castle) he has strangely painted the fountain Sainte Marguerite, which is found on the paintings titled, the fire of Sodom, the destruction of Sodom and Bretons at the fountain.

Inside, the paintings adoring the vault at this Chapel Sainte Suzanne were made in the 18C thanks to Delaporte. They were restored in 1878, then in 1975 by the Beaux-Arts. There is also an altarpiece of the 17C and 18C, as well as a low relief that comes from the old rood screen of the Church. The statues that can be admired are those of Ste. Suzanne, St. Catherine, Saint Roch, Saint Yves, and Saint Anthony. Also, the paintings represent St. Suzanne defended by Daniel, St. Suzanne in prayer, the encounter of Jesus with his cousin John the Baptist, the Holy Trinity; Anne and Joachim, the grandparents of Jesus, as well as Mary and Joseph. Only the choir today has stained glass windows, the other were stolen over time.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official webpage of the Chapelle Sainte Suzanne

The local Lake of Guerlédan on the Chapel of Sainte Suzanne

The city of Guerlédan on the Chapel Sainte Suzanne:

Hope you enjoy this nice Chapelle Sainte Suzanne, off the beaten path monument of the many to see in my lovely Bretagne and my belle France!

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

Tags: ,
February 20, 2021

The other monuments of Finistére!!

I like to update this post from 2019, a bit recent but special for my road warrior trips in my lovely Bretagne of my belle France! And on the road, we passed by several towns perhaps too small to stop or in a rush only to come back later if we feels warranted. I like to give this post a new light with some of the nice architecture in monumental churches of the Finistére dept 29! Hope you enjoy the ride!

These are churches that I have encountered driving around the Finistére dept 29 always with another destination in mind, but lovely monuments the same. You might be there first or might give me the impetus to go and see them more up close and personal. Therefore, let me tell you briefly about these wonderful monument of our lives each unique in its own right. This is the story on the other churches of Finistére dept 29 in the towns of Anzano, La Faou, La Forêt-Fouesnant, Landudec, Plobannalec, Plouhinec (not to be confuse with same name in my Morbihan dept 56), and Trégunc. I hope you will enjoy this brief introduction to them.

The Church of Saint Pierre (Peter) of the Links in Arzano was built in 1641 in the form of a Latin cross, without a side. It replaces another very ancient of the 11-12C and is the subject of important restorations and transformations in 1744 as evidenced by an inscription on the east gable, above the bull-eye that illuminates the high Altar. The bell tower was erected in 1778. It is an octagonal tower, capped in 1896 with a trunnion dome with a gallery in the east and west. On the façade there is a niche that housed a wooden statue of St. Peter. The bell tower has a small bell from 1704 and a larger one, installed in 1883 after construction of the interior structure still visible today.  The placates hosts a granite stele of the iron age (-800 to-700 BC) as well as a Pietà installed on the base, dated from 1761, of a single granite cross.  The church now houses several wooden statues from the 15C  to the 18C, a high Altar from the end of the 17C, and six stained glass windows from 1891. Webpage parishes of  Quimperlé on Arzano


The Church of Saint-Sauveur at Le Faou. The Church was founded by the Hospitaliers of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem; and was rebuilt in 1544 and 1680, at the end of the Renaissance with a dome bell tower facing the port. Its short nave contrasts with a large double transept. The steeple, very high, dates from 1629, the porch bears the date of 1593 and 1613 and has preserved its wooden statues of the twelve apostles, the bedside  in Beaumanoir style  dates from 1680. The high Altar and the two confessionals date from the 17C as well as the baptismal font,  the baptismal font  with snakes is unique in Brittany by the richness of its sculpture. Many statues decorates the Church including those of our Lady of Mercy, two Virgin mothers, Saint Herbot, Saint Yves, Saint Éloi, St. Barbe, etc. The church is in much decay and there is an effort by the Heritage Foundation to raise funds to save it, slow due to the virus the renovation has begun again: More info here:

A bit more on Le Faou with the city page on tourism in French:

The Church of Notre Dame d’Izel-Vor (also known as Our Lady of Low Sea from the Breton) is the parish church of La Forêt-Fouesnant. This church built largely during the 1st half of the 16C is dedicated to Notre-Dame d’Izel-Vor  .It is of a typical Gothic style in the Cornouaille. The dates carved on the walls are found: 1538 under the porch, 1628 above the Baptistery. The interior of the Church is remarkable for the richness of its furnishings: the baptismal font in granite and wood, the painting of the Rosary, the high altar and its altarpiece, which are from the 17C. Polychrome statues of local Saints complement the décor. Its 15C  Calvary was used as a pulpit to preach the days of heavy attendance; which assumes that the parvis was much more extensive than today.  The city of La Forêt-Fouesnant on the church:

The Church of Sainte-Anne-et-Saint-Tudec, at Landudec of neo-Gothic style, rebuilt in 1904, contains only a limited number of vestiges of the old building (porch and bell tower) as well as some interior ornaments, including an Altarpiece of the Rosary of 1701, an Altarpiece of Sainte-Anne, a Pietà, a polychrome statue of Saint Tudec and a high Altar adorned with a remarkable last supper. The church was completely restored from 2002 to 2004. The city of Landudec on the church and its heritage:


The parish Church of St. Marc at Trégunc construction begins in 1865 the Church is consecrated in 1867. Thereafter, a number of additional works is carried out. The cemetery that juxtaposed the Church is transferred  to route de Pont-Aven. The octagonal sacristy is destroyed, and  the presbytery gardens are purchased by the City/Town Hall in 1960 to build a new one.  The construction follows a perfectly symmetrical Latin cross plane of three naves on an east-west direction.  The Church of St. Marc comprises a nave of five bays, with the transept and chorus, the ensemble reaches the length of 60 meters. The bedside is composed of two sacristies, north and south side. Inside, the floor is covered with granite slabs. The tourist office of Concarneau-Pont Aven on Trégunc and its heritage:


The Church of Saint-Winoc at Plouhinec  from the 16-18C, revamped during the 18C, the Church seems to be built on the site of an older church. It is shaped like a Latin cross and dominated by a gallery tower that overlooks an arrow. The tower is on the south face, dates and inscriptions that give the stages of its construction. The church  consists of a nave, five bays with aisle and a paneled frame, then two bays with lateral chapels, a transept and a choir. Flanked by aisles, the Church is bounded by seven arched arches, resting on octagonal pillars without capitals. The stained glass windows of the transept and the collateral were laid in 1993-1994. The high Altar dates from the 18C,  it has an altarpiece with four torsos, superimposed on three floors, the Tabernacle is in dais and the altar is framed by two adorers angels, surmounted by four cherubs. At the top of the Altarpiece there is a statue of the Sacred Heart of the 19C. In the niches of the Altar you see Christ, surrounded by St. Peter and St. Paul; to the left of the Altarpiece is the statue of Saint Winoc; to the right of the Altarpiece, you see Notre-Dame de Lorette. In the north transept, there is an Altar from the 18C and several statues frame the altar with the Angel Gabriel, the Virgin of the Annunciation, the Group of Saint Joseph and Jesus Child, the Group of Saint Anne and Mary Child. There is also an 18C Pièta and the reliquary of Saint Winoc. The Altar of the south transept is also from the 18C, and it is topped by a table dated 1652, representing the pain of the Father, with Madeleine. Several statues frame the Altar are St. Roch, St. Blaise, St. Nicholas, St. Sebastian, Christ with links 15C. The pulpit to preach is from the 18C. The organ, which dates from 1935, has eight games. The baptismal font dates from the 16C. The Altar with torsos column altarpiece is from the 18C. At the south altarpiece is a canvas titled “God of Mercy” which dates from 1652. The Church houses the statues of Saint Winoc 17C, the Virgin Mother 17C, Saint Anne, St. Roch, St. Sebastian, St. Augustine, St. Nicholas, Saint Blaise, Saint John the Baptist , a man of Sorrow , an unidentified Saint and a Pietà.

Not much in the town of Plouhinec on the church just briefly as part of the history:

A bit more on the heritage museums of Bretagne on the church:

An interesting history worth telling you here on Plouhinec.

The Spanish Civil War causes the exile of very many Spaniards in two waves. The first begins shortly after the bombing of the town of Guernica (April 26, 1937); it will bring between 120,000 and 140,000 refugees in France in 6 months. The second wave, which occurred in February 1939, is known in Spanish history as the Retirada (Retreat). Between 450,000 and 500,000 Spaniards enter France in a fortnight. Although geographically far from Spain, Finistère will be a land of asylum or exile for many of these Spanish refugees. In 1937, around 2,200 civilians and 500 combatants arrived. In 1939, 3,700 refugees, overwhelmingly civilians, arrived in a week, between February 1 and 8. In this exile from Finistère, Plouhinec played an exceptional role by being the Finistère center with the highest number of refugees. In all, there are estimates of 3,5 million Spanish descend persons in France nowdays. More on the story of Plouhinec from the town’s webpage in French:

There you go a huge inventory ready to be seen again up close and personal. For now just a showcase of the wonders we have in wonderful Finistére of my lovely Bretagne. Hope you enjoy this bit of architectural and  historical brief.

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

Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: