Archive for March 15th, 2021

March 15, 2021

Curiosities of Guidel!!

Ok so staying ,and why not! in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne and in my belle France I take you to coastal Guidel. I have told you a bit about the wonderful beaches here,Guidel Plage,  great ones indeed. Now let me tell you about the bourg or Guidel town with its curiosities. Hope you you enjoy the ride as I!

Guidel is bordering the Atlantic Ocean, limited to the west by the Laïta river which marks the border with the Finistère dept 29. It is a seaside resort of the coast of megaliths, its coastline has several sandy beaches. We past once again by city center on the wonderful Church Saint-Peter-Saint-Paul ; in the area the diocese of Vannes. The town of Guidel, which serves as the capital, is located at 10 km from Lorient and Quimperlé. Guidel’s seafront stretches over 4 km from the mouth of the Laïta to the Fort Bloqué. The coastline is made up of long beaches The beaches of Guidel, because of their exposure to the prevailing winds, are a surf spot. They are among the ten Breton sites most favorable to the practice of this sport. To the south-east of the town, extends an area of ​​ponds such as the ponds of Petit Loc’h and Grand Loc’h, and submersible meadows, marshes, fed by the small coastal river Saudraye and its tributary the Saut du Renard, which form a nature reserve. All beautiful!!

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A bit of the historical events that happened here are

In July 1342, six thousand troops, composed of Castilian (Spanish) mercenaries and Genoese crossbowmen, under the orders of Louis of Spain, dismounted at Guidel in Bas Pouldu after sacking the town of Guérande, while the fleet, made up of a hundred vessels which had brought them to port, anchored in the estuary of the Ellé river, the former name of Laïta. The objective of this military expedition was to take from the rear the stronghold of Hennebont, then held by the partisans of Jean de Montfort (helped by England) , by marching on Guidel and Pont-Scorff. This expedition ended in disaster since of the six thousand troops who landed, only 300 managed to re-embark, the others having been killed on the battlefield of Roscaquen en Rédené, killed by the Anglo-Breton soldiers of Gauthier de Mauny.

On October 1, 1746, as part of the War of the Austrian Succession, an English fleet of 52 ships, commanded by Admiral Lestock, landed 5,000 men at Pouldu (Bas Pouldu beach) in order to attack Lorient and seized the castle of Coëtdor. On October 2, 2000 enemies marched from the castle of Coëtdor and went to occupy the Moulin de la Montagne and the town of Plomeur; on 3 October they seized the town of Guidel and it was between these two towns that they began to form a camp where they took refuge; on the 4th October, they fired the cannon and summoned the garrison of L’Orient (Lorient) to surrender . All that was left to do was find the means to resist the efforts of the English. But once they arrived under the walls of Lorient, they did not dare to attack the city, when it was on the verge of capitulation. They re-embark on October 10, having lost only 20 men, and set sail for Quiberon. The Fontaine des Anglais  (fountain of the English on rue Monistrol in Lorient, would have been used for the water supply of the English troops and would correspond approximately to the extreme point of their advance.

On July 12, 1795, Royalist troops from the Quiberon expedition led by Joseph de Puisaye, landed on the beaches of Sarzeau (4,000 Chouans and 100 emigrants under the orders of Vincent de Tinténiac) and Guidel (3,000 Chouans, under the command of Lantivy-Kermeno and Jean Jan, dressed in red clothes to make it appear that they were English troops in order to take the Republican troops led by General Hoche from the rear, but the attack and the resumption of Fort de Penthièvre by the Republicans,(in favor of the French Republic)  routing the Royalist troops (oppose to French revolution), thwarted this plan.

After the withdrawal of Nazis troops in Brittany in August 1944, the town of Guidel found itself included in the Lorient pocket which remained held by the Nazis (Laïta river serving as a front line to the west) and suffered bombardments from allies. The military square in Guidel Cemetery houses the graves of 107 British, Commonwealth and Allied soldiers and sailors who died in WWII here.

While we were here; we decided to take a break and eat lunch by the bourg or Guidel town away from the beaches. We pick a picturesque Italian villa call La Villa Toscane  resto grill pizzeria at 15 place Jafffré. Very nice Toscane decoration , great welcome nice friendly service, big portions good prices , and great quality. We have pizzas of different combi I had the Mexicaine with chorizos and spicy beef, expresso coffee and a bottle of Côte de Provence St Tropez rosé we share all for 18 Euros per person, nice!! webpage: https://www.villatoscane-guidel.com/

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The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul ; 19C, rebuilt in the early 19C, in Gothic style. It is noted especially by its large steeple cushioned by a polygonal spire and built around 1840 the parish church of Guidel is dedicated to the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. It is a vast building, with low sides and polygonal arrow. The choir is lined with beautiful and numerous stalls, and the lateral altars are now dedicated to the Sacred Heart, the Rosary, Saint John the Baptist and the Trinity.

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The old church must have been from several eras of which there are few documents. Degraded during the French revolution, it was summarily restored in 1812 then completely rebuilt in 1856 after fifteen years of work. Its bell tower then culminated at 56 meters high. During WWII, the Nazis used its galleries as an observation post. In February 1945, the church could not resist the combination of Nazis mines (placed in the bell tower) and American shellings. The church was unusable. The fall of the steeple had crushed a third of the roof and walls; the tribune and the four bells lay under the rubble. Almost all the furniture was damaged. From December 1945 to June 1946, two Nazis prisoners restored the organ.

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On the night of October 16-17, 1948, the barely rebuilt Church of St Pierre et St Paul was the victim of a violent fire due to a short circuit. In less than two hours, the roof burned down, along with most of the furniture. Organ and woodwork spared in 1945 did not resist. It was not until 1960 that they found their church finally rebuilt, its steeple, 48 meters high, built in cement, due to insufficient resources allocated by the State. In 2009, its choir was embellished with a new sycamore wood altar and new parquet. In 2018, three of the four bells were restored.

Other things to see here at Guidel or Guidel plage are the great pleasure boat harbor at Guidel with great beach parking and plenty of restos and vacation homes even campings. Passing Fort du Loch built in 1756.   Along great beaches and wild coastal cliffs. All the way out to Lorient. The Kerméné tumulus, and the Saint-Mathieu Chapel. The territory of the town currently has the parish church (see above) and seven chapels which gave its name to a festival of classical music and jazz which is held in July ; formerly called Festival des 7 Chapelles, and today Festival Polignac.

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The town of Guidel on its history and heritage: https://www.guidel.com/decouvrir-guidel/fiche-didentite/patrimoine-architetctural-et-naturel/

The Lorient South Brittany tourist office on Guidelhttps://www.lorientbretagnesudtourisme.fr/fr/immanquables/guidel/

And there you folks another dandy in my beautiful coastal Morbihan. Guidel and Guidel plage are just wonderful and worth your detour me think. Hope you have enjoy this brief introduction and do see my other posts on Guidel in my blog.

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

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March 15, 2021

Church of Notre-Dame in Larmor-Baden!!

And here is another gem in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne in my belle France! This on the coast south of me and already a post on its coastal wonders. I need to update the one on the nice Church of Notre Dame of  Larmor-Baden!! Hope you enjoy the post and thanks for reading me over the years!

The town of Larmor-Baden is located on a peninsula on the banks of the Gulf of Morbihan, 14 km from Vannes and 14 km from Auray. Larmor-Baden has 4 Islands on its territory: the island of Berder (private), connected to the mainland by a submersible sand roadway, the island of Gavrinis (with a great cairn megalith stone), île Longue and ïle Radenec. The marsh of Pen an Toul occupies about 42 hectares within the town’s territory. This one is separated from the Gulf by a dike equipped with dikes, called Pont de Pen an Toul.

In 1857, Larmor is still a village dependent on the parish and the town of Baden. When in August 1858, Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie visited Brittany, the inhabitants of Larmor profited to solicit from their imperial majesties that their section be erected in the branch of the parish of Baden. In 1860, the Imperial decree, which erected the Larmor-Baden Church as a separate branch, was signed by Emperor Napoleon III. But it was only 64 years after the creation of the parish that the steps for the erection of the village of Larmor into the town Larmor-Baden and was finally erected in 1924.

The parish Church of Notre-Dame, blessed on July 29, 1880. It had as godmother of the bells, for the donation the Countess Dillon. Among the statues and paintings that adorn the Church, were donations or works of parishioners, the statue of Notre Dame of Larmor, in polychrome wood, holding a three-masts in her left hand and leaning with her right hand on a naval anchor and the other, a small painting watercolor depicting a brick-goëlette, the “Giralda”, offered by Captain Héno, in gratitude for being released safely, him and his crew, of a terrible storm in the North Atlantic in 1878.

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Some interesting facts about Larmor-Baden are:  Général de Gaulle docked at the port of Pen-Lannic on July 26, 1947, during his visit to Morbihan for ceremonies commemorating the fighting in the maquis of Saint-Marcel. Cardinal Roncalli, apostolic nuncio in Paris, who will be Pope John XXIII in 1958, was the guest of the Sisters of Saint-François, in Berder, on July 27, 1949. The day before, he presided over the pilgrimage of Saint-Anne d ‘ Auray!

The diocese of Arradon on the Church Notre Dame of Larmor-Badenhttp://www.doyenne-arradon.fr/autour-de-nos-paroisses/lieu/17/eglise-notre-dame-de-larmor-baden

The diocese of Vannes on the Church Notre Dame of Larmor-Badenhttps://www.vannes.catholique.fr/eglise-notre-dame-larmor-plage/

The town of Larmor-Baden with other things to see: https://www.larmorbaden.com/tourisme/sites-a-visiter

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist board on Lamor-Badenhttps://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/autour-golfe/larmor-baden/

Now you are all set to visit this wonderful coastal Morbihan area of Larmor-Baden and see its gems with great architecture and history. Hope you enjoy as I

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

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March 15, 2021

The curiosities of Guer!!!

And coming back at you with another off the beaten path gem of my beautiful Morbihan. This Guer has lots of architecture and history in it, and will let you know, but mostly we came to walked its inner center and the wonderful church. Therefore, let me give you a brief introduction to Guer!

The town of Guer is located in the Morbihan department 56, in the region of Bretagne. Guer includes four subdivisions such as Guer-Coëtquidan, Saint-Raoul, La Telhaie and Bellevue-Coëtquidan where you will find the military schools of Saint-Cyr-Coëtquidan, located straddling the neighboring town of Saint-Malo-de –Beignon (see post). The town, also, borders on the forest of Brocéliande, where the legend of Merlin the magician, the fairy Morgane and the fairy Viviane is woven.

The town of Guer is in the Gallo (romanesque latin) country; whose language is to be differentiated from the Breton (celtic), spoken in lower Brittany. The town of Guer owes its origin to Saint Malo, the first bishop of Aleth. In the 7C he built a Hermitage at the very place where the Church of Saint Gurval is today.

Another important element here for the military history buffs is the military camp famous since after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.  The national military camp of St-Cyr Coëtquidan is located south of the forest of Brocéliande. With an area of 5253 hectares, it covers 6 towns: Campénéac (1 945 ha), Beignon (1 597 ha), Augan (568 ha), Porcaro (491 ha), Guer (358 ha) and Saint-Malo de Beignon (75 ha). The camp currently is hosting 3 military schools, official webpage: https://www.st-cyr.terre.defense.gouv.fr/

What we did do is walked the quaint streets of Guer, pl de la gare, the pl de l’hippodrome with its nice horse race track, and the wonderful Church of St Gurval, there was a church here since the 9C when it was mentioned of the arrival of St Gurval as ermite in the 7C and gave its name. The actual church is built from 1807 to 1847,in the form of a Latin cross, with new renovations done in 1870. It is a wonderful church.

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The creation of the choir furniture and side altars dates from 1899. In 1923, the paving with a path in mosaic was created. You can see a reliquary of St Gurval from the 15C and a half relief in alabaster from the 15C. Statues, stained glass windows, a banner from the 18C restored, and a full-size Christ nature.

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Other things to see in Guer are: The castle of Ville-Huë with parts built in the 13C, 18C, 19C and 20C. The castle of Coëtbo, manor since the 15C The chapel of Saint-Étienne, built in the Carolingian period with materials and perhaps part of the base dating from the Gallo-Roman period .

The town of Guer and its history: http://www.ville-guer.fr/module-Contenus-viewpub-tid-2-pid-45.html

The Guer-Coetquidan Broceliande tourist office on the Church of Saint Gurval: http://www.guer-coetquidan-broceliande.fr/bisto/guer/dia_stgurval/st-gurval.html

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on the Church of Saint Gurvalhttps://www.morbihan.com/guer/eglise-saint-gurval/tabid/12562/offreid/ec49ee69-1593-442f-8890-7fba957a7ca4

Again, another gem and an off the beaten path site of my beautiful Morbihan! As said, plenty to see here and all wonderful architecture and history of my lovely Bretagne and belle France. Hope you enjoy this brief introduction to magical Guer!

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

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March 15, 2021

Church Saint Bertin at Guillac!!

And here giving you a look of off the beaten paths areas of my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne in my belle France. This is deep Morbihan inland away from the coasts. We road warrior all over but still lots to be seen here! Let me show you a bit of quant Guillac!

Guillac is located in the north of Morbihan between Josselin and Ploërmel . On March 26, 1351, Guillac saw the battle of the Thirty taking place, near the oak of the moor of Mi-Voie or half way (see below).

The parish Church of Saint Bertin of Guillac built between 16-17C, rebuilt in 1860. The Church, as you see today is from the end of the 16C, and originally included only one nave flanked, on each side of the choir, a chapel opening on the sanctuary by a third-point arcade. In 1860, it was added a choir, which gave it the plan of a Latin cross. There are stained glass windows, and the crawly roof are decorated with crosses. The bell tower is covered with slate. The old stained glass disappeared during the construction of the choir. In the northern Chapel, a stained glass window depicts Saint Sosthène and Sainte Herminie ;donated at the end of the 19C by the owners of the Château de Josselin. The table titled “the donation of the Rosary” dates from the 17C, to the right of the Virgin and Child are women including Anne of Austria and St. Catherine of Siena, and on the left are men, including Louis XIII and St. Dominic. The Church housed a wooden statue of Saint Bertin from the 17C.

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The parish Church Saint Bertin , dedicated to Saint Bertin, has the form of a Latin cross. It is in medium and small nave with ogival stained glass windows with flaming mullets. there are remnants of stained glass , representing the Apostles, with their names in Gothic letters. These remains of stained glass were replaced by other new stained glass windows, also representing the twelve Apostles, and in addition the child Jesus, the Blessed Virgin and Saint Bertin. In addition, the Church currently owns two other beautiful stained glass windows from 1831, one is at the window of the north Chapel, representing Saint Sosthène and Sainte Herminie ; the other is at the first window of the nave, representing Saint Louis, King of France, and Saint Yves.

Other interesting things to see in Guillac are : The Saint-Bertin fountain built in 1665, following a wish that would have put an end to a plague in the parish. Built in stone, the fountain looks like an aedicule with a molded pediment, in the center of which is engraved the coat of arms of the Saint-Pern family. The abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Prés was founded around 1159 by Eon II viscount of Porhoët. It felled into commendation in 1507, and never succeeded in freeing itself from its commendatory abbots. La Colonne des Trente (the column of thirty) is located at a site called the Pyramid just outside town of Guillac. The first stone was laid on July 11, 1819. Its construction required 4 years of work and the granite obelisk was inaugurated on July 6, 1823. It was erected to salute the memory of the fighters who clashed during the Combat des Trente, (combat or battle of the thirty) March 26, 1351. But only the fighters of Charles de Blois’s party are honored by the monument. The succession crisis of the Duke of Brittany Jean III, in 1341, opposed Jean de Montfort and his English allies to his niece Jeanne de Penthièvre, supported by the crown and Charles de Blois. Following a challenge, thirty Franco-Breton knights and thirty Anglo-Breton knights clash in an endless battle. Brandebourch, the captain of the English was killed as well as eight of his companions. All the other surviving combatants, on both sides, were wounded.

The town of Guillac on the Church Saint Bertinhttps://www.guillac.fr/index.php/tourisme-et-patrimoine/patrimoine/eglise-st-bertin

The Morbihan tourist board on Guillachttps://www.morbihan.com/guillac/guillac/tabid/12562/offreid/143253d0-ac60-46ce-9e02-8571efb2eab3

Again, another gem in my beautiful Morbihan always something to see and appreciate the architecture and history of Bretagne and France. Hope you enjoy the brief ride thru Guillac!

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

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