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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