The other side of Saint Anne d’Auray!!

And coming back updating my older posts in my blog; a work of love, which I have enjoyed tremendously. Hoping and thanking that you have follow along with me in this journey. I like to bring you back to a very important little town of my lovely Bretagne and my beautiful Morbihan which is only about 15 km from my house. This is the historical and religious center of Sainte Anne d’Auray , but let me tell you the other side ok.

This again is a town I go often and spent many times there with the family. It is hugely a religious town of great significant in Brittany at least, so since written so much on it in my blog I like to tell a bit more on the town and not the Basilica.  Sainte-Anne-d’Auray , the Breton name is Santez Anna Wened.

Sainte Anne d’Auray is the main pilgrimage site of Brittany. It has been like this since 1625,when the faithful came to commemorate the apparition of Saint Anne, mother of Mary , and maternal grandmother of Jesus Christ, to local farmer Yves Nicolazic (his native house preserved). Every summer, on 24-26 July, a pilgrimage takes place: The pardon of Sainte Anne , is famous for its Catholic pilgrimage in honor of Sainte AnnePope John Paul II came on a pilgrimage on September 20, 1996 , first visit of a Pope in Brittany.


There are various memorial to the Fallen here along statues of Sainte Anne and plaque commemorating the visit by Pope Johnn Paul II.

The Memorial of the Great War of Sainte Anne d’Auray, built from 1922 to 1932 by the five dioceses of Brittany to keep the memory of  the 240 000 Breton victims of WWI. The Rotunda that supports the slenderness of eight arcades is crowned of a sarazinoised helmet roof that dominates a lace cross. The dome houses a monolithic altar in pink granite from Ploumanac’h. The door is framed by two great granite bas-reliefs representing the protective arms of the allegories of victory and peace. The burial crypt is organized in 5 apsidioles arranged in chapels for the 5 dioceses of Brittany. New conflicts having grieving the country since 1932, a mausoleum was placed in the center of the crypt, dedicated to all the dead of all wars. The symbolic tombs of the missing sailor and infantryman, are guarded by Saint Michel, patron of France, and Saint Yves, patron of Brittany.


The nécropole nationale de Sainte-Anne-d’Auray is a French military cemetery there are graves of fallen soldiers during the war of 1870, WWI, WWII and the War of Indochina. The necropolis was created in 1959.  In 1960-1961, the bodies of soldiers killed during WWII exhumed from the military squares of the communal cemeteries of Brittany, Poitou and the Pays de la Loire were buried in this necropolis. In 1983-1984, it was the remains of soldiers who died during WWI exhumed from the military squares of the communal cemeteries of Brittany, which were grouped together with the bodies of Belgian soldiers who died during WWI and previously buried in Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Normandy. In 1988, the remains of Belgian soldiers buried during the war of 1914-1918 in Haute-Garonne and Hautes-Pyrénées were transferred to this necropolis as well. With an area of 1.7 hectares, the national Necropolis has 2 106 burials of soldiers who died in hospitals in western France of injuries or illnesses contracted during the wars of 1870, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. It is the only national necropolis located in Brittany. The ossuary is located under a menhir dedicated to the fallen of all wars.

From the Morbihan prefecture government site on the National Necropolis of Sainte Anne in pdf file:

ste anne d auray cementary-wwars ent jan14

Something from the past still very much in evidence of this of most glorious town. The monument of the Count of Chambord erected in 1891 in memory of Henri d’Artois, the Count of Chambord  (Duke of Bordeaux ) last Bourbon pretender to the crown of France. During the attempt to restore Henri V, a pilgrimage was organized by the Royalists from the west of France to Sainte Anne d’Auray to pray for the return of the king to the throne. The latter is held every year on 29 September, the anniversary of the birth of the prince, until his death in 1883. The monument consists of a summit statue of the Comte de Chambord, depicted on his knees and in coronation attire, placed on a granite pedestal. On the sides of it are the statues of all the Saints such as Jeanne d’Arc, on the front, and Saint Geneviève, at the back, as well as the Bayard Knights on the left and Du Guesclin on the right.

The official Royalist site of the Count of Chambord:


The Musée de cire, l’Historial or the wax museum, the Historial; This museum traces, through various scenes, the origins of the Pilgrimage, the life of Yves Nicolazic, the apparitions of St. Anne, mother of Mary, and her miracles, the origin of the Great Breton Pilgrimage. The last scene, carried out by the Musée Grévin de Paris, presents the pope surrounded by 5 Breton children, winking at the visit of John Paul II to Sainte Anne d’Auray on September 20 1996. It is a total reconstruction of the origins of the pilgrimage, etc, under the reign of king Louis XIII.  I passed by it almost every day but not been inside yet, goes without saying. webpage:

Académie de Musique et d’Arts Sacrés or the   Academy of Music and Sacred Arts which carries a magnificent cultural project and the musical animation of the site with its choirs, its music (great organ of Cavaillé-Coll). The Breton culture is endowed with a long musical, artistic and religious tradition which is expressed in particular by the pardons. This tradition has been celebrated fervently, since the 17C in Sainte-Anne of Auray. Academy of Music and Sacred Arts has been established since 1999. It is then founded under the name Center of Sacred Music. A veritable bridge between art, culture and faith, it seeks to bring to life and transmit this sacred Breton heritage, rich in music and singing, dance, customs, art objects and creations. Again passed right in front of it almost every day but not been inside yet lol! Official webpage:

And will give you a couple more webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must not just for the religious significance but the architectural, historical , and just plain knowledge of the Breton culture.

The city of Sainte Anne d’Auray on its heritage:

The Bay of Quiberon local tourist office on Sainte Anne d’Auray

And there you go folks , something different to see in a city surrounded by Sainte Anne, mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus, patron Saint of Bretagne!, the grandmother!! Plenty more to see here and you are told worth the detour indeed.

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

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