The unmistakable Sizun!!!

This is a great moment to update this post of our visit to Sizun. A wonderful place that needs to be seen, and another wonder in my lovely Bretagne! Let me tell you about the unmistakable Sizun and its religious enclosure! Hope you enjoy it as I.

I take you back to our neighbor Finistére dept 29  ,and the historical Calvary and parish enclosure town of Sizun. Sizun is one of the jewels of our region and a must to see , for not only the religious meaning but the wonderful architecture, and historical value in it. We love it. 

Sizun is located north of the Monts d’Arrée ;name as a green station and part of the regional Armorique natural park. The name is quoted for the first time in 1173 in the Charter of the foundation of the Abbey of Daoulas under the name of Sizan and Plouecisun, the spelling being then variable over time. The etymology of the name Sizun is incertaine: As for Cape Sizun, it is perhaps the sense of rock imbedded in the Celtic language, alluding to the rocky ridges of the mountains of Monts d’Arrée . To the north of the mountains of Monts d’Arrée, the section of Saint-Cadou, even having a part of the north slope, ranging from 382 meters above sea level to the top of the Ménez Kador, whose western side therefore belongs to the town’s territory and which was long regarded as the highest peak of Bretagne before being overtaken by the Roc’h Ruz located in the territory of the town of Plounéour-Ménez and 80 meters to the northwest of the territory in the downstream part of the valley of the Élorn. The town is crossed by the Élorn river, formerly called Dourdun or Dourdu, whose source is located in the northern part of the Tuchen Kador, and two of its tributaries: the Stain on its right bank, the brook of Kan an Ôd on its left bank. This river, long rich in salmons, flows into the harbor of Brest, the dam of the Drennec created for the water needs of the city of Brest and the other towns of northern Finistère which led to the creation of the Lake of Drennec, straddling the towns of Sizun and Commana.

A bit of history I like

An ancient Roman road, whose plot coincided roughly with the current route Brasparts-Saint-Rivoal-Sizun passed through Saint-Cadou. The name Saint-Cadou probably originates from Saint Cadoc or Cadmael, founder of the Welsh Abbey of Llancarfan, in the 6C. According to a version of his life, he would have withdrawn as a hermit in Belz (Morbihan 56) where the Chapel of Saint-Cado (see post) preserves the hermit’s stone bed.. About twenty chapels are dedicated to this saint in western Brittany. The chapel is built between 1650 and 1663. The Chapel de la Tréve (truce) of Saint-Cadou is erected in the branch of the Church of Sizun in 1748 with the agreement of the Rector ( priest) of Sizun, who demands, however, as a primitive rector that the parishioners of Saint-Cadou come to Sizun for their Easter; It is then described as follows: There are three altars: on the high altar, we see the statues of Saint Cadou, Saint Joachim, Saint Joseph and the Holy Virgin, Ste. Anne and Saint Margaret.

Located on the route of the N164 going from Landerneau to Angers (actually Ancenis), and which itself resumed the route of the old Roman road, Loc-Ildut housed an important post relay, which already existed in part in 1812 the other buildings dating from 1831 and 1845. The whole is currently in ruins. The first Chapel of Loc-Ildut, built in the 12C by the Earl of Leon, was of Gothic architecture. The current chapel dates from 1653, 1677 and 1727, but has undergone multiple re-use and successive additions. Very degraded, it was almost sold in 1930, but it was gradually restored since 1960. Vicar at Sizun, and another Vicar in the  parish, both refractory priests (against the French revolution dictum of negating on their faith for taking on the Constitution of France), and the sister of the first , who had hidden them in Plouguin, were guillotined on 15 October 1794 in Brest.

Sizun was part of the parishes which, from the 16C to the 19C, owed much of their prosperity to the making of flax and hemp, which allowed the funding of the parish enclosure and the ascent of a true peasant aristocracy, the ” Juloded ”.  Albert David Rothschild, of Jewish origin, son of Brestois traders, took refuge in Sizun during the Nazis occupation. aged thirty years, loving fishing and perfectly assimilated to the young people of the area, he did not hide, despite his wearing of the yellow star. He entered the network of resistance Justice of Morlaix, animated in the canton of Sizun by François Manac’h and Lucien Messager. Albert Rothschild was arrested and led to the Feldkommandantur of Sizun and severely beaten. His tortured body was found, his hands tied in the back, under a pile of coal in the schoolyard, following the liberation of Sizun.

Things to see; a must here and worth alone coming is the parish enclosure.

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The Arc de Triomphe (b.1585-1588), whose full-scale reproduction was exhibited in 1989 in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris during the commemoration ceremonies of the bicentennial of the French revolution, is a monument representative of the Breton Renaissance.

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The Chapelle-Ossuary (b.1585) whose facade is adorned with the caryatids statues of the Twelve Apostles; It now houses a museum of popular art and traditions showing bed-clos, clock, costumes, embroidery; A woman with bare breasts is represented just under the Twelve Apostles and they are surmounted by a series of figurines, two of which represent squatting women who display their vulvas (this illustrates that at the time of its construction the ancient cults Pre-Christian fertility and its organs still mingled with Christianity) .

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The Church of St. Suliau, dating from the 16C to the 18C and its steeple of 56 meters high. It has a 17C high altar, richly decorated and sculpted and a polychrome organ built from 1683 to 1686 its 16C south porch is flamboyant in style. A statue of Saint Suliau, in a priest vest, surmounts the inner door and is dated 1514. A baptistry topped by a carved wooden canopy dates from 1619. A silver reliquary of Saint Suliau dates from 1625. The Church has retained a processional banner of the 17C where Saint Suliau is depicted on one of the faces and Christ in the cross on the other side.

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All of the above are part of the parish enclosure that is so  nice to visit Sizun just for that. Then there are other things to see such as

The Chapel of Saint-Ildut dates from the 15C, built around 1485. It was built by the Earl of Leon. Consecrated to Saint Ildut, this Welsh monk evangelist of the Armorique, who is part of the Breton Saints not officially recognized by the Catholic Church. It has banners, crosses, statues of which some are pieces of goldsmith (Saint Mélar, the Virgin to the Child) three fountains are visible on the placître, one of which, associated with a wash-house, is perhaps an old basin to make hemp.  The Church of St. Cadou of the 17C and 19C and its Calvary, which dates from 1744.

The Maison de la Riviére ( House of the river), water and fishing, located on the outskirts of the village in the old windmill of Vergraon, presents all aspects of the life of a river (aquariums, models) and has an annex the Maison du Lac (house of the lake).

The Lake of Drennec is straddling the towns of Commana and Sizun. It is a reservoir lake of 110 hectares containing 8.7 million m3 of water, with a dam weight of 500 000 tons of materials and embankments, dating from 1982, intended to store potable water for the supply of the region around Brest and a good part of the north of Finistère. A 7 km walking trail makes the tour, allowing you to discover landscapes, fauna and flora. The nautical center of the Monts d’Arrée has settled there. Two beaches have been arranged.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here, and its worth the detour are

The city of Sizun on its heritage: http://www.mairie-sizun.fr/fr/information/82998/le-patrimoine

The Finistére dept 29 tourist office on enclosures/heritage: http://www.finisterebrittany.com/discover/unusual-parish-churchyards

The CIAP center of interpretation on Sizunhttps://www.ciap-enclos.fr/en/enclos/sizun/

And some specific sites on the preservation of the parish enclosures such as Sizun in French:

Association SPREV on Sizun: http://www.sprev.org/centre-sprev/sizun-enclos-paroissial-saint-suliau/

Association APEVE on enclosures;see Sizun: http://www.apeve.net/spip/?page=visite2

There you go folks , a small town , but me think well worth it for the parish enclosure of Sizun in Finistére,and in my lovely Bretagne; a jewel.

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

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