Church of St Peter and St Paul of Missillac!

And I take you inland Loire Atlantique dept 44 to some of the off the beaten path trails of the Pays de la Loire and old Bretagne. I like to update this older post on the Church of St Peter and St Paul of Missillac! Hope you enjoy the ride and once again thanks for reading me over the years since 2010!

And I am back at surrounding region and more beautiful things to see in my belle France. Again, even if passed close to this town several times never came in until this recently. Another gem in the west of France and another pin in my France map. Keep trying….!  I like to tell you about the Church of St Pierre et St Paul in the town of Missillac.


First a bit of where is Missillac! Well to start is about 1h30 by car from my house! Missillac is located on the edge of Morbihan dept 56 of Bretagne, 25 km from Saint-Nazaire, 55 km from Nantes, 55 km from Vannes and 25 km from Redon. The neighbouring towns are Séverac, Saint-Gildas-des-Bois (see post), Pontchâteau, Sainte-Reine-de-Bretagne, La Chapelle-des-Marais and Herbignac in Loire-Atlantique dept 44, Nivillac, Saint-Dolay and Théhillac in Morbihan dept 56.

A bit of history I like  

The history of Missillac also is link to that of the Château de la Bretesche, (see post ) residence of the barons of La Roche-Bernard in the middle ages. The Chatelaine de la Bretesche belongs in the year 1000 to Bernard de la Roche. The fortress of la Bretesche , 14C was rebuilt in the 15C, beset by Mercoeur in the 16C, destroyed in the French revolution and rebuilt again in the 19C.  In 1806, the town of La Bretèche hitherto independent, is attached to that of Missillac. For nearly a century, between 1871 and 1959, the Montaigu family was regularly elected to the head of the City/Town Hall. This longevity combined with their fortunes, allows them to oppose the Prefecture when the latter attempts to impose Republican reforms (French revolution), including the school laws. The resistants of autonomist obedience of the groupe Liberté (freedom group) had a base in Missillac in 1943, then in connection with the Commander Verliac they helped provide the men of the battalion of the pocket of Saint Nazaire. At the end of WWII, because of the existence of the pocket of Saint-Nazaire, the Nazis occupation extended to Missillac as on all the neighbouring localities of the estuary for 9 months more or from August 1944 to 11 May 1945, the surrender of the pocket of Saint Nazaire intervening 3 days after the surrender of Nazi Germany.

And let’s get on the Church shall we!

The first Church of St Pierre et St Paul in Missillac was probably destroyed by the Vikings who came from the Scandinavian Islands and went back up the Vilaine river at the beginning of the 10C. Around 925, one of the Viking chiefs, Bernhard, erected a dungeon on the banks of the Vilaine river and the village which he founded took his name and became the La Roche-Bernard (or the rock of Bernard,see my posts on the town), capital of the barony and the high place of the deanery of the same name which subsisted until the French revolution of 1789. The son of Bernard, the Lord Simon I of La Roche Bernard implements on his domain of Lampridic (now Saint-Gildas-des-Bois (see abbey post on it)) a Benedictine Abbey in honor of God Almighty and Blessed Abbot Gildas in 1026. In 1150, the parish of Missillac, which then comprises the territories of Mirsilliacus, Théhillac and the present parish of La Chapelle-des-Marais, is officially founded and its administration is entrusted to the Benedictines of the Abbey of Saint-Gildas-des-Bois and will depend on the parish until the French revolution.


This Church of St Pierre et St Paul replaces an ancient small church and a primitive sanctuary, apparently, once at the place called Le Tertre, which dominates the current town. In 1849, during the drilling of the road (D2) linking Missillac to Saint-Gildas-des-Bois, the works updated many tombs dating back to the 7C or 8C. The present Church comprises an apse, a choir, two sacristies, a transept and two lateral spans that end in a grandstand, elevated on the site of the lateral nave of the ancient Sanctuary. The church was blessed in 1898. The stained glass windows, depicting the scenes from the life of Christ, date from 1600; it is a gift from the Baron de La Roche-Bernard, François de Coligny. . These stained glass windows are shown, in the top, the arms of the Coligny and Cambout (François de Cambout was, in 1600, Abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Gildas-des-Bois). The wooden altarpiece dates from the 18C.



The city of Missillac on the Church St Peter and St Paul

It is a nice quant inner town of the west of France in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 old regime part of Bretagne , and still with strong attachment. Quite laid back ,Missillac it is great for the curious, the history and architecture lover in me, and just plain road warrior freedom of the road mentality. Hope you enjoy it and dare do come by!

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

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