Archive for July 7th, 2021

July 7, 2021

One more time in Perros Guirec !!

This was trips with the family a couple times. I had older posts and this one was mix in with Ploumanac’h which is next door. So, I decided to split them into two post for clearer information. The memories are always grand the area is worth the trip. Let me tell you a bit more on Perros Guirec!!

So back at you from my north Brittany heaven; indeed all seems beautiful around me, and I notice feel lucky to be here. Again I have to thanks for my dear late wife Martine for showing me her country since 1989 and to be part of it since 2000, and living in it since 2003!!!  I have written before but need to tell you ,must tell you again about this beautiful magical Breton area of Perros Guirec way up in the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my lovely Bretagne!

Perros-Guirec is a town 78 km from Saint Brieuc, 175 km from Rennes and 524 km from Paris. And 162 km from my town! Perros is a Breton toponym composed of Penn, meaning “bout, end” and Roz, “coastal promontory”. Guirec is the Anthroponyme from the holy founder of the place, Saint Guirec, in modern Breton, the name of the town is Perroz-Gireg. Locally we only talk about Perros. The town has two emblems: The Puffin, a small sea bird with a colorful beak whose largest colony in France breeds in the Sept-Îles, and the hydrangea flower particularly present in the city and the gardens of the private individuals. Perros-Guirec mainly lives in tourism. During the summer, the city takes on another dimension both in activities (sports, cultural and economic) and in population (which multiplies by about 8). It is known as a family resort with a few fine sandy beaches (Trestraou and Trestrignel) and its coastline is partly composed of pink granite blocks with impressive shapes (the pink granite coast)

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The town has three main beaches. Trestraou’s is sunny. There are the casino and the Convention Center, where exhibitions are often held. It is from this beach that you will embark to visit the Sept-Îles (seven islands) that surround it, among which Rouzic Island (the island of birds), uninhabited, but where resident gulls and Bassan birds are. The beach of Trestrignel is more beaten by the winds. Quite wild, which makes its charm, it is like cashed at the bottom of a coast, and is bordered by the point of the castle, rocky headland from which you can enjoy a panoramic view of the islands, especially on the island Tomé (which is not part of Sept-Îles). The cove of Pors Kamor; The shelter and the boat of the SNSM President Toutain (SNS 098); the volunteer life savers organisation in France that also serve as lifegurad on the beaches. The wonderful beaches of Saint-Guirec; as well as Bastille.  . The port of Perros-Guirec, at the harbor (lower part of the town of Perros).

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Things to see, my favorites, again there are plenty of things to see and do around Perros Guirec!

The House of Maurice Denis, painter Nabi and impressionist above the beach of Trestrignel. Built in 1894 . The name of the city   “Silencio” is an allusion to the Spanish origins of the actress who made her built, Marcelle Josset. It was in 1908 that the painter Maurice Denis acquired it. During WWII the house was occupied by the Nazis who partially deteriorated it. Unique here , and I came to see the museum in Saint-Germain-en- Laye ( Yvelines 78).

Christian Gad and Daniel Chhe Sculpture Park: Located between the La Clarté and Ploumanac’h (at the entrance of the latter), this park contains numerous granite sculptures, including those of Pierre Székely who made numerous stays in Perros-Guirrec in the years 1980-90 to carve the granite Rose. Very nicely city life where locals mingle freely and nice, bonjour is the norm!

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Church of St. James, (see post)the church was dedicated to Saint James because the city was a place of passage for the road to Santiago de Compostela, for pilgrims from Great Britain; There are also some scallop shells engraved at the front pieces of the doors. The pardon of St. James is celebrated on the last Sunday of July.

Notre-Dame de La Clarté Chapel (see post).This chapel was built in 1445 following a vow made by the Marquis of Barac’h, who was saved from a shipwreck. On the mound adjoining this chapel, a Grand Mass is celebrated every year in honour of Notre-Dame-de-la-Clarté on 15 August.

The Sept-Îles, archipelago of small islands off Perros, the most important is the island of the monks with its lighthouse and its fort; Riouzig Island (Rouzic) is one of the largest ornithological reserves in France of seabirds (Sept-Îles nature Reserve); Off the coast of pink granite, between Perros-Guirec and Trégastel, is the Sept-Iles archipelago (Rouzic Island, Malban Island, Bono Island, Monks Island, Flat Island, Costans, deer), Undisputed kingdom of sea birds. Consevatoire du LIttoral on the Sept Ïles: http://www.conservatoire-du-littoral.fr/siteLittoral/260/28-archipel-des-sept-iles-22_cotes-d-armor.htm

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A wonderful place for a weekend with the family and more, very well prize so reserve in advance for lodgings. Some webpages to help you plan your trip here , and worth it me think are:

The town of Perros Guirec on things to do/see: http://tourisme.perros-guirec.com/decouvrez.html

The Brittany region tourist board on Perros Guirec: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/pink-granite-coast-morlaix-bay/ploumanach-perros-guirec/

The Côtes d’Armor dept 22 tourist board on Perros Guirec: https://www.cotesdarmor.com/a-voir-a-faire/patrimoine/villes-et-villages-classes/les-stations-balneaires/perros-guirec/

Again this is a wonderful coastal area and I am sure you will love it. Remember the name Perros Guirec.

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

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July 7, 2021

The rose in Ploumanac’h!

This was trips with the family a couple times. I had older posts and this one was mix in with Perros Guirec which is next door. So, I decided to split them into two post for clearer information. The memories are always grand the area is worth the trip. Let me tell you a bit more on Ploumanac’h!!

So back at you from my north Brittany heaven; indeed all seems beautiful around me, and I notice feel lucky to be here. Again I have to thanks for my dear late wife Martine for showing me her country since 1989 and to be part of it since 2000, and living in it since 2003!!!  I have written before but need to tell you ,must tell you again about this beautiful magical Breton area of Ploumanac’h way up in the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my lovely Bretagne!

Ploumanac’h is 78 km from Saint Brieuc, 175 km from Rennes and 524 km from Paris. And 162 km from my town . The beach of Saint-Guirec is along the Sentiers du Douaniers (customs trail). It is therefore an easy stopover for any hiker in the summer. Facing it on the small island of Costaérès stands the castle of Costaérès. The port of the city is equipped with a swimming pool and welcomes both fishermen and boaters. A water retention basin adjacent to the river basin, formerly the Basin de Chasse , has been transformed into a nautical activity area (school or touristic), depending on the season.

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Ploumanac’h is a district of the town of Perros Guirec located just 3 km from the city center of Perros-Guirec. By car, only you can get to it by the road D788 between Perros-Guirec and Trégastel which a road lower of the district of the La Clarté and the Sémaphore Lighthouse Station.  The name Ploumanac’h originates from the deformation of the Breton Poull Manac’h, meaning “the mare of the monk” tradition wants Saint Guirec to have landed on the Ploumanac’h coast in the 7C, a later oratory commemorating this arrival was built.

Some things to see are

Oratory of Saint-Guirec, on the beach of the same name in Ploumanac’h this oratory, accessible only at low tide, protects a statue of the saint. An ancestral custom is for young girls to prick a pin in the nose of the statue; The pin that holds is a good omen of marriage. This custom has put the nose of the original wooden statue in trouble; The present statue is granite, but its nose has suffered much, less because of the young girls than tourists who perpetuate the tradition.

The Chapelle Saint-Guirec: In the 16C the monks of the abbey of Bégard built a stone building. This primitive edifice was restored in the 18-19C. It was enlarged for the first time at the beginning of the 20C, and again in 1948: Two transepts were added to the original nave. This chapel of sailors houses, among others, a Christ on the Cross, a Saint Julien in a Roman soldier’s outfit, of the 15C, a Pietà and a San Sebastian, of the 16C, a Saint Yves and a painting representing the arrival of Saint Guirec in Ploumanac’h.

The pointe du Skewell (tip of Skewell)  is one of the most advanced rocky spurs of the natural site of Ploumanac’h. In this place, the swell is particularly strong. When the sea is agitated, the surge of waves becomes impressive.  The Sentier des Douaniers (customs trail) from Saint-Guirec through the Skewell is part of the site of Ploumanac’h. To the east, before leaving Ploumanac’h and the natural site, is discovered the Pors-Rolland beach bordered by huge boulders including the tip of the Chateau du Diable ( Castle of the devil).

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The natural harbor of Ploumanac’h, one of the most protected on the north coast of Brittany. Two tidal mills (an ice mill and a wheat mill) separate the port from the Traouïero valley. The valley of the Traouïero, a double valley (the great and the small Traouïero), leading into the harbor of Ploumanac’h, which was said to be so inaccessible that it served as a refuge for brigands.  The quarries of pink granite, near the small village of La Clarté, entrance to Ploumanac’h from where are extracted the granite blocks of such special color.

A large natural site protected by the Conservatory of the Littoral and the town of Perros-Guirec impress by its clusters of pink granite, some of which reach twenty meters high.. One of the most beautiful walks in the area is the  Sentier des Douaniers (customs trail) which is located between the Trestraou beach and the port of Ploumanac’h and which crosses this natural space. The Sentier des Douaniers, on the protected site of the Landes of Ploumanac’h, borders the famous pink granite coast, eroded for nearly 300 million years, which offers a supernatural landscape of granite chaos with unusual shapes, stretching for nearly 9 km. The coastal heaths consisting of many heaths and edges represent an outstanding heritage. You can discover in the course of your walk a flora and fauna remarkable and very diversified. The Coast Guard maintains a site of more than 80 hectares.

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Ploumanac’h is a wonderful place for a weekend with the family and more, very well prize so reserve in advance for lodgings. Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Consevatoire du Littoral nature reserve on the Lands of Ploumanac’hhttp://www.conservatoire-du-littoral.fr/siteLittoral/163/28-landes-de-ploumanac-h-22_cotes-d-armor.htm

The Granite Rose coast of Brittany tourist board on things to see: https://www.brittany-pinkgranitcoast.co.uk/

The Brittany region tourist board on Ploumanac’h/Perros Guirec area: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/pink-granite-coast-morlaix-bay/ploumanach-perros-guirec/

The city of Perros Guirec on nature in Ploumanac’hhttp://ville.perros-guirec.com/ma-ville/nature-environnement/site-naturel-protege-de-ploumanac-h.html

Again ,anothe dandy in my lovely Bretagne, a wonderful coastal area and I am sure you will love it.  Remember the name Ploumanac’h.

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

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July 7, 2021

Unbelievable Pleyben!!!

Yes indeed in a small town and so much architecture and history to take you a day, this is unbelievable Pleyben. I am updating this older post on text and links and well deserving. One of the great off the beaten path missed gems of my lovely Bretagne!! Let me tell you about it a bit more, and hope you enjoy as I.

And continuing with my showcase of my region, I come to something espectacular and historical religious etc you name it. Actually, I came here for the chocolates florentines but end up been amazed by the parish enclosure. This is Pleyben, Finistére dept 29 of the region of Bretagne. This is their story as told by me!

Pleyben is between Mont d’Arrée and montagne Noir , Pleyben is limited to the north by the Douffine river which separates it from Lopérec river and to the south by the Aulne river on meanders that separates Pleyben from Gouézec and Lothey. The town  is part of the Regional Natural Park of Armorique. Pleyben was one of the primitive parishes of the ancient armory in the 6C and first known as Plebs Yben ( “Bourg of Yben”),  which would be a more or less a mythical saint Breton known under the names of Saint Yben or Saint Ethbin, the name being sometimes transcribed in the High Middle Ages under the variants Pleizben or Pleiben . Its Breton name is Pleiben.

Pleyben is at the crossroads of the road N 164, fitted out in the expressway, which is the axis of the central Brittany Rennes-Châteaulin via Loudéac and Carhaix and the road, Morlaix-Quimper. The town is located 27 km from Quimper. The best way for me is by car, taken the free expressway N165, get off on exit Chateaulin/Pleyben after the first roundabout take direction Pleyben on the N164 straight into ave Charles de Gaulle in city center Pleyben, you come upon the enclosure.

This ancient stronghold was inhabited as early as the 11C, certainly, the 9C perhaps, by the powerful feudal family of the Trésiguidy, probably of French origin, the name  Tréséguidy can probably be translated as The House of Sigwin, Sigwin in German meaning  victorious.  At the beginning of the 18C the village of Pleyben was considerable and was inhabited by bourgeois and by a large quantity of craftsmen of all professions and trades. In 1771, archives prove that the Marquis de La Fayette (of USA indépendance fame) possessed  lands of the Lun and Kerguillé in Pleyben.

The construction, begun in 1806 and completed in 1833, then the commissioning of the Nantes-Brest Canal led to a significant economic boom, facilitating, for example, the export of slates by barges. The slates, brought by the canal to Port-Launay, were exported not only to Brittany, but to all the coasts of the Manche  and to Dunkirk. On  August 8, 1896, the President of the Republic Félix Faure coming from Carhaix where he had arrived by train, takes a car escorted by the cavalcade of the blue jacket guards made of naive embroidery and made a short stop of 20 minutes at Pleyben before continuing to Châteaulin where he takes the train in the direction of Quimper as part of a trip to Brittany. This was the only visit of a French head of state in the history of Pleyben.

The Maquis de Penarpont (Pen-AR-Pont)-Beuzit-Keralliou set up operations between 12 October 1943 and 25 October 1944, an FTP hiding  was set up between the locks of  Guillec and Penarpont (the Penarpont lock is located on the Aulne, on the edge of the towns of Pleyben and Lothey).   In retaliation, on 6 August 1944, 15 people were shot in the village of Quimerc’h by the Nazis. A memorial is located at the Penarpont lock.

Things to see and marvel at unbelievable Pleyben!

The typical religious ensemble is made up of four elements, all associated. The cementary, the church, the calvary,and the ossuary . These are surrounded by a wall in stones with a portal or opening of great dimensions. The construction here dates from the 16C to 17C ,and it was completed in the year 1690 by joining the sacristy to a monumental gate called the Porte de la Mort or gate of the dead.  The wall around it the complex signify the separation of the living world from the dead, and serve to stop strays animals  to entered the sacred grounds. The parish enclosure of Pleyben brings together the Church of Saint-Germain, the monumental Calvary, the Ossuary and the Arc de Triomphe . This is one of the Seven wonders of Brittany, and you should see them all, this one is special been to it several times. Magical place! And I only give the basics, these is huge!

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The Church of Saint-Germain, whose construction began in 1530, was consecrated in 1583 “to honner of God, Notre-Dame, Saint Germain and St. Catherine” as an inscription says. However, a building prior to the 16C is attested by the archives. The transepts date from 1564 if one relies on a inscription in Gothic letters located at the ´ entrance of the south arm near the door of the sacristy (1719). The windows as well as the South Gate date from 1583 as appears to prove an inscription and a date on the wall of the south aisle. The construction of the porch tower began in 1588, with the date on top of the door key. Interrupted during the wars of the League, the work resumed only  in 1633 to finish in 1642. The Saint-Germain Church is of late Gothic Breton style. The Church has two steeples: the large steeple above the south porch is a Renaissance tower topped by a lantern dome, and another in Cornish style. The bedside is of Beaumanoir style. The main stained glass, dating from the end of the 16C, represents the Passion of Christ. In the interior, the nave is a lambric vault of the 16C with sculpture walls of mythological or sacre personages so about 62 persons and  et 116 keys. It house a Grand Organ from 1688. The Cross of Salt (Croas an holen) is located almost in the middle of the placître.

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The monumental Calvary placed in front of the Church is the most massive of all Brittany. Its Kersanton stone construction took place in three campaigns. It started with the Church in 1555. In 1650, three additional scenes were ordered ;the Calvary was then moved in 1738 from about 30 meters to the south, to facilitate the´ access to the Church. It used to be attached to the porch. The base of Calvary is built in the form of Tetra pylon buttressed at angles. Indeed, it consists of four large piles supporting an inner vault, under which one penetrates by four arches in full hanger. It is of granite stone. It shows on its four sides high reliefs on two levels: a frieze and 28 sculpted groups overcoming the Calvary the whole relate  the Passion of Christ. The reading begins at the southwest corner by the lower frieze in the opposite direction of the of a watch. It continues on the second level by the southeast corner, then the ´ angle, the north side, the crosses (south side), the south side, the east side and finally the west side of the Calvary.

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The Ossuary, dating from the 16C (c. 1560), is of flamboyant Gothic architecture. It is one of the oldest in Brittany. The façade is adorned with twin berries surmounted by curly and flower-hugging braces that rest on honeycomb balusters. The bones of the departed were piled up to make room in the cemetery. Dubbed  ,the Chapel of the Departed, it was dedicated to St. Jude and S,aint Simon. Restored in 1733, date inscribed on the building, it was used from 1736, as the Chapel of the Departed or mortuary, then,at a time, a school, this was the case for example in 1838 and even of post office in 1850. It now serves as a museum and houses, among others, a statue of the breastfeeding virgin dating from the third quarter of the 16C which was found in 1988 during works near the church. She represents a crowned virgin, in the nude, bearing the child Jesus; It is not excluded that it was buried because of its perceived too realistic aspect at the time.

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Finally, the sacristy seen from outside or inside is one of the most beautiful of the ensemble ,and can go back to its construction in the period  1680-1690. It has a quadripode configuration, and the central dome and chapters ionics ressort a real showcase of the new French renaissance  in the parochial ensemble of buildings.

The Arc de Triomphe or “Triumphal gate” (in Breton Porz ar Maro) is a monumental gate dated 1725 and nicknamed “Gate of Death” because it supplement  by the wall of the enclosure surrounding the cemetery, it separated the world from the dead from the world of the living. The monumental arch is in full hanger with a niche on each of its faces. On the east side, one can admire a virgin of pity or a framed Pietà of two angels, and on the west side, a Holy Trinity whose Holy Spirit has vanished. The bow is surmounted by  a cross that presents on its east face, a Christ on the Cross, and on its western face, a Virgin of Pity.

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Other things to see that I like here are

The new chapel or Chapel of the Congregation: founded by the lords of the  Boissière, probably by the end of the 17C by the confrérie de la Congrégation , its first mention goes back to the year 1700, but the present chapel dates from 1889; It is located in the parvis parking area just to the right of the Parish enclosure. It was recently enriched with a remarkable fresco called “from the Apocalypse”. It is ,also, known as the Chapelle Neuve  or new chapel as its recontruction was done in 1889, and its last one was done again in 1994. It is a place today for meetings, gatherings and communions of the catechism Catholic.

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The Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Lannélec, former Chapel of the Truce of Trefnescop, dates from the 15C (an inscription bears the date of 1490). In the form of Tau, its nave has four bays and aisles and two chapels complete it. The carved panels of the altarpiece of the altar represent the Annunciation, the Sleep (Death of the Virgin) and the Assumption. The chapel houses statues of the breastfeeding Virgin Mother, Saint Barbara, Saint Corentin, Saint Germain, Saint Andrew, Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Sorrows, etc. The sacristy dates from 1741 and the spire of the bell tower from 1883.

The Chapel of the Trinity  from the 17C is in the form of a Latin cross, originally built in the 16C for the Lords of Pennault , but restored in 1675 and 1726, it has a unique vessel illuminated to the south by a door in full hanger, as well as through a window. It has several statues including one of Saint Michael, one of St. Catherine of Alexandria, one of Saint Charles Borromeo, one of St. Anne reading a scroll of the Holy Scriptures, and a statuary group in kersantite stone representing the Holy Trinity. In his placître remains only the cask of its Calvary, with at its foot a Pietà

The Chapel of the Madeleine late 16C already mentioned in 1500 and then dependent on the seigneury of Quillien (also called Treffléau), the Chapel, in the form of a Latin cross, has known since several restorations, in particular in 1731 and 1858. Her ordeal dates back to the end of the 19C. Its soil is covered with very large schist slabs. A fountain is embedded in its facade. It has a statue, as well as a stained glass window, representing Saint Mary Magdalene. The Arms of the lords of Quillien are represented on a window, as well as their motto in Breton: Tevel ha gober (Shut Up and act).

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here which is worth the detour me think are:

The town of Pleyben on its heritage in French: https://www.mairiepleyben.fr/index.php/fr/decouvrir-bouger/histoire-et-patrimoine/patrimoine-naturel

The Finistére dept 29 tourist office on the enclosures including Pleyben: https://www.toutcommenceenfinistere.com/article/les-enclos-paroissiaux-en-finistere-nord

The Bretagne region tourist board on Pleyben: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/pink-granite-coast-morlaix-bay/pleyben-saint-thegonnec/

The principal Calvaries of Brittany on Pleyben: http://www.7calvaires.fr/en/pleyben/

Now go and see this, it is worth the ride even walking to it. This is Pleyben, enclosed parish, heaven on earth. Worth teh detour in Finistére of my lovely Bretagne.

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

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