Musée des guerres de l’Ouest of Plouharnel !!

Let me take you and me back to a small nice historical museum of the history of the west of France and particularly this one on Bretagne. This is the untold story to understand fully what is the République Française or France. Let me tell you about the Musée des guerres de l’Ouest or the museum of the wars of the west;,hope you enjoy it as I.

Plouharnel mus-guerres-de-l-ouest-chouannarie-dec19

Bretagne or Brittany or in Breton is Breizh has a long history not always attach to France. In fact, there was a dukedom here until 1532 union with the kingdom of France due to the marriage of convenience between the king of France Charles VIII and the Duchess of Brittany Anne de Bretagne

However, by the time of the French revolution the Bretons pretty much wanted their way to stay independant and fought in many battles on what is known as the wars of the west which included the area of the Vendée, Mayenne, Anjou ,Normandie as well as Bretagne. In Brittany none other then General Georges Cadoudal lead the West army against the Republicans or French revolutionaries. Long battles with eventually some skirmishes lasted until 1832. Before finally peace came back and finally Bretagne remain French. However, the spirits of independance are still within the Bretons even if today peacefully.

And there is a museum that tells you all the story from the rebels or Chouans point of view. This is at Plouharnel in the presqu’ïle de Quiberon. It is call the musée des guerres de l’Ouest or the museum of the wars of the west!  Its probably one of two muséums on the Chouans, the farming folks who rebels against the French revolution. There is another in the Vendée region. Plouharnel is a town on the road D768 on your way to the Presqu’île de Quiberon or peninsula of Quiberon.

Plouharnel musee guerre de l'ouest jun12

The musée des guerres de l’Ouest or museum of wars of the west (before call the museum of the Chouannerie) sits in an old bunker of WWII near the beach, and surrounded by sights that tells you that this was a heavily fortified place with machine guns part of the Atlantic wall of WWII. The museum is an educational fact finding beauty. Most folks think that the  French revolution was just an attack on the Bastille to get rid of the king Louis XVI. However, what they don’t know is that frontal army attacks and later guerrilla warfare was carry out in the Vendée and up to Bretagne and  even further into Normandie against this revolution. One if not the most bloody event in France’s history.

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on the museum in English: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/to-see-to-do/culture-and-heritage/museums-and-cultural-sites/vendee-chouannerie-museum

The Fête National or National Day  (known abroad still as Bastille Day) is more a day of reconciliation of these events, as the Place de la Concorde in Paris along will tell you, the concordia of people after been name place de la revolution and before place royale. The reign of terror and the guillotine are testaments of this horrific period.

Bretagne, has an old State identity, strong, firmly rooted in its Christian faith, deeply rooted in its multi-centenaires traditions, even multimillenaires, viscerally attached to its structures and its men. In order to justify the unjustifiable, to think the unthinkable, jacobins policies , particularly Parisian, will strive to do the Bretons as rebels of Conservatives, bandits, robbers, in a word of Chouans. Journalists, painters, writers… are not to be outdone, making this portion of France a land of arrears, exotic outdated and vulgar, not considering of the Bretons only that and as well as  subhumans barely out of muds of a medieval barbarian and dirty. With the union with France in 1532 , Brittany will not hesitate to resume a war  to defend its rights where the case of Bonnets Rouges (name also given today to demonstrators against the current govenrment policies) in 1675 and the marquis de Pontcallec in 1719. The Chouannerie lies in this logic: negation of its rights -.refusal of dialogue , insurgency , crackdown, the Central power  not knowing what to do use extreme force to impose its will.  Taken from the museum text.

The war of guerrillas goes on until 1832,and the confirmation of the restoration of many rights and properties to the Bretons, not all. The museum founded in  1985 ,and open symbolicall on July 14 ,its a unique museum in France links entirely to the  Chouannerie, in the Vendée,and on the wars of the west ( Guerres de l’Ouest as they are known in Brittany); proposing over 400 items from maps, documents, weapons, customes, diverse objects, engravings from Marcel de Villemoisson, and many more, all retracing the events of the wars of the west from  1793 to 1832, showing windows in glass cover and tables of events of the wars.

The museum of the wars of the west webpage in French: https://www.musee-chouannerie-vendee.com/6/le-musee

One of the main heroes is General Georges Cadoudal of nearby Auray , where he is buried in his own property with a mausoleum his descendants open to the public. Call the Champ de Martyrs or the field of martyrs for the massacre of Chouans done there in 1795 (part of the Quiberon expediction of immigrant Bretons from England), the remains are now kept in the  nearby Chartreuse of Brech (see post) . Very much revered by the locals. The city of Brech on the Chartreuse in French: https://www.brech.fr/a-voir/le-patrimoine-historique/la-chartreuse/

Enjoy a history of no more révolutions. I hope that my introduction will led you to learn more of this important historical event that is still very much alive here in Bretagne/Brittany or Breizh ,the land of the Bretons , I say leave it as it is.

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Plouharnel: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/plouharnel

There you go folks ,a nice piece of history seldom shown or one heck of an off the beaten path thing to do! And to make your visit even more worthwhile come here to see the museum of the wars of the west as it is in a WWII bunker left from the Atlantic Wall by the nazis! and all around the museum is a graveyard of bunkers and guns of WWII in open air display!! Worth the detour!

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

2 Comments to “Musée des guerres de l’Ouest of Plouharnel !!”

  1. Sounds interesting with probably a more Breton than Parisian point of view, which is also necessary to understand these events.

    Liked by 1 person

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