Archive for September, 2021

September 25, 2021

Curiosities of Guehenno!

Oh well started writing updates on Guéhenno and as in many times found old pictures in my vaults that are not previsouly shown in my blog. Therefore, this is as good as any time to showcasing them in the blog, a bit more on nice historical architecturally stunning Guéhenno in my beautiful Morbihan of my lovely Bretagne and in my belle France.

Let me tell you briefly as there is not much information on the wind mill and chapel of Guéhenno! Hope you enjoy it as I.

There is the Moulin du Mont or old mill tower, remained unused for a few years, located at a place called Le Mont, near the chapel St Michel and one km from the town of Guéhenno. From this place, a nice panorama can be observed. And a nice walk indeed. And,  it is nicely restored for all to enjoy it. Worth a detour to take an opportunity to walk in nice sights of the valley below.

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The Chapelle Saint-Michel dates from the 15C as evidenced by the two doors of the church and the tympanum. Changes were subsequently made in the 17C. It is located on the village of Le Mont about one km from Guéhenno, From the top of its 147 meters above sea level you have beautiful views of the valley. The chapel was restored in 1890 and 1972. It is a rectangular shape, with flamboyant windows and gables . Outside, above the southern portal, is a 15tC carved tympanum with a statue of Saint Michael slaying the dragon. The polychrome wood statue of Saint-Michel dates from the 16C.  At the start of the 20C, the Le Mont village still had two chapels, side by side. The one dedicated to Saint Mark, in ruins, was dismantled and rebuilt in Callac (one of the three parishes of Plumelec-see post). This is why there is a statue of Saint Mark in the choir of the chapel dedicated to Saint Michael, in the hollow of a Renaissance-looking niche.

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The city of Guéhenno on its heritagehttps://www.guehenno.fr/culture-et-tourisme/les-sites-touristiques/

The Central Morbihan tourist board on the wind mills includes of Guéhenno: https://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/moulins-fontaines-et-plus-encore/77-les-moulins.html

The Central Morbihan tourist board on the Chapelle St Michel of Guéhennohttps://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/chapelles-calvaires-et-leurs-mysteres/190-la-chapelle-st-michel-a-guehenno.html

There you go folks, niceties of country road warrior trips in my beautiful Morbihan and gorgeous little Guéhenno. Hope you enjoy my off the beaten paths places, and again thanks for reading me since November 2010!

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

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September 25, 2021

Guehenno in my Morbihan!

Moving right along in this fast pace world of travel in our days,  I take you once again to the my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne. We will go into off the beaten paths that needs to be known!  Today , I will tell you about  Guéhenno,unique close by town. I love to update these older posts for you and me, great memories, Hope you enjoy it as I.

The battle of Mont-Guéhenno took place during the Chouannerie (the wars against the French revolution and for king). In 1799, a Republican (French revolutionaries) detachment was surprised and was destroyed by the Chouans near Guéhenno. The fate of the Republican prisoners is not known with certainty. According to some witnesses , the prisoners were shot.

The Church of St. Peter and St. John the Baptist  of Guéhenno. Externally, there remains a gable with hooks, a door with braces, hooks and cabbage. On the left, touching the transept, a butt fort has been preserved, at the top of which is a stone Virgin. Inside, giving in the Choir, there remains an altar pool with crest appearing accompanied by a butt. The Church of St. Peter and St. John the Baptist done from the 16C up to the 19C. This church, which dates from 1859 , replaces an older Church of the 16C which was burned in 1794 during the French revolution. From the ancient Church of the 16C, the sacristy was preserved, and It’s pretty flamboyant door as well. Inside you can see, besides a 16C basin, a stone bas-relief from the old porch and depicting various scenes of the Passion and a Virgin to the Child in polychrome wood dated from the 18C. The cowl dates from the 19C. There is also a cranberry credence of the 16C which was updated during the restoration work in 1957.

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The Calvary of Guéhenno, which was one of the most beautiful Breton calvaries, was ransacked during the French revolution. The Calvary of Guéhenno is one of the seven monumental calvaries of Brittany and the only one located in the Dept 56 of Morbihan. At the time of the reign of terror, in 1794,during the French revolution, the architectural ensemble composed of the 16C church , the Calvary erected in 1550 and the ossuary, was devastated by the Republican revolutionary troops. It is only fifty years later that the church will be rebuilt and the Calvary restored. It will be necessary to await the arrival of Abbé Jacquot in the parish in 1853, so that the restoration actually begins.

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An Altar, where the descent to the underworld is carved, is dominated by a pedestal where the scenes of prayer are depicted in the garden of olives, the flagellation, the crowning of thorns and the Entombment. On this pedestal rises a triple Cross from 1550, to the right and left the two thieves, on the central Cross, at the top, Christ with the Virgin and St. John, below a character crowned and half-lying, further down a Virgin of Pity. At the foot of the Cross, on the pedestal, is depicted Jesus carrying the cross between soldiers and Saint Véronique: at the angles are the figures of the four evangelists. The Entombment dates from 1853, and is composed of seven characters in 19C costume. The resurrection, dated 1853, appears on the two bases of the Calvary: we see the risen Jesus Christ appearing to the Holy women. In 1855, the perimeter of the Calvary was paved.

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The city of Guéhenno on its heritagehttps://www.guehenno.fr/culture-et-tourisme/les-sites-touristiques/

The Central Morbihan tourist office on the Calvary of Guéhennohttps://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/les-lieux-incontournables/2-le-calvaire-monumental-de-guehenno.html

The 7 Calvaries of Brittany webpage on Guéhennohttp://www.7calvaires.fr/en/guehenno/

And again, you see simply beauty before your eyes, these are monumental examples of mankind and when you think of Europe devastated by two world wars and see these again brought back and or save is amazing the human spirit can still do anything. You owe to yourselves visiting in Brittany and see these marvels. We love them. Be welcome to Guéhenno in the Morbihan of course!

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

September 25, 2021

A wonderful Séné and my Vannes !!!

So, decided to update this older post of a nice one two punch in my beautiful Morbihan, in my lovely Bratagne. Therefore, here is my story, hope you like it. We had to do our normal errands of a family in France but took a side step to another area which even if very close do not recall visited before. This is Port Anna in Séné  next to our capital city of Vannes.

We went to the Saturday morning market in Vannes, just wonderful, where we buy the essential, cheeses, eggs, fruits and vegetables, take out food ,wines etc It is open until 13h (1pm) but we like to go by the end and get better prices ….During the week there is a covered market at pl des Lices where you can buy too but not as good as the morning market in my opinion. See posts.

We went to a new area and toook a charming ride and walk around the harbor, This is the wonderful bay in the Port Anna in the town of Séné. This is what makes this area so nice, so many of these beautiful places to spent a day. The boats on the harbor and the sea road into the La Marle river into the Atlantic ocean passing on one side the Conleau peninsula and on the other side Arradon, and the islands of Boêdic across and further out Arz island . This river ocean La Marle takes you in to the canal and harbor of Vannes and right into city center! Just gorgeous!!!

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We came back to have our lunch, at one of our favorites Le Tarmac in rue Ferdinand le Dressay which is the road D199 up the hill towards Séné. We had our gourmand burgers, and great local Breton beer Duchesse Anne 6%. All this overlooking the wonderful canal harbor of Vannes, capacity for 3000 boat berth! Across the street is the harbormaster of Vannes. Oh yes the bill was 25€ per person nice. We have come back here several times.

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On this day and on the way home we did our groceries for the misc things we buy here mostly personal care, and household items at our favorite E Leclerc hypermarket and the nice underground free parking. And we headed home for the rugby match France vs South Africa, too bad we had a good game but as lately in the last few minutes almost ending time this time we lost 26-29. It stayed a good effort once again.

There you go folks another wonderful day in my beautiful Morbihan, And to boot it was Sunday nice and easy, The combination of Séné and Vannes is a good one and we had tried it several times, For now, remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 24, 2021

Saint Jean Brévelay in my Morbihan!

Moving right along in this fast pace world of travel in our days, I take you once again to the my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne. We will go into off the beaten paths that needs to be known!  Today , I will tell you about Saint Jean Brévelay ,unique close by town. I love to update these older posts for you and me, great memories, Hope you enjoy it as I.

The town of Saint-Jean-Brévelay, was a Saint  fleeing the Norman looters, the Bretons temporarily fled to England. Upon their return to Brittany, they reported relics of a Bishop of Exham and York, who died in 721 in Beverly, where he founded a monastery. They then named their parish the name of the Saint, which gradually became Saint Jean Brévelay. In the middle ages, Saint Jean Brévelay was part of the Viscount of Rohan, divided into 20 lordships.  In the 18C, after 1797, the town embraced the Royal cause. During the Chouannerie, it was noted the passage of Georges Cadoudal, Lieutenant General of the Chouans. Pierre Guillemot, called King of Bignan, one of the main chefs Chouans was also noticed passing here.

The Church Saint-Jean-de-Brévelay  was built  from the 15C to the 19C. Dedicated to Saint John of Beverley, an English Saint of the Medieval Kingdom of Northumbria Bishop of York who founded the monastery and the town of Beverley in East Yorkshire, died in 721 and canonized in 1037. The church is in the form of a Latin cross, with warhead windows. The Church of Saint-Jean-de-Brévelay gathers parts built in several eras such as the Romanesque gate dates from the 15C, the transept and the choir were reworked in the 17C, the Chapel of St. Joseph added in the 17C, the current nave was built in 1825, the porch bell tower was completed in 1879. A very colorful Altarpiece 1640, in stone and marble,  occupies the background of the choir, with a large painting of Pentecost in the center, surrounded by two statues, Saint Peter holding the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and Saint John of Beverley in Bishop with a pig.

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St Jean de Brevelay

The city of Saint Jean de Brévelay on its heritagehttp://www.mairie-saint-jean-brevelay.fr/culture-et-tourisme/patrimoine/82-patrimoine-architectural.html

The Central Morbihan tourist office on St Jean de Brévelayhttps://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/centre-morbihan-communaute/saint-jean-brevelay/

And again, you see simply beauty before your eyes, these are monumental examples of mankind and when you think of Europe devastated by two world wars and see these again brought back and or save is amazing the human spirit can still do anything. You owe to yourselves visiting Brittany and see these marvels. We love them. Be welcome to Saint Jean Brévelay in the Morbihan of course!

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

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September 24, 2021

Rennes ,capital of Bretagne/Brittany!!!

I was just reading my Le Figaro newspaper and saw a nice article on Rennes, I know it brought many memories of been the first town ever visited in Brittany while living in Versailles and it was a business trip ! Once in the Morbihan of the region of Brittany had visited many times even for lunch ! Then, a memorable trip to get a second opinion on my dear late wife Martine cancer treatment, Always will remember, Rennes and with the article made me update this older instroductory post on the city capital of Brittany, Rennes. You can search my other entries on Rennes in my blog. I will just tell you a bit more on Rennes and hope you like it as I. I will minimize the pictures unless not shown elsewhere ok. Bear with me is long and useful me think.

Rennes is the capital city of the department Ille-et-Vilaine (no. 35) and as well the region of Brittany . The city is located in the upper Brittany at the confluence of Ille and Vilaine rivers from which the department takes its name. It is at 55 km from the coast of La Manche closest to the sea. Rennes is located 63 km from Saint Malo, 128 km from Angers , 210 km from Brest, 154 km from Caen , and 129 km from my house. Rennes is located at a more or less equal distance from the large seaports of the West which are Le Havre at 204 km and La Rochelle at 220 km , also located 120 km from the great seaport of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire. The only Breton city of more than 25 000 inhabitants that is not located on the seaside or estuary. So as you can see it is pretty fairly central to all.

The city is very easily accessible as it is located at the crossroads of a star network of expressways such as the N157 to the east to Vitré, Laval, le Mans and Paris. The N 137 to the south towards Nantes, La Rochelle and Bordeaux.  The N 24 to the west towards Vannes, Lorient, Quimper and me. The N 12 to the north-west towards Saint-Brieuc and Brest.  The D 137 to the north towards Dinan, Dinard and Saint-Malo.  The A84 to the north is towards Fougères, Caen, Rouen and Lille. The TGV Brittany, takes you from the train station or Gare de Rennes to Paris Montparnasse in about 1H25 (taken connections here to Paris and CDG )and 45 minutes from Le Mans by TGV. Rennes is also accessible in  about 2h22 from Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (TGV station), 1H22 from Massy TGV, 2H05 from Marne-la-Vallée (Disneyland), the Rennes-Saint-Jacques Airport, located 7 km from the city center, on the town of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande. The airport opens the city of Rennes with national and European destinations such as Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Strasbourg, London, Barcelona, Dublin, Manchester,Madrid, Birmingham and Amsterdam, etc, I have taken it to Lisbon connecting in Madrid once.

The history of Rennes covers a period of several centuries. Too long to tell in one blog post !! Under the old regime (monarchy), the Union of the Duchy of Brittany in 1532  to kingdom of France gradually up Rennes to the rank of big provincial city. The establishment of the Parliament of Brittany in Rennes in the 16C and the Palace of Brittany in the 17C, however, allowed Brittany to preserve until the French revolution a certain autonomy with regard to the royal power of the time. Victim of a terrible fire in 1720, Rennes is one of those cities that have had two lives: before and after a disaster. In this case, it is the great fire of 1720 which, in one week, devoured 950 houses: almost half of the city disappeared in flames! In the process, architects were sent to give a new face to the city, but, in the medieval districts, the half-timbered houses remained. The medieval wooden center of the city is partially rebuilt in stone (granite and Tufa). After the fire of 1720, it was the architect Jacques Gabriel, who was responsible for rebuilding Rennes. He notably created the city/town hall, which can be visited. It traces rectilinear arteries, lined with mansions, which can be admired on the place de l’Hôtel de Ville and around: rue d’Estrée, rue Nationale, on the place du Parlement de Bretagne. In the middle ages, the city was surrounded by a wall fortress of 1200 meters,until the 15C, even as far as the 16C the most relevent aspect of the city was the Cathedral  The city is divided from 1983 into neighborhoods sort of like the arrondissement of Paris.  These count 12 such as the Centre, Thabor-Saint Hélier, Bourg-L’évêque, Saint Martin, Maurepas-Patton-Bellangerais, Jeanne d’Arc-Longs-Champs-Beaulieu, Francisco Ferrer-Landry-Poterie, Sud-Gare, Cleunay-Arsenal-Redon, Villejean-Beauregard, Le Blosne ,and Bréquigny. From a tourist point of view I mark in black the pertinent ones.

Nice outdoors were sprung such as the Thabor park  not far from the city center;  Oberthür Park; the leisure base of the Gayeulles in the north east of the city; Bréquigny Park in the south;  Les prairies Saint-Martin, along the Ille-et-Rance Canal. The Porte Mordelaise Gate until the 15C, the city grew in the shelter of this wall as its political and economic role increased. At the beginning of the 15C, the town of residence of the Dukes of Brittany, however, has no landmarks outside its Cathedral! Two new ramparts walls were built in the 15C to ensure the development of the city. This new enclosure is completed in 1452, but already another extension is underway. In 1449, Duke François I took the decision to extend the city walls to the south of the Vilaine river. In 1473, this enclosure was in turn completed. It was during this century that the city was embellished by equipping itself in 1467 with its first civil monument: the Tour d’Horloge (Clock tower), quoted by François Rabelais in his work of Pantagruel !

In 1561, the parliament of Brittany fixe itself in the city ,and is one of the emblematic monuments of the city, the Palace of parliament was built between 1618 and 1709. This masterpiece of classical architecture escaped the great fire of 1720 , but was largely destroyed by flames a few centuries later, in 1994. Completely restored, it still houses the Court of Appeals ,and the Rennes tourist office organizes guided tours there. Many mansions built for the gentlemen of Parliament, such as the hotels of La Noue and the Racape de la Feuillée, built on the place des Lices in 1658. The place Royale where the parliament of Brittany sits and the new square dominated by the city/town hall, less monumental and obedient to cannons less rigorous than its neighbor. The monumental aspect of the place Royale had a strong symbolic value. It was a matter of representing the Dominion of the royal power over the provincial parliament following the revolt of the stamped paper, the square serving as a jewel in a monumental statue of Louis XIV.

Around Place des Lices or Saint-Pierre Cathedral, in Saint-Sauveur, Saint-Guillaume or Saint-Yves streets, one can admire many witnesses of medieval Rennes such as the beautiful Saint-Yves chapel, Flamboyant Gothic style, which today houses the offices of the tourist office ; the corbelled houses from the 16C, they offer a flat facade, adorned with a clever interlacing of beams. See for example the Ti Koz house, at 3 rue Saint Guillaume, which was built in 1505 for the canons of Saint-Pierre Cathedral and is now occupied by a bar. The wooden-framed houses, also known as half-timbered houses, draw the boundaries of the old Rennes: they are typically present in the streets around the rue de Champ-Jacquet, and the place Sainte-Anne and Place des Lices. The rue Saint-Georges has kept many houses of the 17C some houses with wooden pans on rue Vasselot. Traces of the 16C on the facade of 20, rue dù Chapitre. On the basis of the plan of planning conceived between 1852 and 1855, large boulevards are drawn: cours de la Gare (present Avenue Jean-Janvier) to reach directly the city center from the station, Boulevard de la Tour d’Auvergne, allowing to facilitate the connection between Saint-Malo and Bordeaux (Imperial Road D137), boulevard de la Liberté between these two axes on the backfilled moat of the ancient ramparts already demolished at the time. This plan will be overall achieved; only the Champs de Mars will be reorganized to allow the extension of the barracks of the Colombier (dovecote).

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Some things to see I like, and many with posts in my blog already,

The city is endowed with structuring buildings such as the Imperial High School (1803), University Palace (1847-1855), new Hospital of Hôtel-Dieu  (1855), Prison (1863-1876), as well as numerous barracks located on the edge of the city. Finally, in 1897, Rennes inaugurated its power-supply tramway network, consisting of five main lines, facilitating urban travel. There are still some vestiges left today.

There is the Cathedral of St. Peter’s, one of the nine historic cathedrals of Brittany. Classically styled in facade and neoclassical interior, it is the seat of the Archdiocese of Rennes. The Saint-Sauveur Basilica celebrates Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, protector of the city of Rennes. It has Gothic arches of the 14C and capped  by a spire with a gilded Virgin on top. The place Sainte-Anne houses the former convent of the Jacobins. The old Gothic chapel of Saint-Yves Hospital, located on Rue Saint-Yves, is now a museum on the evolution of Rennes, and is home to the tourist office of Rennes. 

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In the heart of the new city district ,the Church of Saint-Germain, the former parish of the merchants and then of parliamentarians, is the last major edifice of flamboyant Gothic style (15-16C) in the city. The Church of Sainte-Thérèse, of Art Deco style, built between 1932 and 1936 , notably adorned with mosaics. Les Halles Martenot, built from 1868 to 1871, welcomes the Marché des Lices every Saturday morning. The Lices market is a Rennes institution: it takes place every Saturday, from 7h30 to 13h30 on this square where, in the past, chivalrous jousts were held. It is customary that after buying a few products, customers sit down at a nearby café table to enjoy them on the go.Yes !!! Not to missed the Marché de Hoche, at place Hoche, where there is a book exchange, food market ,and arts creation market at different days of the week.  Books every day, food Thursdays afternoon after 15h to 20h, and art creation every Saturdays from 9h to 18h.

The  Place Sainte-Anne  houses the convent of the Jacobins. The former Gothic Chapel of the hospital Saint-Yves, located rue Saint-Yves, is now converted into a museum on the evolution of Rennes, and houses the tourist office of Rennes. Located on the highest point of Rennes, the Church Abbey Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine was used as the provisional seat of the bishopric of Rennes. Former Abbey Church, it kept all its buildings, its cloister and garden of the monks: the current  Parc Thabor. The tower and the transept of the ancient benedictine Abbey of Saint-Melaine are from the 11C. It has Gothic arches of the 14C and capped  by a spire with a gilded Virgin on top.

The Portes Mordelaises (gates), a two-towered châtelet and drawbridge, border the remains of the ancient medieval fortifications of the 3C, up to the Jehan Duchesne Tower of the 15C at rue Nantes, and the ramparts of the 15C to the east of the Gallo-Roman fortifications at place Rallier-du-Baty. The Palace of the Parliament of Brittany. The construction of buildings on the ground floor of granite and the floors of white stone came later such as the Hotel de Blossac, which hosts the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs, is built on this model.

The theater of the city was inaugurated in 1836 ; was designed to take the idea of the curved part of the city/ town hall to draw a convex building. At the same time, the Palais du Commerce, located on the Place de la République, was built from 1885 to 1911 this building is currently used by the Post office. The Champs Libres, a cultural installation comprising the activities of four structures: the main library of the city, the Museum of Brittany and the Space of Sciences. Opened in March 2006. Also worth a look the Museum of Fine Arts. Rennes has some fairly interesting contemporary museums. Since 1986, La Criée, a contemporary art center, has pursued an avant-garde policy: artists known or not, French or foreign: the range is wide and the choices sharp. In the same spirit, the Frac Bretagne supports and exhibits contemporary artistic creation: collections, exhibitions and in the bookshop, full of good surprises. There are also good exhibitions at Oniris, a private gallery located rue d’Antrain, in the city center.

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About 40 works of contemporary art have been installed across Rennes. It is for example the fountain of the place of Coëtquen, carried out by Claudio Parmiggiani, an Italian artist close to the movement of Arte Povera. Or, in front of the Frac Bretagne, the alignment of the 21st century, where Aurélie Nemours delivers a very contemporary, massive and rectilinear interpretation of an old legacy of the Celts: the alignment of megaliths.

Launched in 1979, the Trans Musicales are the unmissable event in Rennes’ cultural life. But the programming doesn’t stop there. Mythos is the festival of speech: theater, tales, stories and music are in the spotlight. Jazz upstairs defends this timeless music. Organized since 1967 by students from a major school in Rennes, the Rock’n Solex mixes speed races at Solex and concerts. Usually held during the summer, Nightfall is a street arts festival.

As said, written on it before with plenty of info for visits but just out of simplicity and habit, here are some webpages to help you further plan your visit ,which are a must:

The Rennes tourist officehttps://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en/

The Ille et Vilaine dept 35 tourist office on Renneshttps://www.brittany-tourism.com/discover-ille-et-vilaine/the-loveliest-places/rennes/

The Bretagne region tourist board on Renneshttps://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/rennes-and-brittanys-historic-gateways/

There you go folks, a wonderful introduction to glorious Rennes, capital of Brittany, Hope you enjoy the information and get you to taste Rennes and Brittany soon. Hope you enjoy the post as I, and again thanks for reading me since November 2010 !

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

September 24, 2021

The Oust river of Malestroit!

Well dwelling into nature, not usually do, I enjoy it but not a into the woods. However, this one is superbe special and worth the detour me think. I have new text and older pictures in my blog.  I came here first because my company sponsored a running race thru the woods starting in city center, and I was a happy spectator! And voilà, Malestroit , the pearl of the Oust, came into my map! Things happens here in lovely Bretagne! And let me tell you about why the Pearl of the Oust river is Malestroit!

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The best is by car from Vannes take the N166 direction Rennes and come off at exit D776 Malestroit, follow the signs for the city. Or a bit further or coming from Rennes closest is the exit D10 Serent/Maletroit. From Nantes you take the N165 to the N166 direction Rennes and follow above. There is a bus and no train station fyi. It is about 70 km (about 43 miles) from my house.

All works around the Oust river , that connects here with the wonderful Canal Nantes-Brest.  All the streets lead to the Canal! No matter where you are in the medieval center of Malestroit, you will always come across the Nantes-Brest Canal and its towpath. you can go for a walk, bike, boat, … you can also have a picnic and laze on a bench or stretch out under the large trees that line the towpath and house the dike.

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The Oust river is the main tributary of the Vilaine river, which it joins at Redon on the right bank. Its course, 145 km long or 155 km according to some sources, is entirely located in the departments of Côtes-d’Armor (22), Morbihan (56) and Ille-et-Vilaine (35) of the region of Bretagne. The river, of which a large part of the course is artificial, is an integral part, over more than 80 km of the Nantes to Brest canal. It crosses the Appalachian Armorica and offers a bayonet route forming a lock. The valley of the Oust does not reveal any real historical unity but takes on more the appearance of an aggregate of counties which, through their heritage ie Josselin castle or the presence of symbolic places ie the battle of Ballon, illustrate the long history of Brittany. The Oust river is attested for the first time in the 6C in the work of Grégoire de Tours, Histoire ecclésiastique des Francs, book X, 9 in the form of Huldam Fluvium by the 19C it took the modern spelling Oust.

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The Oust river takes its source at an altitude of 225 meters northeast of Le Haut-Corlay (see post), in the Côtes-d’Armor, at the foot of the peak of Kerchouan ,which rises to 318 meters in the western part of the mountains of ‘Arrée. Then, afterward it immediately merges with the Vilaine river. It is after the meeting of the Oust and the Vilaine that the latter becomes maritime, sensitive to the action of the tides. The Nantes-Brest canal taking the last part of its course, the Oust, appears as an artificialized river, a succession of bodies of water, interspersed with 61 locks, The valley of the Oust part on which the canal from Nantes to Brest form the confluence with the Vilaine to the upstream of Rohan; the canal then abandons the Oust to join Pontivy and the Blavet river via an artificial section. Before the construction of this canal, the Oust was already navigable downstream from Malestroit, thanks to 2 locks at Beaumont and Rieux en Saint Congard.

Maletroit oust canal at rue notre dame levies apr12

The idea of ​​carrying out this link was relaunched, under the Consulate,(Napoléon) in 1803, the authorities then pursuing an objective more strategic than economic: to connect the arsenals of Brest and Lorient with Nantes and Saint-Malo in complete safety while the English navy had mastery of the sea and was a permanent danger to maritime traffic off the coast of Brittany. Construction did not begin until 1811 and the work was not completed, after many interruptions, until 1836, However, the canal was not officially inaugurated until 1858 by Napoleon III.

In the three departments of Côtes-d’Armor (22), Morbihan (56), and Ille-et-Vilaine (35), the Oust river crosses 49 towns and 14 cantons, The towns are : Le Haut-Corlay, La Harmoye, Saint-Martin-des-Prés, Le Bodéo, Merléac, Allineuc, Uzel, Saint-Thélo, Le Quillio, Saint-Caradec, Trévé, Loudéac, Hémonstoir , Saint-Gonnery, Saint-Maudan, Gueltas, Rohan, Crédin, Bréhan, Pleugriffet, Les Forges, Lanouée, Guégon, Josselin, Guillac, Saint-Servant, Val-d’Oust, Ploërmel, Montertelot, Sérent, Saint-Abraham, Saint-Marcel, Caro, Missiriac, Malestroit, Saint-Congard, Saint-Laurent-sur-Oust, Saint-Martin-sur-Oust, Saint-Gravé, Peillac, Les Fougerêts, Glénac, Saint-Vincent-sur-Oust, Bains-on-Oust, Saint-Perreux, Redon, Saint-Jean-la-Poterie. And the cantons are : canton of Corlay, canton of Quintin, canton of Plœuc-sur-Lié, canton of Uzel, canton of Loudéac, canton of Pontivy, canton of Rohan, canton de Josselin, canton of Malestroit, canton of Ploërmel, canton of Rochefort-en-Terre, canton of La Gacilly, canton of Allaire and confluence in the canton of Redon. I try for my sake to highlight those I have been.

The local Broceliande tourist office on Malestroithttps://www.broceliande-vacances.com/decouvrir/incontournables/canal-nantes-brest/petites-cites-caractere-canal/malestroit/

The river stops along the Canal Nantes to Brest https://www.escalesfluviales.bzh/escales-fluviales-de-bretagne_canal-de-nantes-a-brest_histoire.htm

The green way for cyclist from Malestroit to Redonhttp://www.ma-voie-verte.fr/piste-cyclable/voie-verte-malestroit-redon

The city of Malestroit on its historyhttps://www.villedemalestroit.bzh/index.php/tourisme-et-patrimoine/presentation-et-actualite

There you go folks, something different in my off the beaten path road warrior ways. This is a must for the nature lover, and those walkers, cyclists will enjoy it much. We have done some walks along the canal and its wonderful, worth the detour to the pearl of the Oust , Malestroit!

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

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September 23, 2021

The old Fort Neuf of Quiberon!

And moving about the area recently it brought back  many memories of family visits, so went back to the blog to see what was written on it. I found it mix in with other posts and really it deserves a post of its own; therefore, here is my take on the old Fort Neuf of Quiberon! Hope you enjoy it as I.

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One of the nicest thing around here is that there is an old fort and a small beach very nice with hotels resto nearby right at the very tip of the Quiberon peninsula lovely sea views and great walks of course. I read the sign at the fort to translate a bit of information here. Fort Neuf, probably built during the War of Succession of Spain (Habsbourg) 1701-1774. It was completely enclosed in 1792, and finally a complete fortress between 1883 and 1886.

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It was still occupied during the wars of the French revolution and the Empire. The construction of a model tower is envisaged there in 1811. It is one of the four coastal batteries out of eleven kept by the “Joint Commission of armament of the coasts of France, Corsica and the islands” of 1841 for the defense of the anchorages on the Quiberon peninsula. The commission awarded it two 30-pound guns and two 22-cm howitzers. Its cubicle must be a crenellated guard for 40 men intended to accommodate 20 infantry from a coast guard post in addition to the battery servants. The reorganization of the battery and the construction of the guardhouse were carried out in 1860-1861. The Fort Neuf battery was kept after 1870 and rebuilt in the 1880s according to new standards adapted to the progress of artillery. Its armament consists of three 24 cm guns, 1876 war models. The Fort Neuf battery was no longer part of Quiberon’s defenses , and in 1902 the defense was moved to Port Haliguen (see post). During the Great War or WWI, it accommodated the installations of a seaplane base. The site is occupied by the Nazi army during WWII. The battery casemates from the 1880s were razed at the end of the 1990s. The site is currently used as a public garden.

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Of course, there is another wonderful beach just at the foot of the fort. The Plage du Fort Neuf  along the ocean front Bd. de la Teignouse. Ideal for lovers of sailing and jet-skiing: this beach has a launching wedge for all sailboats and motorboats. Oriented to the East, it shelters swimmers from the West winds. In addition, they can enjoy the view of the Bay of Quiberon offered from the Fort Neuf promontory. Parking at the foot of Fort Neuf free.

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My fav beach webpage Plages TV on the Fort Neuf beachhttps://en.plages.tv/detail/fort-neuf-beach-quiberon-56170

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Quiberonhttps://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/quiberon

There you go folks, glad to show you my heaven on earth and slowly unveiling it for the world. Hope you enjoy the tour of the old Fort Neuf another nice one down the alley from me about 40 minutes driving on easy roads D768 all the way from my house. Quiberon is tops !!

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

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September 23, 2021

The Pointe du Conguel of Quiberon !!!

A magical spot in my beloved Morbihan 56 of my lovely Bretagne. This one we know ,not told much but need to . It is for the lover’s of the sea ,nature, and just beautiful scenery. You need to go there by car of course. I will update this older post for you and me as remind me, we were there recently as allow to go out and with still restos/bars were closed no need to go further. Anyway this is our backyard and what a yard it is. Welcome to the Quiberon peninsula or Presqu’ïle de Quiberon!

Oh yes the name is Pointe du Conguel or Conguel’s tip/point . It is all the way to the end of the peninsula bordering beautiful Atlantic ocean breezes and waves , passing by wonderful places to stay ,shop, and eat. This is another world, almost an island world which is my roots anyway. Let me tell you a bit more about it ok.

The Pointe du Conguel is at the end of the peninsula in the Bay of Quiberon. It is in the territory of the town of Quiberon. The meaning of Conguel probably comes from the Latin/Spanish concha (shell), itself of Greek origin and which also gave the French conque which qualified ports whose sheltered cove was a guarantee of protection for ships.

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The Pointe du Conguel is originally an island, formed by rocks linked together by accumulated sand. This island is connected to the mainland by a tombolo 300 meters long. Two islets extend the point: Toul Bihan, accessible on foot at low tides, and Toul Bras, where Gallic burials were discovered. Further out is the Phare de la Teignouse or lighthouse, which marks the passage of the Teignouse, near which the battleship of the Courbet France class sank on August 22, 1922, ripped open by a rock; the wreck is located 0.5 mile south-east of the Teignouse lighthouse.  The lighthouse of Teignouse marks the separation between the Bay of Quiberon and the Atlantic Ocean. Here you can enjoy an extensive view of the offshore islands. For early risers, it is an idyllic place to watch the sunrise.

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The Pointe du Conguel is about 1000 meters long and 200 meters wide. It is placed under the protection of the Conservatoire du Littoral. A path makes it possible to go around this natural site. The Conservatoire du Littoral is a establishment member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), it has no equivalent in other countries. In 2017, the Conservatoire ensures the protection of 200,000 hectares on more than 750 sites, representing approximately 1,600 km of maritime shoreline, i.e. 15% of the French coastline. In my Morbihan they manage the following. The Islands: Belle-Île-en-Mer, Groix Island, Houat and Hœdic. On the Bay of Quiberon: The pointe du Men-er-Bellec, Pointe de Keryondre, and Pointe du Conguel. In the Gulf of Morbihan: L’anse de Mancel, Ilur Island, pointe des Emigrants, Pointe de Kerpenhir , Pointe de Penhap; marshes of Pen an Toul, marshes of Séné, and banks of the Vincin. Also, the dunes of Plouhinec and Le marais de Pénestin (marshes). The official webpage on the Pointe du Conguel info is here in French:  https://www.conservatoire-du-littoral.fr/siteLittoral/523/28-pointe-du-conguel-56_morbihan.htm

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There is a nice beach here , Plage du Conguel at the end, the pedestrian-only Conguel beach is particularly quiet, especially since it is sheltered from the westerly winds. Not far from there, at the end of the Pointe, south side, the Jument Beach is a very quiet place, far from the bustle of the city center! On the parking at the entrance of the Pointe du Conguel, you will find toilets and an emergency call terminal. Spaces for parking bicycles and picnic tables. We love it!!

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My favorite webpage for beaches in France, plages TV on the Conguel beachhttps://en.plages.tv/detail/conguel-beach-quiberon-56170

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Conguel beach location etchttps://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/to-see-to-do/water-sports-and-beaches/beaches/plage-du-conguel

You can walk or bike all of this, and we do walk and walk km, lovely all around the best way to see nature.  Again, my heaven on earth and slowly unveiling it for the world. Hope you enjoy the tour of the Pointe du Conguel another nice one down the alley from me about 40 minutes driving on easy roads D768 all the way from my house. Quiberon is tops, and the Pointe du Conguel is awesome.

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

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September 23, 2021

The Porte Prison of Vannes!!

This is one of the nicest gates of old Vannes and one we come often by it, having parked by the ramparts below the ruins of the old castle . I have written several posts on the ramparts of Vannes and its famous towers; however, little on the porte Prison. Therefore, this is an all new text with older pictures to show you the Porte Prison of Vannes!!

It took the turn of the porte Prison or prison gate partially destroyed in 1886 and one of the oldest access to the town to make the people react to save the ramparts  and create and association in 1911 to do so. The work continues today, making it the key to the local heritage seen by tourists and locals alike; making the ramparts one of the rare urban fortifications still existing today in all of Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh.

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The, one of, the reasons we come by here is to have an apéro in style at the Le Saint Nicolas resto right off of it, almost attach to it; lovely indeed! And I have written about this resto before in my blog too.

The story of this area of my capital city of Vannes is told by the fact that here the old Roman road crossing the castrum from West to East probably passed in the direct vicinity of the gate, supposed to allow access to the city from the 3-4C from the Saint-Patern suburb (now district of Vannes see post), then called Porte Saint-Patern in the Middle Ages ; which developed on the hill of Boismoreau. and where the ancient city stretched before it was withdrawn into the fortified enclosure. It is one of the oldest accesses to the walled city. An obligatory passage for merchants from Rennes and Nantes, As proof, the remains of the Gallo-Roman wall in place near the gate, rue Francis Decker and rue de la porte prison.

vannes porte prison rue de la porte prison dec19

A medieval building follows on from this passage through the ancient city. It was built in the 13C under Duke John II. This first campaign includes the gate itself and the front part of its passage closed by a harrow. The second campaign took place under Duke John IV, during the second half of the 14C. The door is fitted with a drawbridge, a postern for pedestrian passage and a large, low relief arch which surmounts them. The third campaign is attributed to Duke John V. It consists of the repair of the upper parts enhanced with machicolations on brackets forming pointed arches. According to ancient texts at that time, the gate was also reinforced by a barbican, an advanced defense making it possible to protect the entrances made more vulnerable by the progress of artillery fire. Under Duke François II or Duchess Anne of Brittany (also twice queen of France), one inserts between the grooves of the drawbridge, a shield carved with the arms of Brittany.

The fortified gate is commanded by a system of double drawbridges, one for the cart gate and one for the pedestrian crossing, Under the French revolution, the suspects and the condemned are locked up there: religious and refractory priests, including the blessed Pierre-René Rogue , or royalists, like the staff of the emigres who landed in Quiberon in 1795. The gate then took the name of Porte Prison. Plans were drawn up on this occasion in 1811. The second half of the 19C saw the alienation of the building to private owners who did not always have the means to maintain it. In 1886, the south tower was demolished with the exception of part of its ground floor and the exterior facing of its lower level which serves as support for the neighboring house.

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The Porte Prison gate was bought by the city in 1934. The gate underwent several restorations: in 1972-1975, the roofs and interior fittings were redone; in 1985-1987, the south tower and the adjacent curtain wall were released in order to re-establish a path open in summer for walkers. The whole was the subject in 2010-2011 of a major restoration. Today we cross the Porte Prison in a straight line, which we could not have done in the 14-15C.

The city of Vannes on its heritage and porte prisonhttps://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/histoire-et-patrimoine/qr-patrimoine/porte-prison/

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on Vanneshttps://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/vannes/

The Bretagne/Brittany tourist board on Vanneshttps://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/vannes/

There you go folks, another dandy spot in my beautiful capital city of Vannes! And in my Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne, and in my belle France! You got it all covered, enjoy the Porte Prison and the ramparts as we do.

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

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September 23, 2021

Le Port of Vannes!!!

Well need to write again about my capital city of Vannes! Actually, we spent almost as much here than in our residence town. And the beat goes on around the wonderful beautiful port or Le Port of Vannes. I had touch base on it before in my blog, but feel one is not enough so here is a bit more on the Le Port of Vannes! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The port of Vannes is a commercial port, a passenger port and a Marina located north of the Gulf of Morbihan along a 1 200 meters channel that leads the boats from the commercial port of Pont-Vert to the afloat basin , at the foot of the Porte Saint-Vincent, entrance gate of the old town of Vannes. The port is a lively area of the town of Vannes.  The center town Le Port is a lively and urban district of Vannes, covering an area of 1.5 km². It has many corners of greenery such as the Parc de la Garenne, the Butte de Kérino and the Jardin de Limur. See posts.

vannes canal le port from parking to event oct16

The Porte Saint Vincent pierced in the rampart at the beginning of the 17C and rebuilt in the 18C, it has been framed since 1840 by buildings forming a hemicycle which delimits the Place Gambetta. Facing the chanel port and marina just lovely, but have writen before on it in my blog.  And behind you, the port of Vannes ; at the end of a 1,200 meters long channel, the Vannes marina with its harbor master’s office, its cultural kiosk, its green spaces, its restaurants and its long walks, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular areas of the inhabitants of the city.  The port is the beating heart of the city of Vannes. An unmissable place that embodies the famous Vannes lifestyle. The port of Vannes is therefore a very pleasant district to live in for its proximity to the sea, the charm of its half-timbered houses, the nearby intramural, its activities, schools / high schools … the list of assets of this district is long!  The capital city of the Morbihan dept 56, Vannes has its own right bank rive droite left bank rive gauche. Two shores, two atmospheres! The right bank is  known for its famous Promenade de la Rabine with its long avenue of trees that borders the water to the Kerino bridge. And the left bank is after the harbormaster, the quartier or neighborhood of Faubourg de Calmont. Lovely areas indeed. And one of our favorite parking spots is up this promenade! for free!! The other good parking we have used even if paying you get discount by using one of the merchants in the Place Gambetta and left/right banks; the Q-Park Le Port webpage here: https://www.q-park.fr/en-gb/cities/vannes/port/

vannes le port canal marina mar19

A bit of history I like

The location of the port in Vannes has varied greatly. Without having found the port facilities, archaeological excavations restore the ancient port to the location of the prefecture, south of Boismoreau hill, site of the ancient Darioritum. Over the centuries, the progressive saltation causes a displacement of the site towards the south. The exact location of the medieval port was not known until the extension of the urban wall to the south, which took place at the end of the 14C.  After the installation of three convents on the port, the Ursulines in 1627, the Carmelites in 1629, the Father-Eternal soon after, the vitality of the port made this district a popular place in the second half of the century. Despite the presence of the Féty Chapel c 1420, which commemorates the passage of Saint Vincent Ferrier,(see post) the left bank was not really invested until the 17C. It was especially in the 18C that construction intensified, together with the establishment of the shipyards which occupy the current space of the Petite Rabine. The construction of the Porte Saint-Vincent gate in 1624 confirms a new path created at the end of the 16C, between the city and its port. Place Gambetta is the result for the first time in Vannes, of a program aiming to stage the port and access to the city by the Porte Saint-Vincent.

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Furthermore, access to the port is done under the Kerino bridge built on the channel, downstream of the lock gate. There is now a wonderful underground tunnel just super! The Kerino tunnel or Kerino underpass is an underwater road, cyclist and pedestrian tunnel. This work of art, destined to cross the Marle river, is located at the mouth of the channel linking the port Marina to the Gulf of Morbihan. The tunnel is dug a few meters downstream of the current Kerino bridge. It has a length of 250 meters and has two passages separated by a bulkhead, one for the car traffic in both directions, the other for a bike path and sidewalk. Nice

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The city of Vannes on the pleasure marina of Le Porthttps://www.mairie-vannes.fr/port-de-plaisance/

The ports webpage passport stops on the Le Port of  Vannes: https://www.passeportescales.com/fr/marina/5-vannes

The Morbihan dept 56 Tourist Office on Vanneshttps://www.morbihan.com/accueil/decouvrir/le-morbihan/les-principales-destinations/vannes

There you go folks, a dandy in my Vannes capital of the Morbihan dept 56! The Le Port area is the happening place day or night and you would do well to stop by in either. Hope you enjoy the post as I telling you about my wonderful spots.

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

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