Archive for September 12th, 2021

September 12, 2021

L’Hôpital-Camfrout, a wonderful visit!!

This is an off the beaten path town on my road warrior trips in my lovely Bretagne, I was there today nearby at Daoulas (see post), and with time decided to push on to L’Hôpital-Camfrout, or Hôpital-Camfrout, a town in the department 29 of Finistère, Therefore, I went to look for information and history on it as I do for all others to have firmly in place in my blog for years to come I hope.

The town of Hôpital-Camfrout forms, by the bay of Brest a peninsula between the estuary of the Camfrout river to the north and the Aulne estuary to the south, facing Landévennec located on the shore left of the maritime Alder , The town is part of the regional natural park of Armorique. The island of Tibidy depends administratively on the town. The Hospital-Camfrout was located on the old national road 170, a traditional route following the route of a Roman road then a royal road going from Quimper to Brignogan via Landerneau, and taken again by the current expressway national road 165 from Nantes to Brest via Quimper and the Iroise bridge, but with a modified route which now departs from the village of L’Hôpital-Camfrout, passing further east in a trench through the Bois du Gars, And this is now call the D770 which we took on this trip.

You have here a hamlet of Kerascoët part of L’Hôpital-Camfrout, but a port located further downstream on the left bank of the Camfrout river concentrating most of the town’s maritime activities. The town is also the home port of two old rigs, the Notre-Dame de Rumengol barge and the Shepherdess of Domrémy ;the port is also home to platforms, some sailboats and fishing boats. Troaon is with Kerascoët, one of the two largest villages dependent on the town. it is a fishing village, also having a beach, at the mouth of a small stream, the Vorlenn, The Sainte-Anne de Troaon Chapel was built in 1950 and has a recent statue of Saint Guénolé. A pardon takes place at this place every year in July with the traditional blessing of the sea on the shore of Troaon, a nearby port.

hopital camfrout quai amiral leissegues sep21

hopital camfrout stone by quai amiral leissegues sep21

A bit of history I like

Hôpital-Camfrout was first a priory dependent on the Abbey of Saint-Guénolé de Landévennec with a charitable asylum and chaplaincy hospital created in 1072 by Justinius, abbot of Landévennec, under the name of Notre-Dame de Caristan, In the 12C , the Hospitallers of Saint-Jean-de-Jerusalem, located in their commandery of La Feuillée would have come to ensure order and benefit from the profit of it.

The Bretons, including Saint Jaoua, the legendary founder of the Abbey of Daoulas and Saint Guénolé, founder of that of Landévennec, would have landed nearby in the 6C. The Normans also landed here in the 10C. A text from the 11C tells us that a charity asylum, the priory of Notre-Dame-de-Caristan was built at the Hôpital-Camfrout by Justinius, abbot of Landévennec, for pilgrims from Hibernia (Ireland) and Scotland on a pilgrimage to Landévennec Abbey.

Kersanton stone had been mined for a long time, particularly directly on the beach in Kerascoët. The main quarries opened from the beginning of the 19C; they were located on the right bank of the estuary of the Camfrout river where there was a string of five open-air kersantite exploitations. The exploitation gradually ceased from 1950 and definitively in 1984. Nowadays, water holes mark the site of the old quarries, the working faces being still visible. Of which stone is made the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York? And much of the same rock that was used to make churches or lighthouses in the region. It is kersantite also called Kersanton stone!!

The main monument to see here ,me think, and we like it by the Camfrout river is the Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle Church, done of course in Kersantite stone, was started in 1490, and was a simple chapel in the parish of Hanvec. The choir has two bays with aisles forming a false transept to the south: it ends with a polygonal apse. The west facade dates from the 16C.

Hopital Camfrout ch Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle front sep21

Hopital Camfrout ch Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle ent sep21

The porch dates from 1611, the sacristy and the transept from 1634. In 1821, it becomes a parish church. It contains a very beautiful statuary; the quarry pits of the Choir bear the coats of arms of the Dukes of Brittany, the Viscounts of Faou and the Lords of Rosmorduc; a polychrome stone statue of Saint Barbe (Santa Barbara), was sculpted in 1511 at the request of Jehan du Vieux-Châtel, the last commissioning abbot of Landévennec. A statue of Saint John the Baptist in polychrome wood was made by the same sculptor. A set of three polychrome wooden statues , known as the crucifixion erected as a beam of glory in the center of the church and dated 1678. Above the door are three shell niches: the middle one houses a statue of Our Lady of Pity. Inside are several ancient statues: Our Lady of Good News, Saint Yves, Saint Sebastian, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Mathurin, Saint Fiacre, Saint Barbe (1511), an Ecce Homo and a Crucifix between the Virgin and Saint John dating from 1678.

Hopital Camfrout ch Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle tympan ent saints sep21

The western facade entirely in Kersanton stone, in the Renaissance style, is remarkable for its quality and craftsmanship. delicacy of his sculptures. On this facade, there is a Kersantite statue representing Saint Guénolé and dated 1983 , the abbot has his right hand blessing and holds a closed book in his left hand. ,A lepers door dates from 1736. A fire that occurred during the night of February 11 to 12, 1825 destroyed much of the frame and roof. The facade porch dates from 1611 and the bell tower. Six stained glass windows were installed in 1955, The parish church has a small relic of Saint Idunet, one of Saint Guénolé’s companions.The stained glass window (1984) of the south wall, represents Saint Guénolé and his disciples.

Hopital Camfrout ch Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle altar sep21

Hopital Camfrout ch Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle chapel Christ risen sep21

Other worth seeing with more time is the Sainte-Anne Chapel done in 1950, located in the village of Troaon, facing the island of Tibidy. There is a statue of Saint Guénolé (1954) and a painting. The fountain of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, also known as the fountain of the Virgin, built in 1699, is located 500 meters south of the main church. It houses a crowned Virgin of the 14C. The island of Tibidy is the place of stay of Saint Guénolé in the 6C, and his eleven companions, before building the Abbey of Landévennec.

The city of L’Hôpital-Camfrout on its heritage including the church:

There you go folks, another dandy discovery in my lovely Bretagne. Another off the beaten path monument that would worth the detour to see, the main Church Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle. The wonders of my road warrior travels never cease to amaze me. Hoping you enjoy the post finding as I

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

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September 12, 2021

The Abbey of Daoulas!!!

This is even an off the beaten path trip for us, We went to Plougastel-Daoulas for many occasions such as even boys birthdays, and sightseeing, However, unknown to us at the time, there is another town next to it and with only the name of Daoulas with a historical abbey, so we took off there. This was to be an updated entry in my blog but we went again this morning and took newer pictures. Therefore, here is the old text refresh with new pictures on the Abbey of Daoulas .Hope you enjoy it as I.

Daoulas abbaye ch ND chapel across cemetery sep21

Daoulas is a town in the department of Finistere no 29, in the Brittany region, known mainly for the Notre-Dame de Daoulas abbey. This town is located at the confluence of two rivers, the Mignonne and Lézuzan. Further upstream, the manor of Kerdaoulas dominates the valley. This town is located at the bottom of the harbor of Brest, bordering the estuary of the river Daoulas, in typical situation of estuary bottom, at the limit of the navigability and the rise of the influence of the tide.

Daoulas abbaye ch ND back sep21

Daoulas has a magnificent abbey, an old monastery done by the 12C ,by the canons of the order  of Saint Augustin, the abbey still shows great architecture of its old beauty. A  cloister from the 12C unique example of it in Brittany , a fountain, an oratory  from the 16C and a conventional house from the 18C. An exceptional garden  with medical plants inspired by the monastic gardens of the 14C grouping about  250 species of condiments, the therapeutics, aromatics, exotics even magical  plants. In addition to 5 hectares of discovery gardens with small pond , old water washing machines, and sheeps from the region of the island of Ouessant. It’s a magical place.

Daoulas abbaye ch ND gardens ent sep21

A bit of history I like

The legend, tell us of the Life of Saint Jaoua and then repeated by several authors says that a lord of Faou, still pagan, has committed a double crime in the Church of Daoulas. The latter, having become a Christian, in reparation for his crime, founded the Monastery of Daoulas, or both wounds, of the two pains, at the very place where St. Judulus had been assassinated by him. Saint Jaoua was charged with the construction of the monastery and proved that he was a very good architect.  This town is known for events related to the revolt of the Bonnet Rouges (Red Bonnets) against the taxes of the king,  which reaches the area of ​​Daoulas July 3 and 4, 1675.  The port of Daoulas was as prosperous as that of Brest in the first half of the 17C. The union of the abbey with the seminary of Brest for the benefit of the Jesuits in 1692 led to the dispersion of the canons; it was the beginning of the decadence of Daoulas, that the suppression of the lords’s justice in 1790 accentuated the decline. Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie de Montijo passed by Daoulas on August 12, 1858.

The things to see here and very much worth the visit are

The Notre-Dame de Daoulas abbey and its gardens belong to the General Council of Finistère. The fountain Notre-Dame-des-Fontaines contains a Virgin and Child holding an apple in the hand, symbol of original sin. It has probably been built on the site of a former pagan place of worship, especially druidic as a very old statue located nearby seems to illustrate. The three basins of the fountain recall the Holy Trinity. The basin of the fountain forms a rectangle of 6 meters by 4 meters and is surmounted by a sort of small Gothic chapel made of Kersanton stone, covered with two acute crawlers with pinnacles at the four corners. Gothic style, it was rebuilt in 1550. This fountain was in the past the object of great devotion.

Daoulas abbaye ch ND altar sep21

The parish Church of Notre-Dame, is formed of the remaining Romanesque parts of the old abbey church and a neo-Romanesque part rebuilt in the 19C. the building to a supposed Romanesque state and brought down the choir of the 16C, very large, and the bell tower that threatened to collapse. The mission cross is on the site of the old choir. The Romanesque abbey remains the west facade, the nave and the north aisle dating from the last quarter of the 12C. The nave of seven bays 28 meters long, 12.5 meters high  is covered with a frame. Above, large splayed windows are pierced in the bare wall. The spans are not marked and the carved decoration is banned. At the end of the nave, the west wall is pierced by a door underlined by moldings and engaged columns. On the second level, three beautifully-sized windows with moldings cover the entire width of the wall, surmounted by a small window at the frame’s cradle. The choir and the two apsidioles, vaulted in a cul-de-four, directly extend the nave and the aisles, without transept. They are neo-romans ,19C, as is the south aisle and porch. The wall of the apse is animated by a series of seven blind arcades, supported by carved capitals imitating those of the cloister, where are inscribed in the axis three semicircular windows. The crests of the sacristy date from the 16C. In 1984, the altarpiece of the Virgin in the sacristy was restored and moved to the left side of the church. In polychrome wood, its pediment represents the eternal Father framed by 2 angels, the base represents at its ends, the adoration of the Magi and the Assumption of Mary.

Daoulas abbaye ch ND chapel virgin et child sep21

Daoulas abbaye ch ND pulpit sep21

The entrance porch of the parish enclosure has a calvary, known as the Porch to the Apostles, corresponds to the old porch of the Renaissance-style church and basket-handle, which was transplanted there in the course of the 19C. It was replaced on the south facade of the parish church by a neo-Roman porch.The ordeal located at the entrance of the cemetery is simple only one cross, but is double-sided. The old Ossuary dates from 1454. It was transformed into a Sacristy in the 19C. It is a rectangular building in Kersanton stones with the exception of the basement. It bears an inscription with the date of 1589 and the arms of Father René Du Louet.

Daoulas abbaye ch ND triomphe arch to cemetery sep21

Daoulas abbaye ch ND triomphe arch back sep21

It’s a small town packing a lot of history and architecture that is worth going in and on the off the beaten path cycle of my lovely Brittany or BretagneDaoulas is worth the detour, me think.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are:

The city of Daoulas on the abbey:

The Landerneau-Daoulas tourist office on the abbey:

The Bretagne region tourist board on the abbey:

There you go folks, you are now arm to come see this jewel of my lovely Brittany, and belle FranceDaoulas is super , small but packing a lot of history/architecture in it. Hope you enjoy it as I did.

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

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September 12, 2021

Fontevraud l’Abbaye !!!

We have thought of visiting for a long time, and passed by several times ,finally we were in ; and what a pleasant surprise to see something wonderful, This is Loire river area in the in the Maine et Loire dept 49 of the Pays de la Loire region to pay a visit to Fontevraud l’Abbaye or the Notre Dame Abbey of Fontevraud!!!

 We are used to see these wonderful monuments in my belle France,  but this one was there for king Richard the Lion Hearted.  For the lovers of history like me this is tops, and of course great architecture. Let me give you a bit of an introduction on the history and architecture I like. Bear with me please, will try to keep it shorter in this update of an older post. The town of Fontevraud-l’Abbaye  is situated in the department of Maine-et-Loire ,no 49, in the Pays de la Loire region. just south of Saumur. It is famous for its abbey Notre-Dame, dynastic necropolis of Plantagenets, one of the most important abbey complexes of Europe, at the crossroads of the departments of Maine-et-Loire, Indre-et-Loire and Vienne, as well as the regions  of Pays of the Loire, Centre-Val de Loire and Nouvelle-Aquitaine.


The foundation of the Abbey goes way back.  In 1096, Robert d’Arbrissel receives from Pope Urban II visiting Angers, a mission of preaching. He settled between 1099 and 1101, with the help of Peter II, bishop of Poitiers, in a valley named Fons Ebaudi and undertakes the foundations of the abbey. In 1115, Robert d’Arbrissel fixed the statutes of Fontevraud with the nuns. In the same year, he had the first abbess, named after the Angevin nobility, Petronille de Chemille.

A bit of history I like on the abbey of Fontevraud:

The Royal Abbey Notre-Dame de Fontevraud is an old Benedictine abbey, seat of the order of Fontevraud, founded in 1101 by Robert d’Arbrissel on a 13 hectare site established on the Angevin border of Poitou and Touraine, it is one of the largest monastic cities of Europe. The monastic complex today consists of two remaining monasteries of the original four. The most important is the Grand-Moûtier monastery, open to the public, which houses the abbey church, the Romanesque kitchen and the Saint-Benoît chapel of the 12C, as well as the cloister, the conventual buildings, including the chapter house, and infirmaries of the 16C. Some of the buildings today house seminar rooms. The Priory Saint-Lazare, whose church dates from the 12C, was transformed into a hotel residence.

The transformation of the abbey into a dynasty necropolis Plantagenets greatly contributes to its development. Henri II, married to Aliénor of Aquitaine in 1152, made his first visit in 1154. The couple entrusted to the abbey his two youngest children: Jeanne, born in 1165, and John, future king of England. He left the abbey after five years, while Jeanne did not leave until 1176, for her marriage. In 1180, Henry II financed the construction of the parish church of Fontevraud, the Church of St. Michael, built near the abbey. In 1189, Henry II died in Chinon. No provision had been made to prepare the funeral. Although the former king was able to talk about being buried in Grandmont, Limousin, it is difficult to transport the body in the middle of the summer and nobody wants to take the time to travel. Fontevraud is then chosen for convenience, to prepare for the burial in a hurry.


Richard the Lionhearted  (known more like this in France while in England more as Richard I) dies in 1199, in Chalus-Chabrol castle. On the choice of his mother Aliénor d’Aquitaine, the body whose heart and bowels were removed, is taken to Fontevraud and buried alongside his father. On the other hand, his heart is buried in the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Rouen and his entrails presumably in the chapel of the ruined castle of Chalus-Chabrol today. In 1200, back from Castile, Aliénor decides, at more than 80 years, to withdraw in a virtually final way to Fontevraud. She died four years later, in 1204 in Poitiers, and is buried alongside her husband, her son Richard and her daughter Jeanne. In 1250, Raymond, Count of Toulouse and son of Jeanne, is buried at his request to his mother. In 1254, Henry III, son of Jean, organizes the transfer of the remains of his mother Isabelle d’Angoulême, then buried in Angoumois at the Notre-Dame de la Couronne abbey, as far as Fontevraud. His heart is deposited there at his death.



The end of the Plantagenet empire puts the abbey in a delicate situation. Due in part to the Hundred Years War, by 1369, the abbey lost about 60% of its land rents, aggravating an already difficult financial situation. In 1670, the abbey has 230 nuns, 60 religious as well as many lay people in charge of the administration and the 4714 servants. The death of Jeanne-Baptiste will profoundly mark the fate of the abbey: the former abbess having not chosen a co adjutress as was the custom, the new abbess is then appointed by the king himself. In 1670, Louis XIV appointed at the head of the Abbey and Order  Mary Magdalene Gabrielle de Rochechouart, sister of Madame de Montespan. In June 1738, the four younger girls of Louis XV arrive at Fontevraud where the king entrusts them to the education of the nuns. A new home is built in the west, the Bourbon home, completed in 1741, expanded new facilities in 1747. The daughters of Louis XV will stay until 1750.

The French revolution will bring the fatal blow to the abbey and the order of Fontevraud. The coup de grace arrives in 1789: the goods of the clergy are declared national property. In 1793, a troop enters the abbey despite the intervention of the guardian, and begins to loot and ransack the buildings. The sarcophagi and coffins of the vault of the abbesses are broken and the bones left abandoned or thrown away. To avoid further looting, the town rushed to sell the remaining property. The 106 former religious still residing in Fontevraud attend the ultimate dispersion of furniture and hammering blazons and signs of the old regime. In full reign of terror, the atmosphere is heavy and the former occupants of the abbey become suspicious in the eyes of the administration.  In 1804, Napoleon I signed a decree that transformed the abbey into a detention center, as well as those of Clairvaux and Mont Saint-Michel. The first prisoners arrived in 1812. The prison was officially opened in 1814. Most of the six hundred prisoners were evacuated at the closing of the prison, except about forty, employed in the maintenance of green spaces and the demolition of penitentiary facilities. They leave definitively the residual prison,to the La Madeleine, in 1985, date at which the buildings are returned to civil life.

From 1840, thanks to the action of Prosper Mérimée, Inspector General of Historical Monuments, the former Abbey of Fontevraud is listed on the first national list of classification of historical monuments of France. Gradually, several buildings are released from their assignment: the cloister in 1860, the refectory in 1882, the tower of Evrau and the abbey church, 90 meters long, at the beginning of the 20C, and are gradually restored. From the closing in 1963 to the end of the 20C, the almost uninterrupted restoration projects gave it the appearance that the visitor discovers from now on. The site becomes a permanent place for debates, exhibitions, shows and residencies for artists, particularly in the field of animation cinema. The Royal Abbey of Fontevraud, Cultural Center of the West, is a member of the European Network of Cultural Encounter Centers. You can see today the Le Grand-Moûtier , abbey Church , Cloister, Chapter House and Kitchen. Also , the Chapel of Saint-Benoît , nurseries and the priory of Saint-Lazare. And the recently completed Modern Arts Museum!




Again my main reason for coming here was to see the coffin of king Richard the Lion Hearted in addition to the royal story, I always love the movies depicting his story such as ben a Crusader, Robin Hood, and Ivanhoe. He has been depicted in countless movies and books, both in a fiction and non-fiction format. You may recall that Sean Connery played him in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Love them all! And of course, the fact that he was born in England, was King of England as Richard I, and buried in France wow!!! And on his French Plantagenet heritage, wasDuke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Poitiers, Count of Maine and Earl of Anjou!! Go figure ,so they speak English ,,,lol!

The city of Fontevraud l’Abbaye on its heritage

The official Fontevraud l’Abbaye monument abbey/church

The Saumur tourist office on the Abbey of Fontevraud

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France, This one is tops , and a must to visit me think, Hope you enjoy the post on the Fontevraud l’Abbaye.

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

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