Archive for September 21st, 2021

September 21, 2021

Guipavas, and its cactus!

We came here because my dear late wife Martine wanted to search for cactus trees and she found a place near here that has a large selection. So we went for it from our road warrior trip around the Brest region on a weekend. And we ,also, found a new quant town of our lovely Bretagne. Well , the only other time past by here was on the way to the airport of Brest ,which is actually in the town of Guipavas on the other side or past Brest centre.   This is an updated post and hope you enjoy it as I.

I like to tell a bit of history I like on Guipavas.

Since the territorial reforms which took effect in 2015, the new canton of Guipavas comprises the towns of Guipavas, Relecq-Kerhuon and Plougastel-Daoulas (see post). The passage to Guipavas in 1858 of Emperor Napoleon III and Eugenie of Montijo, as they travel from Brest to Landerneau during their visit to Brittany. In 1861, Princess Bacciochi laid the foundation stone of the Guipavas Agricultural Institute. Her Highness wanted to visit the charity House of Guipavas, directed by the Sisters of Wisdom. It has been founded for only eighteen months and has already produced a considerable amount of property. The sisters provided relief to the sick and instruct the girls in the town.

Guipavas owned an airship center at the end of WWI from 1 July 1917 until 1 January 1919. Dirigible tests were still taking place in Guipavas in 1922. A ministerial decision of 1925 adopted the principle of the installation of an airport in Guipavas. On February 18, 1928, Captain M. Waskenheim and Sergeant Major de Freycinet completed the first air link between the Bourget airport (near Paris) and the new Guipavas airport in 4 hours; they put 3 h 20 to make the journey back two days later.

During the Nazis occupation, the Commander settled in the city/town hall. A Nazi DCA battery was installed on the heights of Ménez Toralan. The Château de Kerléon was occupied by the Army. On 7 August 1944 in the evening, the 6th American Armored Division, which made in six days a meteoric breakthrough from Avranches, approaching Milizac, Gouesnou, and Guipavas, its purpose being to take Brest. During the siege of Brest, the village of Guipavas found itself between the enemy lines. The American lines are close to the top of the village, at the height of the hamlet of Menhir, while the Nazis lines border the bottom of the village, controlling the district of Pontrouf . On September 2, 1944, the 2nd Division, which is part of the 8th United States Army Corps headed by General Troy Middleton seized the hill 105 near Ménez Toralan near Guipavas , the conquest allowed the American forces to advance 3 km towards Brest along the Élorn river. On 11 November 1948, the town of Guipavas received the War Cross with star of vermeil; the decoration was supported by the following quotation: “A town whose ardent patriotism has never been denied during the painful enemy occupation. At the vanguard of the resistance in the region of Brest, was the object of hard fights where its children participated, side by side with the American army, to the liberation of their soil, from 20 to 25 August 1944”. I like to have this here, times change.

And now the feature presentation the Cactuseraire!!


The cactuseraie  sits on the road D712 between Guipavas and Landerneau in the village of Creisméas. It has over 6000 m2 of space and over 2000 varieties of suculents or cactus varieties ! It is open all year on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 14h to 18h, during our local school vacations it is open Mondays to Saturdays from 14h to 18H, and from July 4 to September 3 , Mondays to Saturdays from 14h to 18h. Check for times as with the new world order they may change. You can visit a part of it call the museum , no bank cards all is French checks or cash euros. The museum has some amazing plants on display. The selection was very friendly and informative by the both gentlemen and we came out with about 7 plants from 4€ to 15€ for our garden décorations. Very good and very good prices indeed. The selection as said is huge.  And my dear late wife Martine took three!!



The official Cactuseraie webpage:

Passing in town one cannot overlook the two churches, the one right smack in city center as you entered on the D712, is the Church of St Pierre et St Paul. The foundations are from the 14C ,restored in 1840;then rebuilt after fire from bombings in 1944 finally done in 1955.


Then ,we went as well in city center and saw the Chapelle Notre Dame du Rhun, from the 15C; during the French revolution it serves as a headquarters of the Republicans army here .  it has been restored in 1805.  It was heavily damaged during the bombings of August 1944; the spiral was destroyed in August 11, 1944,and restored finally between work of 1951-1952.

guipavas chapelle notre dame du reun jul16

In all a very nice trip for all of us and wonderful memories now. This was another example of going out in our region full of surprises and need not tell you about the history and architecture all around it. This is the Finistére and you are at Guipavas! The city of Guipavas:

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

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September 21, 2021

The ossuaire de Saint Cadou of Landerneau!!

One of the singular historical monument of my beautiful Morbihan is at Landerneau. I have written on the town but left this important monument out for some reason ,it should be mention in my blog. Therefore, new text and old picture let me tell you a bit about the ossuaire de Saint Cadou of Landerneau!!

The ossuaire de Saint Cadou, just facing the Church St Thomas (see post) is the old ossuary of Saint Thomas dedicated to Saint Cadou with a date of 1635.  This is a rectangular building with four windows and two chapters in the door. the funerary chapel was taken in 1794 by the French revolution to be a factory of laces and leather shoes for the soldiers. Later, it served for housing of the sacristan priest and later as of today a museum of stone statues from the area.


This very beautiful building with a surface area of 24 m2 houses seven interpretive panels that inform visitors on the heritage of Landerneau. They are illustrated with photos and precise explanations in French, Breton and English, on the ossuary itself, on the local sculptors, certain local houses ,but also on the monuments of the territory. The place is a real gateway to visit the city. This is awesome, worth the detour to see it

In addition, five sculptures, three original and two casts, are presented on large gray boxes, offering to discover three local Landernese sculptors’ workshops. Bastien and Henry Prigent, and one of the greatest Breton sculptors of the modern period, Roland Doré. A 3-minute film, produced with the Apeve association, is presented on the production of Roland Doré.

The City of Landerneau on its heritage :

The Landerneau-Daoulas countryside tourist board on things to see in Landerneau in pdf file :

There you go folks, a nice monument with plenty more to seee around in nice Landerneau. The Ossuaire of Saint Cadou is worth seeing it me think. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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September 21, 2021

Little Beignon,and Billio in my Morbihan!

And here I continue updating and taking you so some off the beaten paths towns of my beautiful Morbihan, in lovely Brittany, and in my belle France. The quantity as well as quality still amazes me after 18 years living in France and 21 as French! Let me go ahead and get right to the story ,hope you enjoy it as we do. Oh yes these are the little towns of Beignon, and Billio! Of course, we come here by car,king of the road !

Beignon is a town in the forest of Paimpont (see post). The parish of Beignon exists from the 8C. The lordship of Beignon was probably given to the Bishop of Saint-Malo by the sires of Gaël, ancestors of the Lords of Montfort, so that the prelate would establish his summer residence (more precisely in Saint-Malo-de-Beignon -see post)). Other historians bring back this donation to the year 866 where reined the King of Brittany Solomon.

St. Peter’s Church (église Saint Pierre)  burned in 1483, and was rebuilt in the 15-16C. It was covered in 1539. Ransacked during the French revolution, it was rebuilt or restored in the early 19C. It is a Latin cross-shaped church with two aisles, the covers of which are perpendicular to that of the nave. You can admire its magnificent 16C stained glass windows depicting the tree of Jesse and the life of St-Peter as well as its carved quarry on the frame . The decoration of the portals and windows is Flamboyant. The north gate is dated 1689 to the top of the gable and carries an Episcopal crest.


On the exterior, the St. Peter’s Church presents on each side a succession of decorated acute gables. A square bell tower, with a more recent slate spire, rises on the portal. The quarry of the Choir represent scenes of the life of St. Peter, explained by inscriptions in Gothic character. The Church has many elements from the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin, including the altar, statues and the processional cross. The scenes of the passion and the life of Saint Peter of the glass mistress date from circa 1540. The stained glass of the choir presents the arms of Mgr François Bohier, Bishop of Saint-Malo between 1535 and 1567. The canopy of the Tree of Jesse, located in the north arm of the transept, dates from 1540 and presents the crest of Mgr François Bohier, Bishop of Saint-Malo. These two stained glass windows were restored in the middle of the 19C by 1855-1859. In the sacristy there is a beautiful chalice, whose chiseled foot is of the 15C, as well as a processional cross ,silver plated on wood  of the 16C.


Other places to visit  here with time are:  The birthplace of Father Gabriel Deshayes and the museum dedicated to him. He is a French priest known for his commitment to teaching, especially to the deaf. Superior of the congregations of the Montfortian and Daughters of Wisdom, second founder of the Brothers of Saint-Gabriel and founder of the Sisters of the Christian instruction of Saint-Gildas-des-Bois, of the Brothers of the Christian instruction of Ploërmel and of the Brothers Farmers of Saint Francis of Assisi.

The Beignon South Gate to Broceliande tourist office on Beignon heritage

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist board on the St Peter’s Church in Beignon

Billio is a bit away from the other , a change of pace. It is a  small territory, limited to the north by Guéhenno, to the west by Saint-Jean-Brévelay, to the south by Plumelec, and to the east by Cruguel. The city center is only 7 km from Saint-Jean-Brévelay, 24 from Ploërmel, and 28 from Vannes.

The history make us believe that Billio owes its origin to a small monastery, because its name was formerly Moustoir-Billiou. This establishment, perhaps ruined by the Normans, could be replaced by a small parish, at the end of the 10C or the beginning of the 11C. This parish appears to have been made at the expense of Guéhenno, and to have been put on the principle under the patronage of Saint Corentin, Bishop of Quimper. Billio appears as a separate parish in the titles of the chapter in 1387 and 1422; but before the end of the 15C it was united with Cruguel.

The Notre-Dame Church  built from 1471-1860. This church was erected to replace an ancient church dedicated to Saint Corentin and whose structure was decorated in the 17C. From this old church, there remains a carved stone giving the date of 1553. The oldest parts date from 1471. The present Church is built in 1860. The stained glass of the Virgin, dates from the 20C  representing  the Virgin surrounded by little angels. One can admire a chalice in vermeil from the 18C  to the arms of the family of Lantivy, and two processional crosses, of the 18C also, one of them in silver.


The city of Billio on its Notre Dame Church:

A bit of orientation on both towns above. Billio is not far from the N24 which connects Rennes to Lorient and also can get to Vannes and my town. The best for visitors would be coming from Rennes on the N24 take the D778 direction Guéhenno and at this town take the D165 to Billio. To get to Beignon, again take the N24 from Rennes (see posts) as the town is closer. Here you can go by the town of Phélan-le-Grand (see post) , and take the D224/D724 same road to Beignon , or continue on the N24 to exit for D124 direction Beignon. The town of Beignon is closer to the Rennes-St Jacques airport and the train stations are at Ploërmel on the Rennes-Redon line (see post). There is a bus line Keolis Rennes-Pontivy and a TIV line Rennes-Paimpont but never taken them. To Billio could not find any public transport and never taken any in these neck of the woods.

There you go folks, another wonderful ride thru the nice off the beaten paths little towns of my beautiful Morbihan. We love the rides and do so every weekend, when possible. Bear with me and you too can have an unique visit to unique places on the off the beaten path trails of my beautiful Morbihan, lovely Bretagne and belle France.

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

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