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!!

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: