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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