Archive for December 3rd, 2021

December 3, 2021

The Gendarmerie of Vannes!!

Another emblematic building of my capital city of Vannes in my beautiful Morbihan and my lovely Bretagne. I am relieving these buildings for their history and meaning even today. This is the case of the caserne Guillaudot barracks of the gendarmerie of Vannes! or military police. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Gendarmerie de Vannes will leave the Place de la Liberation. From now on, public reception will be in Saint-Avé (see posts) since December 1, 2020, There will be still a small detachment in Vannes.  This barrack has the name of caserne Guillaudot in honor of General Maurice Guillaudot. However, the building is from 1850 that it was at the old Place du Champ de Foire for the placement of the administration. The square also took a new name as of now, Place de la Libération, It is a bus terminal for the departmental bus lines and the first one my boys took to come from our home to the city, On the side there is car parking which we have used as well.


The new HQ will be base in rue Baudelaire , Saint Avé and will cover the towns of Arradon, Plescop, Ploeren and the Gulf Islands. But also 15 other towns thanks to joint action with the Grand-Champ brigade. The new building, located between the Bois de Kerozer and rue Baudelaire, will be in the immediate vicinity of shops, services, public facilities and public transport. Close to the means of communication, its location, strategic for the missions of the gendarmerie, is also for its urban, natural and landscape qualities. 26 families live inside the barracks,

At the Vannes building known as caserne Guillaudot there is a small museum inside , the General Guillaudot museum which traces the history of General Guillaudot, former commander of the Morbihan gendarmes and hero of the liberation, who gave his name to the barracks. It is a whole set of unusual objects that are present. As early as 1940, General Guillaudot refused to submit to the occupier. His personal commitment to this mission resulted in him being transferred, as a disciplinary sanction from Rennes to Vannes, for refusing to carry out an order from the prefect. He decides to create a resistance network which will, in particular, organize the parachuting of weapons, the rescue of Anglo-Saxon airmen, train future guerrillas, protect the refractory in the service of compulsory labor …etc.

His group prepared in May and June 1943, file 2223, better known under the code name “basket of cherries”, consists of numerous documents. Twenty-three sketches made by hand by the gendarmes of the territorial brigades are, in most cases, accompanied by an explanatory commentary, often very detailed. These sketches highlight the Nazis defenses, installations and garrisons in certain sensitive areas of the MorbihanThese documents were dispersed as follows : one is placed in a container, then sealed and buried in Gendarme Hulot’s garden, within the Vannes gendarmerie barracks. It was then recovered intact by Squadron Leader Guillaudot upon his return from deportation.  The other is hidden by Adjutant Louarn, in Josselin’s brigade, while awaiting shipment to the authorities of Free France. It is then placed in a specially designed box in London for transport. This is equipped with a double bottom and a destruction device. The complete file is transported to the Auxerre region (89) by a commando group of four men from the St Marcel resistance group (Morbihan see post) Guy Lenfant, Honoré Chamaillard, Julien Leport and Jean Garin. On the night of July 18-19, 1943, Guy Lenfant embarked in a Lysander with the “basket of cherries”, which he handed over to the BCRA officers in London. On the evening of July 20, Commandant Guillaudot heard the long awaited message on BBC Radio: “The basket of cherries has arrived. The fruits are remarkable. We would like to receive more. Congratulations and thanks to Yodi, for his action and his excellent work. “

The gendarmerie of Vannes

Translated above by yours truly from the Gendarmerie association :

A bit on General Maurice Guillaudot, He took part in the Great War or WWI where he was knighted in the Legion of Honor in August 1918 , He then followed training at the Gendarmerie School of Application in Versailles. He was raised to the rank of captain in 1928, then to that of squadron leader (equivalent to commander) in 1936. He was assigned to Vitré (Ille-et-Vilaine 35) in 1940, at the head of the 2nd group of the 4th Mobile Republican Guard Legion. This branch of the Gendarmerie being dissolved in the French occupied zone, he was placed at the head of the gendarmerie in Rennes. Following his refusal to charge the many Rennais who came on June 17, 1941 to flower the graves of the victims of the Nazis bombing of June 17, 1940, he was transferred to Vannes.  Arrested on December 10, 1943, he was deported to Neuengamme in Germany from where he returned in May 1945. He was appointed general in October 1945, before being accused of conspiring against the French Republic in the context of the Blue Plan affair (a group trying to revert the left leaning ways of the French Republic in those days) . at the end of the 1940s the general of the gendarmerie Maurice Guillaudot, will be arrested. They will be exonerated and released without any follow-up after six months in prison.

There you go folks, a nice piece of history and a gallant building in Place de la Liberation in Vannes. The Gendarmerie is there, will see what is the future as for now, it is a nice building full of history. Hope you enjoy this historical post.

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

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December 3, 2021

The other cinemas of Vannes!!!

Ok so we like movies, and go often, not as much as we want to but do go. And my boys go more than I as well…. I have written before on the Cinéville cinema parc lann of Vannes the one we go most often. However, there are other we go too and a couple no longer open but worth mention for the history of them and in Vannes. Hope you enjoy this cinema tour of the other cinemas of Vannes!!!

The other one we have been and has a great location overlooking the old ramparts of the fortified old town of Vannes is the Cinéville Garenne. This cinema is located at 12 bis, Rue Alexandre le Pontois. You have choices of parking by the ramparts, by Le Port area or the underground garage in Le Port. Of course, once parked in town we walk to the cinema.  In addition to national and international movie releases, or special programs, the cinema broadcasts the Metropolitan Opera season every year, with live performances. Not technical but is dotted with the 4K image, of a definition of about 4000 points out of 2000 is 4 times more than the HD image, and 20 times more than “standard video”. Immersive 3D sound with the Dolby ATMOS® sound experience: unique sound. More precise. More impressive! It sounds good indeed, this is as well as in the Cinéville parc lann.

vannes cineville garenne aug17

A bit of history I like from the old timers in Vannes. Already at the beginning of the century, Father Guillaume offered cinematographic performances in the premises of the patronage of Saint François. It was in 1925 that Abbé Guillaume had the La Garenne cinema built (1,000 seats). The walls of the room were then decorated with panels representing sites and monuments of Morbihan . In 1951, the room underwent redevelopment as street entrances. Before 1970, the Soredic became the owner of the cinema La Garenne (capacity 759 seats ). Already in 1976, another owner manages the Cinema La Garenne. Like many of its colleagues, La Garenne became a 3-room complex (between 1984 & 1976: 354 seats ,190 seats, and 82 seats).  Today the Cinéville La Garenne has 5 rooms with 316 to 75 seats. Soredic has entered into an agreement between the city/town hall of Vannes and the Cin’écran association (created in 1998) in order to promote the “Art and Essay, quality and original version” programming. In return, the city of Vannes will provide financial and fiscal assistance to the Cin’écran association in the organization of events.

The official Cinéville cinemas on the Garenne :

The official Cinéville Garenne of Vannes:

The Eden was at 7 rue Pasteur is no longer a cinema but I passed in front several times on my trips to Vannes. The story goes that in 1911, a skating room was built on this site. It was in 1922 that Robert Damilot (painter and decorator specializing in theatrical sets, decoration of cinemas, theaters and shows) bought the “Roller Skating” hall. Under his direction, a new Art Deco facade was created. The 900 to 700-seat room offers an orchestra, a balcony and a promenade. The facade represents floral and plant motifs. In the center, stands out an oriel intended for the projection booth. Bought in 1966, the cinema was renamed Comedia et Universal. In 1976, the Universal was announced for a capacity of 850 spectators. In 1981, Eden changed hands and became the property of the Holley Company of Brest. The building was extended in height and from the rear. It now has 3 rooms with 225, 156 and 128 seats. In December 2003, Eden draws the curtain definitively despite the creation of an association for the defense of the site “West of Eden”. In the summer of 2009; the work of the apartment building which replaces the cinema has just been completed. All that remains of Eden is the repainted and maintained facade. It has a nice facade too bad could not continue as a cinema.

Now this one was a surprise as not heard about it until the old timers in Vannes told reflecting on these souvenirs. Le Royal was at 19 rue Joseph le Brix. Going up towards the Hôtel de Ville in Vannes, we discover what was the Le Royal cinema. It was in 1934 that Fernand Leonce, owner of the Molière cinema in Douarnenez(29), decided, once it was not customary, to build a cinema room on the site of a garage. The Royal opened in 1936. The facade is narrow. The entrance is topped by an oriel (sort of bow window) on two levels. Access to the room is via the corridor. The Royal has kept its unique hall with around 500 seats, including an orchestra and a balcony, until it closed on October 23, 2001, the room was restructured and now houses a large store of books, records and DVDs. This store is Cheminart, and looking at its facade it does resembled an entrance to the old cinema! Cheminart webpage:

There you go folks a nice historical perspective on the other cinemas of Vannes , of which as you can read, there is only one left. As the other cinéville parc lann is on the new section of town past the expressway N165 ,Rue Aristide Boucicaut (see post). Hope you enjoy this artsy trivia of my capital city of Vannes.

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

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