Archive for December 8th, 2021

December 8, 2021

Chapelle Notre Dame de Lourdes of Auray!!

This is a gem me think ,and would love the opportunity to update this older post in my blog. I take you back to my neck of the woods for something unique off the beaten path and worth a detour indeed. This is my favorite area in Auray. After our dinner we walk a bit to show Saint Goustan, an old fashioned harbor of historical proportions to the USA and Canada that I have written before in my blog. However, today, will tell you about something unique, the Chapelle de Notre Dame de Lourdes or the Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel. The neighborhood is very nice quant and many old phases of it, this is Saint Goustan.


You will see the wonderful now renovated Chapelle de Notre Dame de Lourdes in Saint Goutan, district of Auray. There is still some minor details inside , but this is a loving care work by folks who care. Let me tell you first about the district. 


The district is under the protection of Saint-Goustan, the patron Saint of sailors and fishermen. And is is part of the city of Auray. And who is St Goustan? Well Goustan was born in 974 in Cornwall ,England. Kidnapped by pirates at 18, wounded, he is abandoned on the island of Houat (in the gulf of Morbihan) where he owes his life only to Providence which provides him with fish which he uses sparingly and which every day is reconstituted (hence its legend and its representation with a fish) and with help of St Félix, who will convert him to Christianity. He became a monk in 1025, and founded a Priory on the island of Hoëdic (another island of the Gulf of Morbihan). He rests with his brothers monks in the Abbey of Saint-Gildas of Rhuys (see post).

A bit of history I like

Due to its recent nature, the Chapelle Notre-Dame de Lourdes  has attracted little attention until the end of the 20C. The documentation concerning it, whether written or iconographic, is very small , it is essentially constituted by the parish archives, the town of Auray documentation, as well as some old postcards. The old photographs contained in the departmental archives of Morbihan gladly show the picturesque rue du Petit Port, with its wood-paned houses from the late middle ages and the beginning of modern times, but none can distinguish, if only in background, the chapel that interests us. An article was found about the blessing of the Chapel by the Bishop of Vannes in 1879 in the newspaper La Semaine of the Diocese of Vannes. The conclusions that can be drawn from these investigations make it possible to highlight that the construction of the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes takes place from the winter of 1874-1875 and probably continues until 1878 (vintage of stained glass) or 1879 (the blessing by the Bishop taking place in November 1879).


The major interest of the Chapel of Notre-Dame de Lourdes, on the architectural level, lies in the fact that it seems to have undergone no change in the course of time, whether it is the structures as much as the furniture that it houses. In this sense, it offers a perfectly preserved example of the buildings of worship built in the second half of the 19C, in a neo-Gothic style, where you can perceive the local influences of the Finistére on the bell tower as much as the attempts to imitate the Upper Basilica of Lourdes  for the reception of the façade, creating a Chapel with a very special character, or even unique. Indeed it is for us!!!


You walking trails from the city of Auray that includes passing by here. Bear in mind this is a hilly site, you climb a street with handrails help but all worth it I tell you. Go for it when in the area. Saint Goustan is nice for many things and even across from the Chapel there is the St Sauveur Church  (see post) and down by the river in Place Saint Sauveur there are plenty of restos and bars to keep the day longer into the night! 

The city of Auray on its heritage trails:

The city of Auray on Saint Goustan and the district of Auray

There you go folks,  something unique and nice ,quant , historical and architecturally interesting in an off the beaten path. Hope you enjoy the Chapel Notre Dame of Lourdes in Saint Goustan district of Auray.

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

Tags: ,
December 8, 2021

The parc du golfe fun activities in Vannes!

So will come back to tell you about some wonderful family activities in a great spot in my capital city of Vannes. This is the parc du golfe and its great , plenty here for all, see my many posts. However, I will update a previous post on the aquarium and butterfly garden which are in the parc du golfe. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

You  will find in the Parc du Golfe a garden of butterflies or jardin aux papillons ! ,and what was the  aquarium of Vannes. Its a mix feeling of nice family visits and many enjoyable moments here and then sad story of a closure. Life goes on we just keep our memories intact. Let me tell you my story on these.

You have the Le Jardin aux Papillons or Butterfly Garden, where you will discover an ecosystem with hundreds of tropical flowers and plants, in the midst of which tropical butterflies and a few birds evolve. The site is covered and the conditions are tropical: it is between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius (68 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit) with an ambient humidity of 80 to 100%. The tropical climate conducive to life gives beautiful colors to plants and flowers. The luxuriant vegetation reveals its treasures to you: Coffee trees, Banana trees, Guava trees, Hibiscus in bloom, Citrus and Pass Flores.   Butterflies are shy but if you are discreet and attentive, you will be able to observe them all around you. Prefer a visit on a clear, sunny day, as they will be more active between 11h to 16h. You then walk among the butterflies which fly and forage in freedom.

vannes le jardin aux papillons ent mar21

It is a small tropical paradise, refuge of a multitude of butterflies from Africa, America and Asia. This astonishing 500 m2 greenhouse recounts the ephemeral life of these “sky gods”, who fly and forage in total freedom, among the lianas and flowering shrubs. Like true entomologists, you will discover the nursery, which welcomes 400 chrysalises every week, to finish their moult in a hatcher. Under the eye of the most curious, the pupae will then crack, revealing the still crumpled wings of the butterflies. A fleeting and unique moment, since some varieties only live for a week or two … Also, sit in the calm of the garden, listen to or look for the 2 parakeets or the 3 Chinese quails ; by the way, why do we find quails in the Butterfly Garden? Well, quite simply because these birds have a cleaning role: everything is natural in the Garden, the quails eat the parasites or insects that chase the butterflies.

An educational and nice place to visit with the whole family! The parc du golfe is wonderful with plenty of other activities even eating/drinking places , peniche boat on the gulf with piano Jazz , and boating passing by , making them, and ferry to the out islands, A magical spot indeed !

The official Jardin aux papillons webpage

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on the butterfly garden

The Aquarium of Vannes was located in the Parc du Golfe as well, and had three sections to see, Temperate seas Waters, Warm and tropical seas, and  Warm fresh waters. The aquarium was carrying out a mission to save the fauna of the Gulf of Morbihan. It presents two endangered species from the Gulf: the seahorse, and the cuttlefish. Unfortunately, the Aquarium of Vannes has closed a while ago, and the doors of the site, having welcomed no less than 5 million visitors in 36 years of activity, will remain closed this summer 2021 as well as in the coming months. The ponds emptied, the fish sold and the employees made redundant… End of the story of the Vannes aquarium ; sadly indeed,

Vannes aquarium parc du golfe ent may13

The residents of the aquarium, including the female crocodile Eleanor or the tropical fish, have found refuge in other sites and in particular at the Biarritz aquarium, The man who opened the Vannes aquarium in 1984 is actively considering the future. He said « I am working on the design of a new major project that could welcome you in 2023 or 2024, A project on the sea and biodiversity instead of the former aquarium « assures Denis Konnert, the owner.

The aquarium hosted a Nile crocodile found in the sewers of Paris, under the Pont Neuf, in 1984. Measuring less than a meter at the time, Eleanor measures 3 meters in adulthood for a weight exceeding 250 kilos . Its habitat is singularly reminiscent of the sewers where it lived before being found by sewer workers and captured by Paris firefighters. In 2020, it was entrusted to La Ferme aux crocodiles in Pierrelatte (Drôme 26). He died sadly in June 2021.

There was even a mini-golf course part of the Aquarium! It was the ideal place to test your skills in a friendly and good ambiance ! With a course of 18 tracks, the mini-golf offered you 1h30 of relaxation. We love the design with decorative arrangements that punctuate the course: lighthouse, mill, castle, tower, sundial and a suspension bridge 4 meters long. It was fun but as the aquarium same owner is closed no date as what will be next here or part of the overall future project,

The official Aquarium of Vannes webpage with sad news:

There you go folks, two mythical spots for family trips to our capital city for many years now; sadly one is closed. Nevertheless, will keep this post for the memories and remind me of our family visits to the aquarium. Gladly, the butterfly garden is still there to marvel young and old. Hope you enjoy the tour of the Aquarium and Butterfly Garden of Vannes as I.

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

Tags: ,
December 8, 2021

Rue Saint Vincent of Vannes!!

And of course, can’t let you off easy from my dear capital city of Vannes of my beautiful Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne, and in my belle France.. This town has charm, quant, historical ,and great architecture; one town needs to be discover more by visitors. I have many posts on Vannes, and will continue to detail its marvels, such as this wonderful half-timbered houses street of Rue Saint Vincent! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Rue Saint Vincent was created on land ceded to the inhabitants of Vannes by the Duke of Vendôme in 1610. The first constructions were made at the end of the 16C, but most of the mansions were built in the 2nd half of the 17C for or by parliamentarians during the exile of Parliament of Brittany in Vannes between 1675 and January 1690. The opening of the Porte Saint-Vincent gate (see post) in 1624 allows an outlet from the street to the port (see post). The street is straight bordered by houses built on plots, on the east side, deep and shallow reaching the city wall, unlike the mansions on the west side of Rue Saint-Vincent built on larger plots, a probable result of grouping together. narrower plots.
vannes rue saint vincent aug18
A major breakthrough in the intramural area, the Rue Saint-Vincent can be considered as the city’s first attempt at urban development, the city’s first real link with its port, through the very demonstrative Porte Saint-Vincent. open on marshy grounds. The marshes undoubtedly required special work when the land in this sector was reduced. The estier of the Moulin des Lices (formerly the Moulin de la Nue), the influence of the canal on the fishmonger side can still be seen in the current plot. Most of the houses along Rue Saint-Vincent were built in the 17C. Many of them have kept stairs, fireplaces, wall cupboards despite essential renovations. On the other hand, some have been the object of irremediable destruction, including 11 Rue Saint-Vincent, rebuilt in 1960, and of which only the very beautiful wooden staircase with central opening, comparable to that of the Hôtel de Limur, (see post) in stone remains. 

One nice house here is at No 15 rue Saint-Vincent; near place de la Poissonnerie, The construction of the mansion on the largest plot of Rue Saint-Vincent, bordered by the place de la Poissonnerie, by the canal de la Marle supplying the mill of Lices from which it still separated it in 1844. The mansion was established between the courtyard on which its main facade develops. The courtyard is bounded by two square freestone pillars cushioned into balls, once marking the western edge of the canal on the Place de la Poissonnerie. A second series of pillars, of which only the south pillar remains, once bordered the east bank of the canal. In alignment with the street, the main facade of the mansion developped on two floors and a top floor a regular facade with 6 bays, the door of the entrance shifted giving access to a paved corridor leading to the staircase; the staircase with three revolutions and two flights of granite is similar by its limestone arches delimiting a central day, to those of the Hôtel of Limur (see post) and the episcopal palace, the latter on a more important development. however, the stone balusters were replaced in the 19C by a wooden balustrade without character: a single baluster remains on the half-story rest, undoubtedly in limestone and covered like the arches with a hideous plaster the distribution comprises of the noble floor 1st floor (2ndUS) , Below the stairwell, a large square apartment comprising two rooms facing the street and three rooms in the back wing overlooking the courtyard including the kitchen, distribution which must be repeated on each level . On the other hand, the levels of the main body contain only one or two rooms facing the street, the wing back onto a courtyard dedicated to the stables not linked to the main body. In the 2000s, the resumption of shop facades on the facade made it possible to discover traces of part of the old openings,

The mansion known as Hôtel Dondel at 8 Rue Saint-Vincent, was possibly built in the first half of the 17C, acquired by Pierre Dondel, Lord of Keranguen, king’s adviser and first magistrate at the presidial seat of Vannes from his uncle François de La Pierre, Sieur des Salles, on May 29, 1680, In 1726, had the latter built the body on the street level in limestone, rejecting the staircase in the body on the back with the creation of a stairwell explaining the recess of the south gable wall. The basement takes up the L-shaped plan of the first dwelling, showing the remains of old air-holes blocked during the creation of the stairwell. The family still owns the hotel in 1840 according to the archives kept, The two-part hotel set up in alignment with the street and the alley, with a small separating interior courtyard and rear garden. The main body on L-shaped street with return to the rear, double in depth, built in regular granite rubble, with framing of the bays and paintings under the windows and molded limestone cornice. The hotel shows an elevation with spans with 2 square floors and an attic floor on a large vaulted basement with central access door on the ground floor., The rear lateral staircase gives access to the floors and to the latrines located on the half-floor. There is a secondary staircase for each level which starts at the half-floor. The posterior body grafted onto the back of the main body comprises a pavilion part; the rest join the tour Trompette or Trumpet tower, (nice creperie here now see post) passing over the alley; this part has only one square floor under a two-sided roof.

Today, the Rue Saint Vincent has a new face with widened sidewalks, a narrowed traffic line, an upgrade for people with reduced mobility, an absence of height difference between the roadway and the sidewalk. It is full of shops and restos so quant one of our favorite and leading to the Le Port marina passing under the Porte Saint Vincent is very nice, On the other side going into the old town you pass wonderful square where the big market (see post) is held and which we love to come on Saturday noonish.

vannes rue saint vincent and petit train sep21

The city of Vannes on the Rue St Vincent

There you go folks, another dandy in beautiful Vannes, my capital city. We come to the Rue Saint Vincent often and very much shop in this street many goodies, nice shops and restos here amongst the wooden houses, love it. You too will just stop by will you! Hope it helps your planning

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

Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: