The tour du Loch of Auray!!

Again, in my road warrior trips around my beautiful Morbihan, I had to visit one of my former homes that is now very close to my current home. I have many posts on Auray in my blog, and this one was just briefly mentioned before but feel it deserves a post of its own. Therefore, here is my take on the Tour du Loch tower of Auray!

The Tour du Loch is a tower located in Place du Loch, behind the football field (Loch Stadium).  It was on this lookout that Duke Arthur 1er built his castle. In 1364, a battle for the succession to the Duchy of Brittany pitted Count Charles de Blois, loyal to the king of France, and Jean de Montfort, supported by the English. The winner, Jean de Montfort, took the title of Duke Jean IV. The castle was destroyed in 1558 by order of the grandson of Anne of Brittany, Henri II, and his stones were sent to Belle-Ile to allow the construction of the Vauban citadel. (see posts).

auray tour du loch closeup nov18

The parc du Loch park encircled the Loch stadium ,and constitute a pleasant 3 hectare park. Walkers can discover the Loch Tower here. Composed of three stepped square courtyards, the Loch Tower was built shortly after the construction of the port of St Goustan/Auray, at the beginning of the 17C. This belvedere dominates the Loch river , where the port of Saint-Goustan was once very active. A walk through terraced gardens and large trees descends towards the quays without going through the Rue du Château. Or like going from haute ville (upper town) to basse ville (lower town) in Auray. Behind this Loch tower, you can descend on the ruins of the old castle all the way down to the port of Saint Goustan, the beautiful harbor of Auray. Indeed a lovely walk carefully done.

A bit of history I like. At the end of the development of the port in the 17C, a pyramid tower was built for the monitoring of maritime traffic. But the development of the trees on the hillsides of the  Loch obscuring the view, it became ineffective, therefore useless. In 1721, a new square tower with a spiral staircase rising up to a cross, was built to replace the pyramid. From there one could then watch for the arrival of the ships. But here too the trees have grown.

In the 18C, it was a place of arms, a place for walks and games. In 1764, an order from the Duke of Aiguillon proposed to beautify it. The old trees were sold and 150 new ones were planted. The ground is leveled and the walls at the corner of the Cordelières chapel (current Father Eternal Chapel see post) are repaired. During the French revolution, a tree of Liberty was planted there. On June 24, 1828, the Duchess of Berry laid the first stone of a new belvedere, the work of which began in September 1829. From the top we can see the open sea, Quiberon, Belle-Île-en-Mer and the bell towers of the surrounding towns.

And if you go up the tower, it’s no longer for boats, but rather to watch game matches from a privileged place.

The city of Auray on parks and squares: https://www.auray.fr/Ma-ville/Patrimoine/Parcs-et-squares

There you go folks, a dandy spot often overlook in the off the beaten paths of my beautiful Morbihan and historical Auray. Hope you enjoy the bit of sights in Auray and this Tour du Loch tower!

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

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