Archive for February 3rd, 2022

February 3, 2022

The Church St Pierre of Riec sur Bélon!!

Well here I decided to do a disecting of one post talking about two completely different things into two posts. We are in Riec sur Bélon and yes this is oyster territory for the world famous Bélon oysters, so the post on that was left intact. I took the Church St Pierre or St Peter out to do this brief post on it. Hope you appreciate the change of pace.

riec sur belon

Riec-sur-Bélon is a small town that stretches between the rias of Aven to the west and Bélon to the east. The town takes its name from Saint-Riok, a 6C Breton saint, saved from the clutches of a dragon at the age of two and who lived as a hermit near Camaret before ending his life at the Abbey of Landévennec.  The town of Riec sur Bélon is in the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne. It is located at 12 km from Quimperlé, 17 km from Concarneau, 27 km from Lorient and 35 km from Quimper.I get here easy on the road N165 getting off at the road D783 follow kerfleury and then Riec sur Bélon about 60 km from my house.

The Church St Pierre or St Peter has a Gothic bell tower, a nave of five bays with side aisles, a transept and a choir. The layout is in the shape of a papal cross. The bell tower with its beautiful Gothic spire, is flanked by a turret of canted staircase giving access to the chamber of the bells. The church was rebuilt in 1872-1873,and part of the materials from the old 15-16C bell tower were reused. The choir and the nave were built in 1771 on the site of a religious sanctuary mentioned in a parish act in 1510. The western facade, the bell tower and two bays of the nave date from 1875 and respect the style of previous constructions. Inside is a polychrome oak wood pieta and a Christ in a brown tunic. On the placister, a Gallo-Roman stele. Part of the paving to the west is made up of tombstones from the old cemetery. My oldest son going in to church below!!

riec sur belon ch Saint-Pierre front belltower apr19

riec sur belon

The Parish of Quimperlé on the Church St Peter of Riec sur Bélon

The city of Riec sur Bélon on its heritage so the church

There you go folks, now I feel better to have the oysters and the church apart on Riec sur Bélon! Something to see in city center after a bushful of Bélon oysters, see my other post on it; it is yummy!! Hope you enjoy the Church of Saint Peter as I

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

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February 3, 2022

The painters and Pont Aven!

I like to take update for you and me this older post on a wonderful institution in historical Pont Aven. This is in next door neighbor Finistére dept 29 and the city very much along the history of painters in France. For a little town, I think it has more punch than even Paris on an even scale. This is of course, Pont Aven. It is only 66 km from my house or about 41 miles. I will have some pictures of the Aven river here, see my other posts on the museum and things to do in Pont Aven.

Pont-Aven is dubbed “the city of Painters” as many painters including Gauguin have stayed there. And so beautiful a must to visit near me, On the N165 expressway!  The town is close to the Atlantic coast, bordered on the east by the Aven river. The small town is located at the edge of this river, where it widens into an estuary that forms a ria, where the last bridge before the sea is located on this coastal river. They are at the origin of the saying: “Pont-Aven, renowned city, 14 mills, 15 houses” of the Breton Aven which means river, river of Pont-Aven, in Breton Pont-Aën and one of the sources is located near the village of Pen-Aven.


Pont-Aven is quoted on the occasion of the revolt of the Bonnet Rouges (Red Caps,against the taxes demanded by the King) which occurred in Brittany in 1675. In 1844, Pont-Aven is described as a “seaside village, picturesquely situated on a sea side, with a port where ships abound from 50 to 70 tons.” In the second half of the 19C Pont-Aven welcomed its first tourists. From 1830 at least, artists represented Pont-Aven as shown by paintings and lithographs of the time, but facilitated by the opening of the railway line to Quimper in 1863, the true discovery of Pont-Aven by the artistic world date from 1864: In July of that year, a young American painter, Henry Bacon travels diligently between Concarneau and Quimperlé where he travels to take the train and the stagecoach stops at Pont-Aven which he discovers by chance. He is seduced by this village. Anyone would even today!!

pont aven rapids river aven off Place de l'Hôtel de ville jan13

Henry Bacon, back in Paris, talks to his artist friends, including Robert Wylie, who arrives at Pont-Aven in 1865 (he stayed there until 1876), quickly joined by other young American artists from Philadelphia such as Charles Way, Earl Shinn, Howard Roberts, Benjamin Champney, Frederick Arthur Bridgman, Moses Wright, and English painters such as Lewis and Carraway. Jean-Léon Gérôme, who teaches at the Paris School of Fine Arts, encourages his students to go to Pont-Aven in the summer and many young painters follow his advice in the following fifteen years; among them were Frenchmen such as William Bouguereau, Louis-Nicolas Cabat, Léon Germain Pelouse, Sébastien Charles Giraud, Paul Sébillot, Maxime Lalanne, etc., but also foreigners such as the Dutchman Herman van den Anker, the Irish Auguste Nicolas Burke, the Canadian Paul Peel, etc. All these artists are attracted by the beauty of the surrounding countryside and the low cost of living. They stayed at the hotel des Voyageurs, held from 1871 by Julia Guillou, the Hotel du Lion d’Or, at the pension Gloanec, or even at the Manoir de Lezaven.  By the summer of 1866, a dozen artists, most American or English, were present at Pont-Aven, including Henry Mosler, William Lamb Picknell, Thomas Alexander Harrison, Clement Nye Swift, and Frederick Arthur Bridgman.


Around 1880, a second wave of artists frequented Pont-Aven, which became the “new Barbizon”, there are some forty English or American landscapers, or painters from northern Europe such as the Danes Marie Luplau and Emilie Mundt, the Finns Amélie Lundhal and Helene Schjerfbeck, etc. as well as French painters such as Alexandre Dephony, Marius Gourdault from 1879, Gabriel-Charles Deney, etc. The arrival in Pont Aven, on the advice of Jobbé-Duval, during the summer 1886 of Paul Gauguin, who resided at the pension Gloanec, then of Émile Bernard . Émile Bernard then painted “Bretons in the Green Meadow”, a painting that lays the groundwork for the synthetism that Gauguin explores in his turn the same year in the vision after the Sermon (Jacob’s struggle with the Angel). The name “Synthetism” was later given by Armand Jobbé-Duval who became leader of this artistic current which was to be called later the school of Pont-Aven, in which a whole colony of artists-painters such as Paul Sérusier (to whom Paul Gauguin gives in September 1888 the famous lesson of painting known as the Wood of love which is also the origin of the group of Nabis), Charles Filiger (who resides in Pouldu), Émile Schuffenecker, Meyer de Haan, Charles Laval, Rodel O’Conor, Robert Bevan, Armand Seguin, Wladyslaw Ślewiński, Jan Verkade, Mogens Ballin, Henri Delavallée, Ernest Ponthier de Chamaillard, Émile Jourdan, Gustave Love, Maxime Maufra, Jens Ferdinand Willumsen, Flavien-Louis Parkes, etc.  After a stay in Arles, Paul Gauguin returned in April 1889 to Pont-Aven staying at the Manoir de Lezaven where he painted notably “The Yellow Christ, the Green Christ” and “the Beautiful Angèl”, before going to stay from the summer of 1889 at the Auberge de Marie Henry at Pouldu where he  was joined by Paul Sérusier, Meyer de Haan, and then in 1890 by Wladyslaw Ślewiński, Henry Moret, Maxime Maufra and Émile Dezaunay.  After a stay in Tahiti between April 1891 and August 1892, Paul Gauguin returned to France and returned to Pont-Aven in April 1894, staying again at the pension Gloanec, accompanied by his companion Annah the Javanese, alongside Alfred Jarry, but he left definitively France in July 1895 for the Marquesas Islands (he died there in 1903).

A third wave of artists frequent Pont-Aven in the Belle Epoque and the Inter-war: Among them, Adolphe Beaufrére, Jean Émile Labourer, Henri Hayden, Nicolas Tarkhoff, Pierre-Eugène Clairin, Charles Wislin, Ernest Correlleau, Maurice Asselin, Fernand Danner, Maurice-Marie-Léonce Savin, Léon Germain Pelouse, Geoffrey Nelson, Andre Even, Mary Piriou, etc. Several of them (Pierre-Eugène Clairin, Ernest Corelleau, Maurice Asselin, Pierre Vaillant, Fernand Danner) worked in the same workshop at the Manoir de Lezaven. Foreign painters as well as the Australian Mortimer Menpes stayed a while at Pont-Aven at that time.

And a bit of history on the lodgings of Pont Aven:

Julia Guillou  nicknamed “Mademoiselle Julia ” buys in 1873 the Hotel des Voyageurs, located on the Grand Place, which belonged to the Feutray family, and where she had been working since 1870 as a hotel mistress. Since 1865, this hotel welcomed American artists such as Clément Swift. Renamed Hotel Julia, many painters stayed there later as Robert Wylie, Thomas Alexander Harrison, etc. Its success is such that in 1881 Julia was able to build an annex, the Villa Julia (which now houses the Museum of Fine Arts of Pont-Aven). The less fortunate artists settled at the Pension Gloanec, located near the bridge over the Aven river  and built in the 1860’s and frequented by painters who lead a free life of artists without worrying about conventions. The Hotel du Lion d’Or, which belonged to the Linthillac family, was also frequented; It was replaced in 1892 by the Hotel Gloanec built by Marie-Jeanne Gloanec nicknamed “La Mère Gloanec”(mother Gloanec) in the same location. La Mére Gloanec  welcomes Gauguin again. In 1904 Mademoiselle Julia  opened in Port Manec’h an establishment with breathtaking sea views on the mouths of the Aven and Belon rivers. The third celebrity was Angélique Marie Satre nicknamed “La Belle Angèle ” which was immortalized in her Inn by Paul Gauguin in 1889. The portrait currently sits at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris marked in capital letters on the canvas  “La BELLE ANGÈLE “In 1920, Julia Corelleau, née Louédec, opened the Hotel de la Poste and hosted numerous painters during the Inter-war period  like Paul Sérusier, Maurice de Vlaminck, Émile Bernard, Maurice Asselin, Pierre-Eugène Clairin, Pierre Vaillant, etc. and writers such as Pierre Mac Orlan, André Salmon, Roland Dorgelès, Paul Fort, Xavier Grall, Georges Perros, Max Jacob, etc.. Her husband Ernest Corelleau  was also a painter who acquired a certain notoriety.

Nowadays, the town of Pont Aven is mostly tourism. In summer, when the tourist season is in full swing, many shopping malls open their doors. The painters exhibited their works there. Le Musée des beaux-arts  or Pont-Aven Museum of Fine Arts ( see post) has been open since 1985. He has led a major acquisitions campaign from the outset and currently has a fund of 4 500 pieces, ranging from Pont-Aven School to contemporary art. It has been renovated to occupy  2 000 m2, spread over 7 floors. If anything here is the painters and this museum is a must;and the walk around the town, just magical with so much history and picturesque architecture all around you, magical. webpage:

The Finistére dept 29 tourist board on Pont Aven and its painters:

The town of Pont Aven on the school of Pont Aven and al

The Concarneau Pont Aven tourist office on Pont Aven

There you go folks, dandy town, nice pretty a painters’s heaven in little Pont Aven. This is worth the detour indeed,  very picturesques and architecturally nice with lots of good food and great walks along the Aven river. We love it!

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

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February 3, 2022

Belle Île sur Mer !!!

Ok so mention so much my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne and my belle France. There is actually a Gulf of Morbihan with about 50 islands , 24 of which are inhabited. Then, there are four islands off the continenal shelf and 3 just out from the Gulf of Morbihan. The biggest of them is Belle Ïle sur Mer and I like to tell you a bit about it. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

We came to see on of my son’s played a football match (Belle Ïle sur Mer vs Pluvigner,sadly they lost) and took a ride as well while he played ,,,We took the Compagnie Océane Vindalis ferry boat from Quiberon gare maritime ! Nice ride,rainy day lousy pictures with my phone as forgot my camera lol !!!

Belle ile Remi arrives boat for the foot match jan22

Belle ile Remi team pic for match jan22

The Belle Île sur Mer is the biggest of the Morbihan and Bretagne. We touch base but really you need a week here, You can walk, ride a bike or rent a car to see beautiful sights such as the pointe des Poulains where Sarah Bernhardt came to find here space in the little fortress of Basse-Hiot. We took our car !!! And this is pretty much our ride!

On the north coast you have plenty of small creeks and harbors to see but do come to the small port de Sauzon by the above pointe des Poulains and the Stêr-Vraz beach, Wonderful to get a boat at Sauzon and follow the coast to the pointe du Cardinal where there is an old lighthouse, You now see the creeks such as Porh Puce with a very small beach, or go to the twins beaches of port de Deuborh.

By the Villa Lysiane the home of Sarah Bernhardt you go down a rocky hill , The house is today a welcome center , check the sea tides here before going on to the île des Poulains, you can see the museum here in good weather, Now you see the lighthouse of Poulains where there is an information center on the coastal ways ; now you are at the favorite point of Sarah Bernhardt now a colony of gulls Basse Hiot, however, the actress was buried at the Pére Lachaise cemetery of Paris, She came here first in 1894 she enlarge it with two smaller properties les cinq parties du monde and then Lysiane before purchasing a larger home Penhoët , that was destroyed during WWII, Today the Les Cinq Parties du Monde is open to the public with a museographic space and the small fortress of Basse Hiot on the ground level was done identical as when she was here,

From now you continue to the harbor of Stêr-Vraz to see in continuation the harbor of Stêr Ouen a real fjord that you can tour if with enough energy ! On the beach of Stêr Vraz there is a trail taking you to the hamlet of Bortifaouen, turn right and take the little route that will take you back to the clocktower of Sauzon,

On the south of the island of Belle île sur Mer you see Palais with bike trails and a port to land our ferry, and connect with the road D25 with our car, The first hamlet is Cosquet and to your right the Donnant beach, good for surfers, Come back to the hamlet of Donnant and turn right to reach Borzose and continue to the hamlet of Vazen and take a small road on your left to the port Coton with its wonderful pentup rocky and pointed, you will understand why Claude Monet painted 36 portraits here !

A larger road will take you from here to Kervilaouen where the painter Monet lived in 1886 passing a wonderful view of the harbor of Port Goulphar, You can do a round trip at the entrance to Kervilaouen to the lighthouse of Grand Phare whose real name is Goulphar done in 1832 and 52 meters high you can climb 247 steps to the top, nice view but 247 steps ! Coming back from Kervilaouen take right into Bordelouet on a street crossing take right to Domois and at the end the semaphore of Talut where there is a nice view of the cliffs.

Come back to Dormois turn right towards Bornor then Kérel at the entrance of the hamlet you see the big beach of Port Kérel surrounded by wild cliffs but the swim is nice, By the route du Grand Village turn left direction Bangor and take the first road to the right towards Calastren here turn left and after passing several houses of Bortémon you arrive at a road crossing turn right here and pass Kervarijon then Borlagadec to arrive at Herlin, A trail to your right bring you down to the best beach on the south coast , Go up to Herlinand take direction Grand Cosquet and Ti-Sévéno, take a right towards Pouldon and again a trail will take you to the Port of Pouldon, Come back to the hamlet turn left straight ahead is the windmill of Bourhic, and turning left here will take you back to the D25 road, Take it on the right towards Locmaria with a nice roman style church descend to the port maria beach and from Locmaria take you to Port an Dro by Borderenne, Kerzo and Borderhoaut, where there is a nice beach where in the 19C was guarded by two fortress waiting an invasion from England, Not enough to stop naming a nearby lookout the Rocher de la Reine Victoria (the rock of queen Victoria), To come back to Palais take the road D30 along the coast passing by two big nice beaches, Grands Sables and Port Yorc’h.

The Compagnie Océane to Belle ïle en Mer

The Belle ïle sur Mer island on the Bernhardt and Monet experiences

The Belle ïle sur Mer island on its heritage

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on the Belle Ïle sur Mer

The Morbihan dept 56 on Belle Ïle sur Mer

There you go folks, another dandy piece of beauty about my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne,and in my belle France! This is gorgeous Belle Ïle sur Mer and you must come when possible.

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

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