Archive for May 14th, 2022

May 14, 2022

The Castle of Rochefort en Terre!!

I am taking you to a popular town but for Christmas season, However, the rest of the year it can call an off the beaten path site, and we love on both times, Let me update for you and me the Castle of Rochefort en Terre !!. The town is in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely region of Bretagne. I have been here many many times over the years but only one post specifically on the castle and worth the detour me think.


A first castle was built on the initiative of the lords of Rochefort on the rocky spur overlooking the Gueuzon stream in the 12C. It passed, by marriage, in 1374 to the powerful family of Rieux. It ends up partially leveled by order of the king of France Charles VIII in 1488 during the war of succession of Brittany. Again, the castle was looted during the Wars of the League in 1594 by the troops of the Duke of Merceur, Partially rebuilt by the Larlan family at the beginning of the 17C, it was looted again in July 1793 after the battle in March, during the French revolution, leaving it almost entirely destroyed. The only surviving building, the stable, from the 17C was transformed into a dwelling. The site is acquired by the Juhel family in 1843 and will remain the property until its sale in 1907 to the American painter Alfred Klots.


The castle of Rochefort en Terre was built on an elongated pentagonal layout which has survived throughout the history of the site. In 1867 only five towers and a few sections of ramparts remained from the medieval castle. The current mansion, in neo-Gothic style, is built on the outbuildings of the 17C, a body of building at right angles. A first tower, joining the two wings was built before 1914. The skylights, Gothic and Renaissance styles were taken from the castle of Keralio (in Noyal-Muzillac) ; just like the chapel, reassembled in the park of the castle in 1917. The second tower, at the end of the south wing, was completed in January 1927.


From 1907, Alfred Klots, owner of the Castle, invites painters in the city and sets up tourist activities. He had the idea in 1911 to launch a competition throughout the city: that of the “flowered windows”, which became over time that of the “flower villages” or Village Fleuri de France today! YES! This American adopted by the local Rochefortais died in 1939. Alfred Klots was born in Saint Germain en Laye (Yvelines 78) in 1875, from an American family of Baltimore, MD ,that practiced the silk trade. Very early reveals his artistic talent, this young painter will follow most of his training in New York before coming to live in Paris in 1901. It was then that he fell in love with Brittany. He buys the Castle or rather what’s left of it as it was in ruins and only the stables had been converted into a dwelling in the 19C. In successive stages, he will revive it and it will become his castle in Brittany. In 1918-1919 he opened his home to the American Red Cross , which makes it a convalescent center for soldiers , which would be worth to him to receive the Legion of Honor after the war.


His son Trafford Klots born in 1913, also devoted himself to painting. In 1940 when the war broke out he created the American Fund for relief to the Bretons, before engaging as an officer in the U S Army. In 1944, back in Rochefort en Terre, he finds intact the Castle and its collections saved thanks to the dedication of the gatekeeper. Trafford Klots will be made a Knight of the Legion of Honor by France. He died in 1976. Today, the Castle is a property of the town of Rochefort en Terre that makes it live another way for our greatest a cultural center. At the slate time of the Sundial, their present, allied to the past has become an invaluable gift. that of a love story between Brittany and America! Nice story indeed!!!


The Klots family rests in the cemetery of Rochefort en Terre with the  watchman and his maids. What recognition!

The city of Rochefort en Terre on the castle

The Rochefort en Terre tourist office on the castle and its history

The Rochefort en Terre tourist office oin its heritage

There you go folks, a wonderful town of Rochefort en Terre and its nice castle . A  pretty medieval and super during the Christmas holidays to New Year’s town. The castle is tops and see my other post as it has an adjoining museum good for the whole family or a romantic getaway!

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

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May 14, 2022

Plobannalec-Lesconil !!!

And going into the confines of my lovely Bretagne, and the Finistére dept 29 ,we got into another cave of ocean beauty , lovely by the coast, and nice monuments. Let me update this older post and tell you about the fusion of the towns of Lesconil and Plobannalec into oneWe took a winding ride by car on the N165 by reaching the D44 and later the D102 roads the town of Lesconil. 

 The new town of Plobannalec-Lesconil  is typical coastal town, in the south of the Bigouden country. It is close to La Torche, the shopping town of Pont-L’Abbé and the magnificent natural sites of the Bigouden region, the town is at the heart of the south coast. And what a beautiful south coast it is!!  The Quimper train station is 23 km from Plobannalec and 26 km from Lesconil and the Quimper-Bretagne airport is 19 km from Plobannalec and 22 km from Lesconil. Of course for info only as we always come by car.

The town is made up of two agglomerations: the initial borough of Plobannalec, inland, rural and laidback, and the fishing port of Lesconil, further south, maritime tradition and quant, which began to develop in the mid-19C, which declined from the 1970s, and whose trawl fishing activity disappears in the early years of the 21C. The territory of the town forms a vast inclined plane towards the ocean and, from almost all points, the sea appears on the horizon. The coastal part of the town is, outside the port, quite narrow, essentially comprising the goudoul rock and a few other rocks with picturesque shapes. Mostly in Lesconil you have a fisherman’s harbor paradise. Here you have all the action around the harbor with lots of fisherman’s boat even if the trade has almost disappear, you can still see plenty of boats and the off island of Men ar Groas visible from the harbor deck. There is a lively square with plenty of restaurants and shops, You can even see the friendly seagull that came to welcome me in the harbor looking for food seems so used to that and is not good to do so please.


The first significant event was the creation, between 1804 and 1806, of a semaphore on the coast, about 600 meters west of the port, decided at the beginning of the 19C by order of Vice-Admiral Decrès.  At the end of WWII, the semaphore was abandoned. A lighthouse was built in 1905 on the islet of Men Ar Groas, the lighthouse has since been connected to the mainland.


In the first half of the 19C, the initial port of Lesconil was only a beaching port in a small natural cove offering only a precarious shelter in good weather only to boats, which had to take refuge in heavy weather in the ” Ster Nibilic ”, small arm of the Ster estuary (still used today for small boats), or, for larger ones, in Loctudy The current port is created on the other side of the overland, in a rocky cove called Pors Carn, for the time being open to the sea. The kick-off of its foundation was, in August 1878, the decision of the SCSN (today the SNSM, me follow as donor) to build a lifeboat station In 1879 , the shelter and the hold, 90 meters long; are finished. They can accommodate the Foubert de Bizy lifeboat (named after the donor), a 10.10-meter straight canoe.


The port of Lesconil remains exposed to offshore swells, and is not equipped with any quay. Unloading boats is often done by canoe. Rock is present everywhere in the cove during low tides, and the rocky harbor remains a concern for several decades. Lesconil, like the other ports of the Pays Bigouden, was very affected by the sardine crisis of the first years of the 20C, The activity goes from fishing for sardines and mackerel to that for crustaceans (lobsters and langostines) and the net. A mole-shelter, 333 meters long, was built between 1907 and 1914 and allowed the port to develop its activities considerably . After WWI, 8 large sloops practiced lobster fishing. Lesconil was the 4th fishing port of the Pays Bigouden. In 1949, it mainly fish crustaceans and, in priority, Norway lobster. The port still has only nine trawlers, but in the 1950s their number continued to grow. The decline in professional fishing was accentuated by the closure of the Lesconil auction in 2008, the few remaining fishing boats now landing their fish in Guilvinec.


The plage des Sables Blancs beach to the east, opposite Anse de Lesconil, belongs to the town of Loctudy, and the beaches of Kersauz and Squividan, to the west, to that of Treffiagat. There are only two small beaches on the same territory of the town (one at the foot of the semaphore, the other of artificial creation, between the port and the Ster). But the most popular are the Sables Blanc east of the Ster, a kilometer long beach, in the territory of Loctudy, and the Grande Plage in the west, in the territory of Treffiagat.

Other than the sea, the main monument to see in all this ocean is the Church Notre Dame de la Mer . The creation of the church of Lesconil at the beginning of the 20C is linked to the will to implant the Catholic religion in the town with protestant tendencies. Protestantism took root in Lesconil, thanks to the efforts of William-Jenkyn Jones, Welsh pastor of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Foreign Mission, who arrived in 1893. On August 15, 1924, a Catholic parish was created in Lesconil. The Sainte-Anne chapel becomes Church Notre-Dame-des-Flots ou de la mer (waves or sea).

The Church of Saint-Alour built from 1875 to 1879 of the parish of Plobannalec.  The church was consecrated on 11 June 1879. Saint  Alour is the third Bishop of Cornouaille who lived in the 5C. This church replaced a 16C church, some parts of which were even back in the 13C. The modern stained glass contains Saint  Alour, Saint Guénolé (Saint Guénolé sends Saint Tudy and Saint Alour to preach religion in the Bigouden country), Saint Alain, Saint Louis and San Sebastian. The Church contains a painting of the Assumption (copy of Murillo! ), a painting of the marriage of Saint Catherine (copy of the Correggio! ), a reliquary of the 15C pediculate with inscription  of “Saint Quido “, and a reliquary of the 16C in vermeil supported by four balusters with statues of the Savior, the Blessed Virgin, St. Sebastian and St. Louis. The closing of the baptismal font dates from the 18C.  The Church houses the statues of Saint Alour 18C, San Sebastian 17C, Saint Peter, Saint Herbot, the Blessed Virgin 18C, and a Pietà 15C. 

plobannalec ch st alour front jul17

One big event here every summer, Fête de La Langoustine or large prawn festival. Organized every year on the 2nd Saturday of August in the port of Lesconil. Usually from 10h-13h check it out as last two years cancel due to covid.

The city of Plobannalec-Lesconil on the Church Saint Alour and its stained glass

The city of Plobannalec Lesconil on its heritage

The Finistére dept 29 tourist office on the port of Lesconil

There you folks, a general overview of a wonderful area plenty more to see I was touching the bases this is a gorgeous area that need to be visited more, a lot more. Plobannalec-Lesconil or for me rather Lesconil is pretty, and I will be back soon. Hope you enjoy the post and come on over !

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

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