And I reach Cancale !!!

This is another first by yours truly the road warrior. Well Bretagne has a bunch and I am working on it. We had time so we continue our ride into Cancale, another beauty of the Ille et Vilaine department,35 in my lovely Bretagne, in my belle France. The town of Cancale takes its current name from Cancaverene. Therefore, let me give you an introduction to Cancale !

The town of Cancale is located at the western end of the bay of Mont Saint-Michel, 15 km of Saint-Malo. Originally, Cancale was 2 separate villages, with on one side La Houle, which is now known as Port de La Houle, and the Bourg or city center, which is now the heart of the town. In 1830, the clergy decided to unite the 2 hamlets and decided to build Rue du Port to connect the 2 parishes.

Cancale bay of mont saint michel afar msm jul22

The nearby expressways are the N176 which runs along the entire Emerald Coast from Pontorson to the junction with the N12, and the D137 which links Saint Malo – Rennes. We took both to get there and back mostly the D137 to Rennes to connect with the N24 home, which is 162 km away, Parking in Cancale can sometimes be difficult in high season, which is why the majority of car parks there are paying, we did for 3,60 euros all day ! For info, the nearest SNCF train station is Gare de La Gouesnière – Cancale – Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes, which serves all three towns, Finally, the nearest airport is located in the town of Pleurtuit near Dinard. It is about 25 km from The city hall is from 1895.

Cancale city hall front grille jul22

Cancale city hall front park jul22

A bit of history of Cancale I like

Leaving Wales, Saint Méen would have approached the Cancalaise coast in the 6C and evangelized this part of Armorica before continuing on his way. On the other hand, we do not know where the first sanctuary dedicated to the founder of the parish was erected. Perhaps in the same place because, not far from there, flows the Saint-Méen Fountain. The name canvanene appears for the first time, in 1032, the name of the future town. Duke Alain III confirms the donation of his parents for the benefit of the monks of Mont-Saint-Michel consisting of a land called Cancavene, the port of Porz Pican which is adjacent to it and the Church of Saint-Méen.

In 1560, King Henry II granted Cancale the privilege of making Papegault. This exercise, intended to train the troops responsible for defending the coast, consists of shooting down the effigy of a bird planted on a sapling. The ceremony took place, in the presence of the authorities, on the shore of La Houle, opposite the Saint-Antoine Chapel. The winner was declared “king” for a year, he has the additional privilege of being exempt from taxes and winning barrels of wine.

At the end of the 17C, Vauban, on a visit to Cancale, reinforced the various batteries and established new ones. He believed that this part of the coast was a weak point in the protection system of Saint-Malo. First concentrated around the old Saint-Méen Church (17C and 19C), the Bourg or city center is a succession of houses, glued to each other, along small arteries, Cancale is the port from which in 1612 the ships of Daniel de La Touche, Lord of La Ravardière, left for Brazil: the Régente, the Charlotte and the Sainte Anne. Daniel de La Touche was the founder of the city of São Luis in Maranhão in Brazil , In 2019, the farming of Cancale oysters is listed as Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage !

Some of the things to see in Cancale which we did not go are:

The old Saint-Méen church, built from 1715 to 1727 on the site of a primitive church dating from the Middle Ages, enlarged from 1836 to 1838. Since 1982, it has housed the cinema and the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions of Cancale. It is devoted to the arts and traditions of the Cancalais country: fishing, oyster farming, agriculture, life of the Cancalaises, headdresses and costumes, furniture. The building that now houses the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions and the cinema almost disappeared. This was the church, which remained until the 17C, little has come down to us. A simple nave, to which aisles were added in 1620, the condition of which no longer allows any restoration to be envisaged. The 1714 part is unchanged. The nave was rebuilt not without difficulty: the cramped terrain was too sloping, the proximity of the houses prevented any enlargement. Despite a new increase in the church in the middle of the 19C, quickly was realize that it cannot accommodate all the faithful. Fallen into oblivion after the construction of a new sanctuary, the old church, witness to so many events, remains an example of military architecture in the service of the faith.

La Ferme Marine opened its doors in 1989 after its founder, Joseph Pichot, had the idea of promoting the oyster farming community in the eyes of the general public. La Ferme Marine aims to present the Parcs St Kerber oyster farming company. During the visit, which lasts about 1 hour, we discover a lot of information on the history of the oyster and details on how to produce it. Of course, each visit ends with a little oyster tasting! Located in the heart of an oyster farming company, this museum explains the evolution of oyster farming techniques, as well as the profession of the oyster farmer through the ages. A collection of shells (more than 1,500 from all over the world) and a film introduce you to this profession of “gardener of the sea”.

However, we need to eat so we stop first for lunch at the Breizh Café in Cancale, I loved it. The principle of the restaurant is simple: mix Japanese influences with Breton cuisine. For example, the galettes are presented like sushi, in rolls! It’s really very nice and above all very good. We had the Chorizo rolls and a complete onions with a bottle of Monchevron cider brut ; than for dessert crêpes carrement chocolat pure chocolate and kouign Breizh, choco banana chantilly with a bottle of Coet Albret demi sec cider, Delicious for less than 29 euros per person just right on the quai Admis en Chef Thomas near the lighthouse !! Sublime ! We will be back,,,,,,,,,,,The official La Table Breizh Cafe :

Cancale Breizh Cafe front jul22

cancale breizh cafe dining room jul22

The city of Cancale and its heritage :

The Ille et Vilaine dept 35 tourist office on Cancale :

The Bretagne region tourist office on Cancale

There you go folks, a dandy of a town, and glad finally there, already looking forward to be back, eventually. See my next posts on the monuments of Cancale in my blog. Hope you enjoy this post as I

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

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