Archive for August 1st, 2022

August 1, 2022

The Tour Tanguy of Brest !

 I have written several posts on this quant city of Brest, of the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne. However, this part is rather nice so figure deserves a post on its own. I am updating this older post; hope you enjoy the Tour Tanguy of Brest as I. 

As arrive by car and park in front of the Château, (see post) then do our walks all over the city. While passing by the Recouvrance bridge ,(see post) we noted this ancient tower right in the harbor not knowing what it was we headed for it. Well, it is a very nice museum of the city of Brest. I like to tell you a bit more on it.

brest-base-navale-tour tanguy nov12

The Bastille Quilbignon or Motte-Tanguy tower is built on a rocky mound along the Penfeld river, Recouvrance, facing the castle of Brest (see post). It is accessed from Rue de la Porte by the Place Pierre-Péron, at the foot of the Recouvrance bridge (see post). This tower of the 14C houses the museum of old Brest.


The origin of the medieval tower could not be determined very precisely. Tradition give it as founder Tanguy I of Chastel, lord at the castle of Trémazan in Landunvez, which was illustrated in the struggle of Brittany against England and contributed to the development of the right bank. But the construction is probably posterior.  In 1386 the Duke of Brittany Jean IV undertook the siege of the castle of Brest occupied by the English. To ensure the blockade he leaned on two bastilles: one facing the castle, the other at Quilbignon on the right bank, called Bastille Kerneguez, simple wooden fort. The Bastille of Kerneguez was taken and destroyed by the Duke of Lancaster. In 1387 Jean IV rebuilt the two stone buildings, much stronger than before.

It is very likely that this Bastille Kerneguez, mentioned as being on the edge of the Penfeld river facing the castle, became the property of the family of Chastel after the departure of the English in 1397. The name of the Bastille gave way to that of Tanguy tower, first name worn by several members of this line. Their weapons are engraved above the door.  Until about 1580, the Tanguy tower served as the seat of justice of the lords of the Châtel, before they transfer it to a neighboring house. Then neglected, the tower became the property of the Rohan-Guéméné family in 1786 then passed into the Royal domain before being sold as national property during the French revolution to the Sieur Gabon. It becomes at this time the Cabon Tower. In 1862, it is acquired by the architect Barillé who transforms it into a dwelling house. It’s last resident and private owner, Dr. Joseph Thielmans, leaves her after the fire during the fighting of 1944 in WWII.

The city of Brest becomes the owner in 1954. The Tanguy tower is restored and inaugurates the museum of old Brest in 1962 which then had only two rooms. A third room was opened to the public in July 1964. In 1971, a pepper mill was added to it and its neo-Gothic cornice was replaced with crenellations to give it a medieval silhouette. The museum houses a set of models and historical reconstructions that constitute a walk through the picturesque streets of Brest before 1939, that is to say in the city as it was before the Allied bombing during  WWII. On two floors, there are models, huge dioramas (paintings painted in relief), official documents of several eras, photos and rare postcards, a collection of coats of arms or the map of the old Brest with the Vauban fortifications. Dioramas made by the Brest artist Jim Sévellec represent the great episodes in the history of Brest.  The tour Tanguy is divided into three section, the street level, (1fl US etc ), first floor and second floor, all very nice.


The city of Brest on the Tanguy tower :

The Brest tourist office on the Tanguy tower :

There you go folks, another dandy in nice Brest. The Tanguy tower museum is worth the detour in the city and close to the main museums in the castle.

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

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August 1, 2022

Curiosities of Le Faouët !

Let me tell you on something I had left out on my blog from a previous visit to Le Faouët, part of the Cornouaille Morbihannaise (the cornwall of Morbihan).  The Road D769, a fast track connecting Lorient to Roscoff, bypasses the town on the east by a large curve-beltway.  However, from home, I went inland thru the D102 past Languidic and Plouay into the D769 to Le Faouët. The town is 60 km (about 37 mi ) from my house !

Le Faouët owes its origin to a feudal castle that no longer exists. Anne de Bretagne raised the lordship of Faouët, belonging at the time to the Boutteville family, to the rank of barony in 1495. The City Hall or mairie of Le Faouët is located at 9 Rue Victor Robic. Between the mairie and the Halles (see post) you find the Monument to the aviator Corentin Carré,(have it on its back…) Volunteer in the 410th Infantry at age 15, died in aerial combat at the age of 18 in WWI or Great War.


The parish church of Faouët is placed today under that of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption, located at rue Poher. This Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption, which is mentioned as early as 1446, has undergone many alterations over the centuries. The oldest part is the interior door on which the tribune rests; it would be the witness of a first church of the 13C according to some, of the 14C according to others.  In 1917, the people of Faouët were awakened by the tocsin: their church was on fire. The damage is considerable: no more roof, frame, wooden vault, altarpiece, altar, stained glass statues, furniture. Everything is ashes. Only the porch tower and the bell tower are intact. They have to rebuild in three years, from 1924 to 1927, the major works were carried out.  The massive bell tower immediately attracts attention ; its slate roof with four sides and multiple breaks, gives it a certain originality tinged with an exotic note. It also houses two very old tombstones decorated with the recumbent effigies of Peronelle de Bouteville and Bertrand of Trogoff, local lords. Front tower is a monument to the fallen.


The town of Le Faouët on the Notre Dame Church

The town of Le Faouët on its history

The Morbihan dept. 56 regional tourist office on Le Faouët

There you go another dandy a wonderful place , one of the off the beaten path sites you must come to Le Faouët. In my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne. Come to see other curiosities of Le Faouët !

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

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August 1, 2022

The Chapel St Fiacre of Le Faouët !

Let me update this older post on an interesting monument seen in my many road warrior trips in my area. This is Le Faouët in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the lovely region of Brittany. I like to tell you a bit more on the Chapel Saint Fiacre of Le Faouët !


About 2 km south of Le Faouêt on the village of Saint-Fiacre, which developed near the chapel of the same name. The Chapel of Saint Fiacre was rebuilt from 1450 with an  exceptional polychrome wood rood dating from 1480 It also has quality stained glass windows It has a facade cut into triodes with a bell-gable often found in Brittany. That of Saint-Fiacre is however triple flanked by two side turrets and a balcony. The interior is composed of five bays with a square chevet at their end.


Concerning the preserved objects, the Chapel of St Fiacre is especially famous for its exceptional jubé in polychrome wooden style flamboyant realized from 1480 to 1492 . The side of the nave illustrates scenes of the temptation of Adam and Eve, the Annunciation of Mary, and the passion of Christ. The choir side represents certain deadly sins and vices, with theft (of fruit in a tree), drunkenness (a man vomiting a fox), lust (a man and a woman), laziness (a Breton musician) . The stained glass windows date from the 16C probably around 1557. The stone altarpiece illustrates the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Many painters represented the Chapel and its pardon such as Henri Barnoin: The pardon of Saint-Fiacre, oil on canvas and Edward Henri Guyonnet; Pardon of Saint-Fiacre at Faouet, oil on canvas; Chapel of Saint-Fiacre, oil on canvas.


I was able to gather some brochures in the chapel and will transcribe here what it says in a shorter version.

On the facade, there is a beautiful bell tower mounted on the gable surrounded by two turrets, the one on the right contains the staircase that provides access to the bell tower, the other has a decorative purpose. The porch with vault of stones is admirable for the delicacy of its sculpture and its double basket handle door.  The ducal banner and the ermine shows that the Chapel Saint-Fiacre owes its magnificence to the ducal protection.

The oak rood screen (jube) consists of a perforated fence surmounted by a corbelled gallery. Between the two, a richly decorated cross. The rood screen was used until the middle of the 16C to separate the clergy, admitted to the sanctuary where the sacred mysteries were celebrated, the people who had to stay at a distance. It was from the platform of the gallery that the clergy addressed the people for the proclamation of the Gospel. Whoever read the text first asked the priest to bless him by asking “jube, dominate, benedicere” (please, you who preside, give me your blessing).


You will note the rood on the nave side ;facing the people, the decor represents the Mysteries of Christ and the symbols of faith. Are represented: Christ on the cross surrounded by good and bad thieves, Mary and St. John. On the right, Adam and Eve, chased out of earthly paradise by the sword-bearer angel, and on the left, it is the announcement made to Mary that she will be the mother of the one who will redeem humanity from the original fault. the sandpit dominating the six fence grilles evokes the celebration of the Mass, memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ (Mass of Saint Gregory). To the left of this central scene appear various episodes borrowed from the life of Saint Martin of Tours. On the right, the fox devil, disguised as a monk tries to break into the barnyard before seeing his deceit foiled and himself undermined by those he wanted to take: the scene is borrowed from the “Roman de Renard ” or the romance novel of the fox sort of… which enjoyed immense success in the European literature of the Middle Ages.


On the Chorus side, the other side of the rood screen, the show is totally different, even if the work of the wood is equally admirable. They wanted you to see in the characters of this facade of the rood screen of the representations of the capital sins to the scenes of the daily life. From left to right: a peasant carrying a sheep and a fowl, a man vomiting a skinned fox (“skinning the fox” meant in the middle ages vomiting after excessive drinking), a couple of lovers holding hands (the lust), a bingo player and a bombard player (laziness).


The painted altarpiece which represents the martyrdom of Saint Sebastien. A beautiful statue of the Madonna and Child in polychrome wood of the 15C. A polychrome wooden statue of duke Jean V. A set of precious stained glass windows from the 15-16C. Above the high altar, the stained glass window of the Passion; north arm of the transept, east wall, a window of the tree of Jesse; in the same south arm, a stained glass window depicting the life of Saint Fiacre dated 1552. (Saint Fiacre is an abbot of Irish origin who founded a monastery-hospice east of Meaux (77 see post) in the 8C or even the 7C, he is also the Saint of gardeners); in the north arm of the transept, a window of St. John the Baptist of the 16C; in the north aisle of the chapel, a stained glass window dedicated to Saint Anne and her three daughters, as attributed by medieval legend following three successive marriages with Joachim, Salomas and Cleophas.

The city of Le Faouët on the chapel:

The local Pays du Roi Morvan tourist office on the chapel

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist board on the Chapel:

There you go folks, another gem in my beautiful Morbihan , never stop to amaze me the bounties in my region, not even counting my entire belle France. Hope you enjoy it too and do come to see the Chapel of St Fiacre , a beautiful monument worth keeping for eternity.

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

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