Pretty Melrand and St Barthélemy !!!

In my road warrior driving around my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the lovely region of Bretagne/Brittany in my belle France. There is so much to see I had said will take me a lifetime and won’t be enough. There is a whole lot in the wonderful Gulf of Morbihan south of me . However, there is so much on what we call côte ou en terre or inland that will amazed you . Of course  ,you need to like architecture and history as I do. Let me take you to two small gems in the Morbihan. Hope you enjoy these off the beaten path sites.

The town of Melrand  is mentioned from 1125 in the cartulary of Redon, in the form of Melran parrochia. In 1273, the name is written Melrant, in 1387 we find the current form of Melrand. It is a rural town belonging to the community of towns of the Pays de Baud. The village is located 14 km from Pontivy, 15 km fromBaud, 32 km from Lorient ,45 km from Vannes, and 28 km from my house. The town is bordered to the east by the Blavet valley. It is crossed by the Sarre, Houée, Brandifrout and Blavet rivers (D142). It is traditional to make Melrand a Breton town resulting from the emigration of Bretons driven from Great Britain by the Anglo-Saxons in the 5C and who settle along the coasts and rivers by clearing sparsely inhabited lands. How Bretagne or Little Britain came to be way back….

The main monument is the Church of St. Pierre (Peter) 15-17C with a granite bell tower from 1733. The parish church dedicated to Saint-Pierre is a complex church that has been altered many times over the centuries. It retains, on the south side, part of the nave from the first half of the 15C, pierced by a broken arch window as well as two molded doors on balusters with capitals. The southern porch and the interior arcade of the north chapel, located at the entrance to the choir, are also a survival from medieval times, probably from the first half of the 16C. The date 1661 written on the porch corresponds to a late modification. Five half-chapels, two to the south and three to the north have been grafted onto the long nave. The chevet with sides is flanked by a sacristy on the south wall. The southern porch is preserved. The bell tower has a massive square tower with octagonal drum and polygonal spire in masonry.

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Some other things to see in town and around it worth a stop me think are :  Cross of Kerentrec’h., The Kehoc’h tumulus excavated at the end of the 19C , and is located in a heath dependent on the village of Locmaria. It is 27 meters in diameter by 2 meters in height. The Calvary on base and altar on the road to Guémené-sur-Scorff 19C, and located on the road to Guémené at the exit of the town. Other bigger monuments are the Flamboyant 16C Locmaria Chapel: bell tower, 16C stained glass windows, 17C altarpiece, statues, 16C baptismal font. Flamboyant 15C Saint-Fiacre chapel: 16C rood screen one of the last four still in place in the Morbihan, painted panels, 17C wooden altarpiece elements and two statues, holy water baptismal font. And the Notre-Dame du Guelhouit Chapel and its 17C scala: located in the hollow of the valley where the Sarre river flows and at the foot of a hill with wooded slopes. The chapel is dated 1683.

The town of Melrand on its heritage : https://www.melrand.fr/tourisme-culture-patrimoine/patrimoine-architectural-et-religieux/

The Blavet valley tourist board on Melrand: https://valleedublavet.bzh/decouvrir/baud-communaute/melrand/

The town of Saint-Barthélemy is located on the way to Melrand on the road D142 up from the D768 from my house in about 45 minutes. Old truce of Baud erected in town on July 17, 1867 . There is a nice looking modern Church of Saint-Barthélemy 19-20C. In the shape of a Latin cross, it was built near the old chapel of Saint-Barthélemy which has become a parish church since 1871. The old chapel which dates from the 16C was demolished, and in 1891 gave way to an ordinary modern Gothic style chruch. It is a large nave ending in a semicircular apse. The current church was blessed on October 27, 1895. The bell tower was built in 1913.

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The town of Saint Barthélemy on its heritage : https://saint-barthelemy56.fr/index.php/patrimoine/

The Blavet valley tourist board on Saint Barthélemy: https://valleedublavet.bzh/decouvrir/baud-communaute/saint-barthelemy/

You need a car to reach this small in land towns but the quant beauty of their natural habitat will entice you as me to come back. Of course, I always come by car and up my alley on the road D768 put you in touch with this world very easily, you connect with the road D142 to reach Melrand and St Barthélemy.

There you go folks, a wonderful ride off the beaten path into deep Morbihan, what a pleasure it is always.  The sights are genuine, full of history and great architecture , it is what my idea of my belle France , beautiful Morbihan and lovely Bretagne is all about. Hope you enjoy the ride thru Saint Barthélemy and Melrand !  

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

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