Archive for October 8th, 2022

October 8, 2022

The Chapel and Calvary of Tronoën !!!

This set is one of the wonders of my lovely Bretagne, deep rooted in traditions. We have visited most, some more pics than others but all wonderful. This one is up the alley from my house ,about 120 km. Let me tell you a bit on the Chapel Calvary of Tronoën !!!

The Notre-Dame-de-Tronoën is a 15C pilgrimage chapel in the town of Saint-Jean-Trolimon, in Pays Bigouden. It is located in the bay of Audierne, which it dominates at a height of 30 meters. This is in the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely region of Bretagne.

The wonderful thing to see here me think is the Calvary, It is the oldest of the seven great Calvaries of Bretagne. The date of construction is between 1450 and 1470, according to what can be deduced from the characters dressed according to the fashion of the time of the King of France Charles VII. It consists of a rectangular base of 4.50 meters by 3.50 meters , two superimposed friezes separated by a drip edge, surmounted by three crucifixions: Christ and the two thieves. The structure and the majority of the sculptures are in Scaër granite, with the exception of three scenes (Visitation, Nativity and the Three Kings) carved in Kersanton which has better resisted the weather.

Saint Jean Trolimon
The layout of the Calvary sculptures, in superimposed scenes, will induce a more demonstrative than narrative reading scheme. At the first level, the scenes follow each other chronologically to allow a horizontal reading, corresponding to the terrestrial journey , from the Annunciation to the Agony. At the second level, the canonical order is abandoned to bring the two registers into harmony and create a vertical reading that realizes the movement of elevation towards the cross accompanying the spiritual journey of pilgrims. Thus, the Gospel episodes are linked according to a principle of vertical association which makes it possible to engage in a meditation on the mysteries using the correspondences between the scenes of the two levels, making the Calvary a theological instrument at the service of faith. The visit to the Calvary of Tronoën begins at the lower right corner of the east face, with the inaugural figure of the Annunciation. The scenes then follow from left to right according to the conventional reading direction.
Annunciation: The Virgin stands before a lectern where the holy books are stored. Visitation: Mary goes to her cousin Elizabeth, who is pregnant with Saint John the Baptist. She receives her by touching her belly, recognizing in Mary the mother of the Messiah (Luke I, 43) Mary’s hair ostensibly uncovers her ear through which she received the divine announcement. Christ introduced himself by the ear in Mary, carried by the word of the Archangel, Nativity: The Virgin is reclining in the manger (animal manger), made of a simple plessis, a coarse braiding of branches, as mentioned in Luke II. The Virgin is lying there, chest open, following the text of the apocryphal Gospel of Pseudo-Mathieu to show her virginity. Behind the Virgin’s bed, in front of the donkey and the ox, set back and absent from the unfolding event, Joseph sleeps or dreams, betraying his old age, Adoration of the Magi: The three kings present themselves with their offerings. The first is bearded, dressed in a greatcoat and without a crown, he is kneeling before Christ. The second from the front, his head surrounded by a crown of flowers, points with his outstretched finger to the star that guided them. He wears a doublet (piqué fabric padded with wadding) with leg sleeves, characteristic with his poulaine shoes from the second half of the 15C. The third, in profile, is also wrapped in a large-sleeved mantle and has a crowned head.

I will then come to the Chapel of Tronoën, rectangular in lay out with 25 meters long and 12 meters wide, consists of a main nave, two times two bays separated by a powerful diaphragm arch which supports a three-spired bell tower, a side aisle and a flat chevet, The bell tower dominates the bay of its 30 meters, placed in the center of the chapel, supported by the diaphragm arch. A central chamber of bells pierced by six arcades receives the octagonal spire and four pinnacles at the corners frame openwork pediments of small bays and oculi. The economic prosperity of the reign of the Duke of Brittany Jean V allowed the construction of a multitude of sanctuaries encouraged by the mendicant orders from the end of the 14C.

The fountain of devotion is located below the chapel , along the road that leads to the sea, the source is marked by an aedicule consisting of a niche surmounted by a pediment. It feeds a freestone washhouse and a pond.

The Bigouden country local tourist office on the chapel calvary of Tronoën

The Seven Great Calvaries of Bretagne on the Tronoën: 

There you go folks, another gem hugely tradition in my lovely Bretagne ,and a must to see when in the region. The Chapel Calvary of Tronoën is beautiful and surely worth the detour. Hope this post will encourage you to visit it.

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

October 8, 2022

The church, enclos paroissal of Guimiliau !!!

This way country of my lovely Bretagne, we have road warrior trips all over and passing by the picturesque town of Guimiliau we were impressed by the enclosure that is something to come to see, a must. I found an old paper picture and even if a bit blurry will allow me to bring to memory this wonderful visit ,whichh should be follow up. In the meantime, enjoy the church, enclos paroissal and tombs Calvary of Guimiliau !!!

The town of Guimiliau is located in the Finistère department 29, in my lovely Bretagne, and my belle France. The town is around 120 meters above sea level, and it is close to the Regional Natural Park of Armorique located 9 km further south. A bit of old history tell us of the Roman road from Vorgium (Carhaix) to Aber-Wrac’h passed through Poullaouen, Locmaria-Berrien, Berrien, then crossed the towns of Plounéour-Ménez, Guimiliau and Lampaul-Guimiliau, then passing south-west of Landivisiau . From the 15C, Guimiliau became the geographical center of linen activity which would bring about the opulence of the region ; it has been long ,also a country of tannery, horse breeding and beekeeping. 

No rural town in Finistère offers so many architectural beauties triumphal arch entering cemetery, bell tower, porch, ossuary, Calvary, sacristy, and, inside, furniture of unparalleled richness: altars, pulpit preach, tribune and organ buffet, baptistery. Breton art, so refined and so fertile at the end of the 16C and during the course of the 17C, lavished its masterpieces there, One of the most remarkable parish enclosures with its Calvary of 200 figures, This alone is worth the detour to this town.

The Triumphal Gate or Arc de Triomphe which in Breton was called Porz ar maro, literally “gate of death”, because it gave access to the cemetery located in the parish enclosure. It is surmounted by two riders and was usually closed by a gate open only during weddings and funerals. The Calvary, in blue granite, built between 1581 and 1586, surmounted by a Cross of Jesus and the two thieves, the barrel bearing the Cross having as often in armor the appearance of a delimbed tree trunk, called cross plague; the rest of the Calvary represents in bas-relief the various episodes of the Life of Christ, including the Birth of Christ, the Adoration of the Magi, the Carrying of the Cross, the Entombment, the Resurrection, etc. as well as Catel Collet thrown into hell by the devils for stealing a host and giving it to the devil, and a statue of Saint Miliau. The 80 characters represented are decked out in 16C costumes, contemporary with the date of construction of the Calvary, but in a style that seems more Spanish than French, which would be explained by the presence of Spaniards in Brittany at the time due to the League Wars. The Calvary of Guimiliau is the most populated of all ! Indeed beautiful !!


Other things to see in Guimiliau , me think , are the Saint-Miliau Church, dedicated to Saint Miliau, mixes the Flamboyant and Renaissance styles, The Saint-Miliau fountain located on the edge of the town of Lampaul-Guimiliau dates from the 17C; Saint Miliau is represented there as King of Cornouaille (Cornwall).

The city of Guimiliau and its heritage

The official 7 Calvaries of Bretagne on Guimiliau

The Parish Close Interpretation Centre of the Calvaries and enclosures of Bretagne on Guimiliau

There you go folks, another dandy in my lovely Bretagne. There is loads of beautiful things to see here, and I am just starting !!! Hope you enjoy the enclosure Calvary of Guimiliau, a treasure of our times.

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

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October 8, 2022

The Château de La Brède !! 

And I need to tell you about this as also found me some old pictures on paper a bit blurry but great memories of a hugely historical property.  The Château de la Brède is located in the town of La Brède, in the department of Gironde 33 ; region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. The writer and thinker Montesquieu was born here in 1689 and wrote most of his work !   I will tell you a bit on the Château de la Bréde! Hope you enjoy it as I.

Montesquieu chateau de la Bréde back

The Château de La Brède as it appears today was built from the 14C. It was originally  a fortified castle in the Gothic   style,  with a  defensive system  and surrounded by ditches, later filled with water in the 16C. Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, was born there on January 18, 1689. He lived there regularly throughout his life and wrote many of his works, including De l’esprit des lois. But he also carried out transformations, including a French garden, and an English garden. You can see Montesquieu’s bedroom, preserved in its 18C state, and his library, whose books have been transferred to the municipal library of Bordeaux.

Montesquieu chateau de la Bréde chambre de l'ecrivan

The Château de la Bréde successively belonged to the families before passing to the Montesquieu family. It was the marriage of Jacques de Secondat, father of the political thinker, with Marie-Françoise Du Pesnel, which brought the castle into the heritage of the Montesquieus. It remained the property of the latter until 2004, the year in which the Countess Jacqueline de Chabannes died, the last descendant of Denise de Secondat, the youngest daughter of the writer. In 1994, the latter had entrusted by donation to the municipal library of Bordeaux all the works and documents in its possession, which represents the remainder of the original library, a large part of which was sold in 1926. As for all the manuscripts of Montesquieu formerly kept at the Château de La Brède, it was sold in 1939 to the Hôtel Drouot.

Montesquieu chateau de la Bréde

The official Château de la Bréde

The Montesquieu tourist office on the castle and writer

There you go folks, a memorable visit to a wonderful historical property of the great Montesquieu! The Château de La Bréde is worth the detour indeed. Hope you enjoy the post and do visit.

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

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