The Saint Hermeland Church of Guenrouët !

I am on my road warrior mode again, going to see my Bretagne old and new. This time went over into the old Brittany of the Loire Atlantique dept 44 in the new region of Pays de la Loire. I ,again, came by as a surprise run in my road warrior mode and another dot in my Travel/World map on the town of Guenrouët, and of course, needed to take a look. Always amazing finds in my belle France. The town is about 107 km from my house. Let me tell you a bit about the Saint Hermeland Church of Guenrouët !


The town of Guenrouët is located 20 km from Redon ; located on the bank of the Nantes-Brest canal, the town is geared towards green tourism.  The parish of Guenrouët would have been founded at the end of the 9C by Alain the Great who would have built a castle, at the time of the Norman invasions, at a place called “Se”, that is to say currently, in Saint-Clair, a few hundred meters away, opposite the town of Guenrouët, on the rock overlooking the Isac on the Plessé side. In the 19C, we could still make out an irregular pentagon delimiting the location of the towers which occupied the four corners. He often came to live in this castle where he even received the son of the King of France, Charles the Bald. Three charters ,dated from the beginning of the 10C of Alain le Grand, King of Brittany, refer to the castle as “Castrum Seium”. This castle had been devastated and destroyed by the Normans who had settled at the mouth of the Loire. Some historians believe that “Se” was originally a Roman camp which commanded the passage of the Isac river. But the parish of Guenrouët only appears around the 11C, in writings such as the Cartularies of the Monasteries. The town is part of historic Brittany. The construction of the canal from Nantes to Brest, under the July Monarchy, promotes the development of the town.

The Saint-Hermeland Church built over a period from 1896-1910-1951. The current church replaces an old 11C church. The first stone of the current church was laid in 1892. Work on the church was completed in 1896. The bell tower was built later, in 1910. The pulpit dates from 1909 and includes sculptures representing the four evangelists. The stained glass windows, representing “Saint Clair”, “The Passion of Christ” and “the Virgin”, date from around 1951. The coat of arms of the lords of Guenrouët, Pierre du Cambout, was once in the chapel of Saint-Justin forming part of the parish church on a pyramid that a roofer from the village of Longle was responsible for destroying on June 30, 1790. Boxes in the shape of a heart containing the ashes of Jacques and Armand du Cambout had been updated and sent to the chapel of the Château de Carheil at the request of Anne Françoise Charette de Briord, wife of Pierre du Cambout The church has stained glass windows illuminating the choir and tell, in their own way, the pocket of Saint-Nazaire in the town of Guenrouët.

Guenrouët ch Saint Hermeland side belltower oct22

This is my best translation from the City on the Saint Hermeland Church events.  Little is known about its architecture, except that it was the object, mainly at the end of the 17-18C, of several enlargements. During the French revolution, the Saint Hermeland Church served as a stable for the horses of the Republican Guard. During this period, acts of vandalism required, on the orders of the Government of the time, the bells to be sent to Savenay to be melted down and minted there. The clergy continued to worship underground in the surrounding countryside. At the end of the revolution, the local clergy found their church in very poor condition, but which would have to welcome the faithful for a century. In 1823, the church found a first bell. In 1841, expansion work took place. On February 17, 1890, the Municipal Council deliberated on the need to build a new church because the population at the time was around 3000 inhabitants. the project was approved on June 23, 1891. Work began in April 1892 with the blessing of the first stone, The structural work will not be finished until 1893. The framework and the roof will be finished in April 1894. work will not resume until September 1895 , The construction work will be finished at the end of March 1896 while the great altar will be put in place to the first communion of May 17, 1896. From May 1902 to January 1904, installation of stained glass windows as well as installation of wrought iron grilles surrounding the choir. The Pulpit and the Stalls surrounding the choir will be made in 1900. In 1910, construction of the bell tower with a height of 55 meters, four bells will be installed there. In September 1939, they sounded the tocsin announcing the start of WWII. From 1939 to August 1944, Guenrouët will not be too disturbed by the war and the occupation, but it will not be the same from September 1944. Following the landings of June 1944, the Allied troops, anxious to liberate the France, and in order to leave the occupier on the Atlantic, establish a pocket whose natural border was the Nantes-Brest canal. Then began a series of daily bombardments, the Saint Hermeland Church and its bell tower being an ideal target for the shootings of the American army and the resistance fighters. On December 7, 1944, at 9h25 , the bell tower was knocked down and when it fell, it crushed the stone vault. Three of the four bells were broken and all of the stained glass windows shattered.

Guenrouët ch St Hermeland passing oct22

Other interesting things to see here me think are:

The Nantes to Brest Canal: calm, greenery and a calm river. The Church of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (19C) a church of modern construction and its Stations of the Cross made with a fork. the Château du Greny, and the Château de Bogdelin as well as the  Chapel of Cougou.

The City of Guenrouët on the Saint Hermeland Church

There you go folks, another dandy road warrior run in old Brittany, The finds are awesome and the drive into these marvels superbe ! I made one new star in Guenrouët and the  ! Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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