The curiosities of Pontchâteau !!

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 heard about this town and passed by it, never in, until now. Always amazing finds in my belle France. The town is about ,Let me tell you a bit about the curiosities of Pontchâteau !!

The town of Pontchâteau is is 19 km from La Roche-Bernard (Morbihan 56 ), 30 km from Redon (Ille-et-Vilaine 35), 25 km from Saint-Nazaire ,53 km from Nantes.(44), and 93 km from my house.  Pontchâteau is located at a major crossroads of the RN 165, Nantes-Vannes-Brest expressway, and the D 773, Saint-Nazaire-Redon road. Pontchâteau is also on the railway line from Savenay to Landerneau and is served by a train station.

In the 11C, abandoning the site of the Écrin, the Lords of Pont facilitated the construction of residences not far from their castle, on the banks of the Brivet river. The bridge over the Brivet was guarded by the baron’s castle. At the foot of the castle, traders come to shelter their wares from robbers. The city is born, center of exchanges between the high country of the lands of the plateau and the marshes of the low country of the Brière: bridge and castle, nucleus of origin, hence its name. At the same time, the lords of Le Pont founded a priory with the monks of Marmoutier. Pontchâteau was, in the Middle Ages, on one of the roads to Santiago de Compostela.  During the Hundred Days, the Marquis de Coislin, local leader of the royalist insurrection,against the French revolution, had his headquarters in Pontchâteau. Radiating with his troop, he has some engagements in Campbon and Guérande against detachments rallied to Napoleon.

The Saint-Martin Church, (1859-1875), dedicated to the patron saint of the Benedictines of Marmoutiers, Saint-Martin de Tours. The current church is located on the site of the old church which was in the shape of a Latin cross, with a single aisle to the north. The nave with the choir was 35 meters long. There were eleven altars and the main altar was dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours: it was a gift made in 1652 by the Chomart family of the Château du Bodio. The bell tower, which had been redone in 1769, once contained three bells and rested on a porch of four pillars: the spire was slender. The coat of arms of the barons of Pontchâteau once appeared in the parish church.

PontChâteau ch Saint Martin front oct22

PontChâteau ch Saint Martin side oct22

And passing i took this picture of a pretty Hôtel de Ville or city/town hall of Pontchâteau


Other things to see in Pontchâteau are

In the 18C, the epic of the great missionary Grignion de Montfort marked the land of Pontchâtelain and its surroundings for a long time. Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort wanted to mark his passage by erecting a Calvary The work, begun in 1709,and was completed fifteen months later in 1710. Louis XIV, perhaps misinformed, ordered its destruction. The current Calvary dates from 1821, and houses around thirty statues and buildings on approximately 14 hectares: a Stations of the Cross with figures, the Scala Sancta (1891), a pilgrimage chapel (1873), a praetorium… You can also see the statue of Father Grignion de Montfort represented with his symbol, the builder’s shovel, The Calvary of Pontchâteau constitutes a quite remarkable cultural and religious site. The route is dotted with sculpted groups, representing the different stations of the passion of Christ, and punctuated with aedicules of various styles, of great finesse. The visitor, like the pilgrim, ends this progression by climbing Golgotha, an artificial mountain, offering an interesting view of the surrounding Brière. On the same site, discover the Calvary Museum, telling the story of the Calvary of Pontchâteau and presenting the different Christian Missions, evolving around the world. Every year, exhibitions are organized there.

Le Fuseau de la Madeleine , is a 5.65 meters high granite menhir dates from around 5000 BC. It is oriented along a northwest/southeast axis and leans slightly towards the northeast. Its slightly leaning shape and rather tapered at its top is certainly at the origin of its name: le Fuseau or spindle (accessory for weaving). La Madeleine is the name of a nearby place, where the Calvary of Pontchâteau is currently located as well.  The Stele aux Aviateurs, or Aviators stone on the road to Crossac, commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the death of 7 Allied airmen (5 Canadians and 2 Scots) shot down in the territory of Saint-Guillaume on July 25, 1944; they rest in the cemetery of Pontchâteau.

The town of Pont-Château on its heritage

The local Pontchâteau Saint Gildas des Bois tourist office on its heritage :

There you go folks, a dandy of a town, this one is to be back eventually worth it. We were on our road warrior mode so just saw couple monuments and went on to other towns, see posts. Hope you enjoy this post on the curiosities of Pontchâteau as I.

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

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