Archive for ‘Bretagne’

February 24, 2019

Sept Îles or Seven Islands of the Morbihan!

So after a bit of running around the world with special feature Europe and the grand lady of them all France in terms of tourism of course (UN-WTO) I bring you back to my beloved home of the Morbihan dept 56 of Brittany. Always lovely and the 3rd most visited region by the French!

I was out with the boys in my continue quest to find new places and planning for bigger trips starting in May, I came upon the idea of going further than we have gone just south of us. Imagine only 21 kms and there are still places not seen lol! I have been to Baden but never reach the outer point of land before the gulf of Morbihan this is Sept Îles or Seven islands , and I like to tell you a bit more on the beauties of my region.

baden sept iles inner bay boats feb19

baden

Sept îles or seven Islands is a Breton island located in the Gulf of Morbihan and part of the town of Baden. It is a private island but very easy to walk around it as in all the islands of the Gulf respecting the privacy and environment. It is connected to the mainland by a tombolo of sand submerged at high tide. It is indeed a tombolo. This form of coastal cordon only exists in about ten points of the French coast. The most well-known in Morbihan is undoubtedly the one that connects the Quiberon Peninsula to Penthièvre (which we passed every weekend). More modest, Baden’s sand bank is always regularly covered by the sea and offers a beautiful postcard view of the Gulf of Morbihan.

baden

baden

You get there from Baden taking the road D316 direction Locmiquel and then the Route des Sept-Îles which will take you directly to the entrance of a beach facing the island. Only way to go these wonderful spots is by car or bike.

The beach, fragile, is protected by a stone dike on the east side. Violent currents make it dangerous by certain times as the heights of water and   certain winds can be strong. It communicates with the cove of Baden by a coastal road which allows to reach on foot the town of Baden, located 3 km, passing through megalithic tombs.

Find out about the tide schedules so you don’t have to be trapped on the island in which case the return could be done waist water deep or more! You have to know that in this place when the sea goes up, a strong current is created. The walk on the island is done with a view to 360 degrees on the Gulf of Morbihan! Whether you take the right or the left you will return to your starting point.

baden

baden

baden crossing sept iles on low tide feb19

baden

Stop on one of the small beaches of the island or on a rock to admire the Gulf of Morbihan. You will see the pointe de Blaire! The town of Locmariaquer and the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan between Port-Navalo and the islands of Ile Er Runio or ile Le Grand Huernic. You will walk about 2 km on the Sept-Iles and if the weather and envy tells you, continue to the right of the tombolo by returning to the mainland. See my previous posts on these towns.

baden

baden sept iles l’Ile Er Runio feb19

baden sept iles l’Ile Le Grand Huernic feb19

The south side of the island is entirely surrounded by oyster parks. Between the tables, you can also reach the nearby island of Er Runio on foot.

baden

baden sept iles moules 3 feb19

baden sept iles moules 4 feb19

Opposite, at the pointe de Blaire, you see this ruin house been the remnant of a pharaoh project that has not succeeded. Built by Count Dillon at the beginning of the 20C as well as a wharf, this “Harbor House” was to be the freight station of the future great deep water port he imagined there… The idea collided with its cost, war and other ports took away the project.

baden crossing sept iles channel harbor house feb19

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here in addition to asking me are

Tourist office of Morbihan 56 on Baden and Sept îles

Tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on the Sept Îles

My favorite beach site Plages tv on the Sept îles beach

City of Locmariaquer on Baden and the Sept îles in French

Another wonderful escape in my beautiful department 56 of Morbihan in my beloved Brittany region of my belle France! This is Seven islands at Baden!

Oh yes I almost forgot. We need to eat gone all day so I knew of a place in town that always ask for reservations ,but try it anyway and of course it was full long line to wait, so we decided to go on foot in city center Baden looking for another. We hit a find which we are sure to be back ,this is the type of places you find in Brittany or France for that matter pure local no advertising family run but just a jewel of a cuisine!  We found the Les Kerguelen at Baden just next to the Church St Pierre. The family was very nice homey, and they have a bar cafe on street level and the restaurant in upper level; very cozy. We had lunch with few people there and had the opportunity to exchange with the owner. We had an entrée all you can eat of salads of various kinds, patês, cold cuts, fish salads, and bread/butter. The main dish we had the parmintier du canard or duck ground beef in mashed potatoes, and also spaghetti carbonara for others; all wash down with a quart of red and rosé house wine which was good. Then , the dessert was a home made apple pie or white/dark chocolate fondue for some; a plate of cheeses which we took the goat cheese and the camembert very nice and soft. Finish with a expresso coffee all for 13,30€ per person!!! Just what the family was looking for and found!  The city has a nice picture and info on the restaurant here: City of Baden on Les Kerguelen

baden les kerguelen front feb19

baden les kerguelen inside dining fl 2 feb19

 

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

 

 

 

 

February 24, 2019

Chapelle Notre Dame de la Clarté, Perros Guirec!

And as the coast is nice I continue my tour of the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my beloved Brittany at Perros Guirec! This is a wonderful area full of great beaches and stone creations by the coast as well as numerous monuments of great historical architectural values that I like.

Let me bring you to another jewel that having written in general before, feel it ought to have its own post. Let’s talk about the Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Clarté or Our Lady of Clarity Chapel.

Notre-Dame-de-la-Clarté is the name given to a Chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, located in the neighborhood of La Clarté in the town of Perros-Guirec in Côtes-d’Armor,dept 22 of the region of Brittany.

Perros guirec

Some of the local traditions I think are nice to tell you.

The local (costarmoricaine)  tradition of the 15C tells us that a certain lord of Barac’h, in Louannec, nearly failed with his squadron near the Sept-Îles. The mist was so thick that the sailors ‘ death seemed inevitable. All on their knees made a vow to Notre-Dame: The commander would build her a chapel if she created a saving hole in the fog. The miracle took place and the Lord of Barac’h built the Chapel of Notre-Dame de la Clarté. Much later, in August 1944, the American troops had planned to bombard Mez Gill, a camp entrenched at 200 meters from the Chapel. In retaliation, the 600 Nazis, pointing their guns at Perros, threatened to bomb the city. On August 7, 8 and 9, the mist covered Perros-Guirec preventing destruction. On August 10, the Nazis surrendered without resistance.

Perros guirec

A bit of history and architecture I like

The local tradition has always maintained that the construction of the Chapel was ordered in 1445 by Pierre de Tournemine, Sieur de Barac’h, of English descent. We can therefore say, with the departmental archives of Côtes-d’Armor, that Roland IV, founder of the Collegiate Church of Tonquédec and Lord of Ker Uzec in Pleumeur-Bodou was also the founder of the Chapel of Clarity(Clarté). At his death in Rhodes about 1470, his property passed to the Coskaër of Rosanbo, of which one of the descendants was Aline, Countess of Combourg, the sister-in-law of François-René de Chateaubriand!

Notre-Dame-de-la-Clarté Chapel belongs to the flamboyant Breton style. There are some irregularities which contribute to its originality without prejudice to harmony: a single southern transept. A square tower surmounted by a pink granite-laced steeple that seems not to be in the shape of the architectural ensemble. The Chapel is surrounded by an enclosure with a 17C granite base in its center, adorned with a wooden trunk for offerings. Further on, a cross erected in 1630. The lintel of the porch is remarkable with a representation of the Annunciation facing a Pietà, as a reminder of the prediction of the old Simeon: “You yourself, a sword will pierce your soul!” We can also see, around a window in mullions, the inscription “Le Carro”, coats of arms that have become illegible and, above, a Virgin Mother.

 Perros guirec

 Perros guirec

Paved with slabs of Brélévenez shale, arched two spans of warheads, flanked, according to tradition, by two benches of stone , the porch is worth seeing, above all, by its 17C statuary of polychrome wood, a Virgin to the Child, Saint Anne, consecrated officially Patron Saint of the Bretons, on July 26, 1914, learns to read and pray in a Bible to Ste Mary, her daughter, St. Peter, and the Four Evangelists St. Matthew in winged man, symbol of birth, St. Mark, accompanied by a lion, of the Resurrection, Saint Luke and his ox, of immolation, and Saint John in eagle, of Ascension.  On the leaves of the oak door; Saint John the Baptist carrying a sheep, Saint Peter, the key in the hand, the Virgin of the Annunciation and the angel holding in hand the scepter of power, the Virgin to the Child, and St. Paul armed with the sword, symbol of the power of the word of God expressed by his letters.

Perros guirec

The ancient descriptions describe a rood of the 15C, destroyed as most of the Breton roods in the 17C, under the pretext that they prevented the faithful from seeing the officiator. In the same way, the pulpit has now disappeared. It is facing Christ in the 15C Cross. Among the many ex-votos, one can notice, besides the traditional plates of marble, of pink or grey granite, models of boats, testimonies of dangers surmounted by their captain and their sailors.  The statues are remarkable and their diversity does not break the harmony of the ensemble. One notices in particular, in the main part, a Saint-Fiacre recognizable to his spade; a Sainte-Anne in painted wood, from the 20C,and a Saint-Yves between the rich and the poor.

Perros guirec

The altarpiece of the 18C, whose construction began in 1767, is thus described on the deed of command an untainted wooden niche in order to place the image of the Holy Virgin of Notre-Dame of Clarté in middle of the altar, with, on the right side of the so-called niche such a figure as that on the left side. The stained glass windows of the 20C.

Perros guirec

The tourist office has a bit more on this wonderful Chapel of Notre Dame of Clarity.

Tourist office of Perros Guirec on the Chapelle

This is a nice walkable neighborhood of La Clarté, and the chapel is very nice indeed, worth the detour, enjoy Perros-Guirec and the Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Clarté!

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

February 23, 2019

St James’s Church at Perros Guirec!

And I am staying right here in lovely Côtes d’Armor dept 22 in my beloved Brittany. A world to discover, the 3rd most visited region of France by the French, just need some of you visitors to discovered it. I like to tell you about another place where I have written before in a general sense but merits a full post of its own.

Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the église St Jacques or St James’s Church of Perros Guirec in the granite coast!

Perros guirec

The Church of Saint-Jacques is located in Perros Guirec in Cotes d’Armor dept 22 in Brittany.  In the heart of the city center, it strikes the visitor through its portal ogival adjoining a square granite tower of Ile Grande 14C, surmounted by a dome extended by a pyramidal spire in granite of the Clarté-Ploumanac’h ,17C. Raised on a hill from the end of the 11C, dedicated to Saint-Jacques (St James/Santiago), it sheltered pilgrims from the north en route to Santiago de Compostela. The South Porch 12C offers specially crafted capitals over which runs a frieze of octopuses, the only one of all the Romanesque art listed so far. The Church was enlarged in the 14C,16C, and 20C.

A bit of description and histoy I like

Massive and dark, this St James’ Church is distinguished by its strange capitals carved granite, leading to massive columns of a half-nave opening sideways by a portal to covings. From the original building, it remains the Romanesque nave and the southern porch. The ten pillars of the Romanesque nave , from 11C and 12C, feature capitals carved from Celtic or biblical motifs. In particular, the second pillar represents the arrival of Saint-Guirec in Perros. A gothic nave has come to prolong the Romanesque nave in the 14C. The square tower also dates from this period; the balustrade and the curious pyramid-boom dome are from the 17C. The two transepts were added in the 20C.

Perros guirec

Inside, you  will be able to discover a beautiful 17C altarpiece comprising nineteen finely shaped statuettes. The Church of St Jacques (St James) also contains a 12C blessed and a 14C grain measure; this measure was used to receive and evaluate grain offerings.The Romanesque nave has ten pillars with carved or carved capitals. The Romanesque nave displays beautiful arcades in full hanger with marquees richly adorned with characters, foliage, animals. A plain ceiling covers the entire Church.

 Perros guirec

The statuary, the furniture are also worthy of interest. Above the door, in the tympanum, the image of the Christ in glory, wearing a long tunic and raising his hand to bless. Around him, the eagle, symbol of St. John, and the lion, symbol of St. Mark, suggesting that on the lintel remade in the underwork, were once figured the other two evangelists, St. Luke and St. Matthew.

Perros guirec

The bell tower, with the curious spire dome which today crowns the top, is raised on the base of the tower only in the 17C. From that same 17C date the baptismal fonts, with their admirable balusters, and, behind the major altar, the Church Saint Jacques (St James) had to grow in the middle of the 20C where new arms were built at the transept and a more spacious sacristy, which opens onto the nave by an old door entourage at a noble pace.

Perros guirec

The heavy granite of the baptistery, decorated with 4 roughly carved characters, is from the 12C, from the time of the Romanesque part of the building. Saint John the Baptist, on the wall of the baptismal font is from the 17C. Saint Lawrence, in dalmatic of Deacon, his grill in hand, seems to be from the 16C. St. Catherine, crowned like a queen, is from the same time as St. Lawrence. The Pietà, at the crossroads of the Romanesque part and the Gothic part, unfortunately damaged, dates back to the end of the 16C. Saint Yves, at the same crossroads, is from the 18C, on a Romanesque base of the 12C. Christ in contempt, late 15C or early 16C, near the door of the sacristy, is worth admiring. The Virgin mother, called Notre-Dame du Foyer is from the 17C. Christ on the Cross of the beam of glory is a magnificent sculpture of the late 15C. The Saint James of the altarpiece is from the 17C as the ensemble of which it belongs.

Perros guirec

By the way, we noticed the two modern windows of the transept. The one on the left in Saint Yves. At the entrance of the choir and around the baptismal fonts, other modern stained glass windows.  The organ was created in 1996-1997. The latter has used as much as possible old techniques and traditional materials such as oak or lead.   This was a new organ, the Church of St Jacques had never had an organ.

Perros guirec

A bit more on the nice Church Saint Jacques from the tourist office of Perros Guirec.

Tourist office of Perros-Guirec on the Church

There you go another wonderful monument to visit on your rounds in the granite coast , wonderful coastal views and great beaches. Enjoy it

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

 

 

February 23, 2019

Cathedral St Etienne , Saint Brieuc

So I am back in my beloved Brittany,and why not keep you in the north of the peninsula! We have visited Saint Brieuc, can be considered an off the beaten path here, but worth the visit for its Cathedral at least me think.

Therefore, other than my general posts on Saint Brieuc, decided worth it to tell you a bit more on the St Stephen’s Cathedral of Saint Brieuc (Cathédrale St Etienne).

The Cathedral St Stephen of Saint-Brieuc (St Etienne) is in the Côtes-d’Armor dept 22 of my beloved Brittany.  It is one of the nine historic cathedrals of Brittany. It is currently the seat of the Diocese of Saint-Brieuc and Tréguier, known by this name since 1852.

Saint Brieuc

Saint Brieuc

A bit of history I like

The Gothic-style contemporary Cathedral St Etienne was built from the 13C to the 18C. Some relics of Saint Brieuc itself, dating from the 6C, are preserved there. It was built on a swamp with wooden pillars. It is one of the few fortified churches in Brittany. The “Grande Dame de Pierre” or the Big Lady of Stone, thus reflects the history of the city. Besieged, burned, the Cathedral will experience many avatars during the 14C, during the wars of succession that hit Brittany. Its restoration and extension spread throughout the 15C. The Cathedral was looted again during the Wars of Religions, and the League from 1589 to 1598.

 Saint Brieuc

A bit of chronological history is as follows: 1220, the planning of the western pediment of the Cathedral after the Cathedral of Noyon, in the Oise. Construction of the North tower. It becomes the Episcopal dungeon. By 1431-1436, construction of the South tower following the generous gift of Duke Jean V. In the 17C construction of corbelets supporting the balustrade, and completion of the nave rosette in 1728. By the time of the French revolution 1789-1794, the Cathedral serves as a warehouse and shed. In 1853, construction of a wooden hourd topped by a pyramidion. The corbelets are transformed into machicolations consoles.  The six portraits of the north side door known as the Gate of the Martray were made around 1860. Four of these portraits were sawn to allow the opening of two small doors.  in 1889, construction of the central porch.

Saint Brieuc

Some of the wonderful description of this Cathedral of St Stephen (St Etienne) to follow.

From its two towers, both with deadly features, the Brieuc tower is the lowest and the highest is the Marie tower. A century separates the construction of the two towers, 14C and 15C.  The Brieuc tower is the lowest and the Marie tower the highest. The towers are equipped with slits for archers.

Inside, do not miss the baptismal font Basin ,15C, as well as the altarpiece of the Annunciation, in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, masterpiece of Baroque Art ,18C. The Chapel of the Annunciation, this altarpiece is considered a masterpiece of rock aesthetics in Brittany. It is one of the most beautiful wooden retables of the Côtes d’Armor, it is surmounted by a glory illustrating God the Father and the Holy Spirit. The central table of the altarpiece represents Christ alongside the angel Gabriel making the announcement to Mary.

Saint Brieuc

The great organ of the Cathedral St Etienne is a great Cavaillon of 1848, takes place in a magnificent buffet dating back to 1540. Several recumbents and tombs of the 17C and 18C are spread around. A few stations of the contemporary Way of the Cross made by the school of Fine Arts of Rennes are shown around the walls.

Saint Brieuc

Since 2009, the Cathedral St Etienne has enjoyed an important programme of works, which must be completed running 2019 with the nave. The stones are cleaned to restore their whiteness and the cement joints are replaced by traditional lime joints. The axial chapel was restored as it was in the nineteenth century: very colorful. The starry blue vaults are surrounded by repainted pillars of flowering or spiral motifs. Like the choir, it is certainly accessible to the public.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Tourist office of the Bay of St Brieuc on the Cathedral

Official dept 22 Côte d’Armor tourism on the Cathedral

City of Saint Brieuc on heritage

There you go another nice stop in my lovely Brittany and up north in the sea coast as Côte d’Armor means  côtes as coasts and ar mor is “the sea” in the Breton language. And of course, the wonderful fortified Cathedral of St Stephen is a must stop while in town. Enjoy it

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

 

 

February 21, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXI

And here I am with the latest handn picked news of my belle France. Always something going on in the World’s most visited country!!!  The temps here is lovely sunny nice no rain, and just wonderful.  Right now is 52F or about 11C in my neck of the woods, with Paris at 62F ,about 17C and sunny.

So therefore, some of my latest tidbits on my belle France!

Final clapping for the Beverley, lol! Just news never been here , really honest. Forbidden to minors, the last cinema X of Paris  will definitely close its doors this Saturday February 23rd . At 75 years old, Maurice Laroche, owner since 1993 of this discreet establishment located 14, rue de la Ville Neuve, 2éme arrondissement, a few steps from the Grand Rex, decided to take a well-deserved retirement. Will console ourselves with the Beverley box which contains, for 60€, a DVD telling the story of the establishment, photos and a CD with the song of the house! According to the National Film Centre (CNC), after the closure of the Beverley, there will be only one X-cinema in France: the Vox in Grenoble! More here in French: https://salles-cinema.com/paris/cinema-beverley-a-paris

The martial arts enthusiast had an institution on the 15éme. A space whose tatamis have seen the training of several generations of Judokas, Aikidoka, yogis and practitioners of various martial arts: the Shiseikan Dojo,(been here as my French family are all enthusiasts of these arts)  nestled for over 70 years in the courtyard of a private building on Rue Lecourbe, will have to move or closed by September 2020. More on this nice place in Paris here:  https://dojoshiseikan.wordpress.com/

The Vincennes Racecourse, (a wonderful place to be anytime) has a date on Sunday February 24 2019. It is called the festival at the Hippodrome and puts in the spotlight this year ,Brazil. Between a capoeira dance, Batucada (Brazilian music and percussion), traditional dancers, pastries and a Portuguese-speaking carnival, families can attend the ten afternoon trotting races. Because this racecourse is the French temple of the Trotters and that it runs this Sunday the Grand Prix de Paris. A marathon, for horses, 4.1 km.  At the Hippodrome de Vincennes, 2 route de la Ferme , 12éme arrondissement. More here : https://www.vincennes-hippodrome.com/fr/

This Sunday, February 24th, 2019, your children are invited to the Château de Fontainebleau (one of my favorite castles of all of France!)  for a carnival punctuated by the reviving dance and duels with the sword. They are expected to be welcome disguised in front of the golden gate and then be trained in the arts of fencing and dance as they were practiced then. The program includes weapons courses and demonstrations of duels. The swords are of course of wood, suitable for children during animations. On the other hand, demonstrations are made in the period of time, when the weapons were actually used to injure in the duels and they were not wearing protections. The only safety of the actors is their technical mastery and their synchronization in these millimeters fencing shows. Sunday, February 24th, from 14H to 17h.  Château de Fontainebleau (Seine et Marne dept 77), Place du Général-de-Gaulle.  Admission 9€ In addition to the entrance fee to the castle (10-12€, free for under-25). On Reservation because places are limited! More here:  https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/CARNAVAL-AU-CHATEAU,1505

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February 2019, the Ferme du Buisson in Noisiel (Seine-et-Marne dept 77) hosts a large medieval festival and heavy-metal concerts name Cernunnos Pagan Fest (noisy but good my sons are into both). The program: Scenes of reconstruction of life in medieval Scotland, initiations to traditional Celtic dances, but also ancient games, demonstrations of combat and spectacles of fires. There are even smaller ones, with make-up workshops, calligraphy, young audience shows. More info here: http://www.lafermedubuisson.com/programme/cernunnos-pagan-fest

Vintage game consoles await the nostalgic of the first emotions to the controllers. Well my sons are into it but on the modern side, this should be interesting in my wife native town) They will be at the Retrogaming play on 23 and 24 February 2019 in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne dept 77). RGC (Retro-gaming Connexion), Replay and Chezmoa associations return on February 23rd (Friday) and 24th(Saturday)  for retro gaming Play 2019. The retro and alternative video game festival will launch its 2nd edition at the Meaux Coliseum to promote the videogame heritage and the history of the video game, always in the same desire for sharing and conviviality.  https://www.rom-game.fr/agenda/3227-Retro+Gaming+Play+2019.html

Michael Bunel is a photo-reporter born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines dept 78). For several years he has been walking the world’s roads to trace the path of exiles fleeing conflict zones. His work is exposed at the La Cle. Interesting to see the other side on the people’s side. More here:   https://www.saintgermainenlaye.fr/en/111-1269/fiche/la-clef-exposition-michael-bunel-exil.htm

New metro lines, new stations, 200 km new tracks. The Grand Paris Express is the urban project that will change the landscape of Paris in 2030 (they needed too overcrowded but do not think this will help much ). Seven teams of architects responsible for building the 68 new stations have been associated with artists who must design original creations. Each metro station will have its own works of art! To create a large collection of works, such as a museum of the twenty-first century open to all audiences. More here :  https://www.societedugrandparis.fr/gpe/le-grand-paris-express-en-resume

It happens that the city of Paris has decided to put a clean coup on the Regional Express network of Île-de-France region, with these new RER  “New Generation”. The RER project  “NG ” could well change the lives of the RER D and E passengers, who were seriously starting to rust rails (this will help these lines often overlook for the more glamorous ones such as A and B). These new trains will accommodate up to 1860 people, with 600 seats spread over two floors. These new RER, without separation between cars to optimize the space, will show an exceptional comfort, because this is where the whole issue lies for the manufacturers. So air conditioning and USB ports will be available to you. Spaces with and without seats for short trips, as well as more comfortable spaces including only seats for longer trips. As for the ends of the train, they will be reserved for strollers, wheelchair users and travelers with suitcases. More info here:   https://www.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/actualites/le-futur-rer-dile-de-france-se-devoile/

There you short and sassy as they said. Hope you enjoy it the runs of my news entries ,and thank you for your support.

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

 

 

 

February 19, 2019

Calvary at Plougastel-Daoulas!

So let’s continue our journey in the Finistére dept 29 of my beloved Brittany. And of course, why not sticking to the same town of Plougastel-Daoulas. I like to repeat the introduction to the town from previous post here

Plougastel-Daoulas is in the dept 29 of Finistère in Brittany/Bretagne. It is a town in the Brest harbor, located on a peninsula in the southeast of the city, which is separated by the mouth of the Élorn. The town is part of the former bishopric of Cornouaille. Plougastel-Daoulas remained very isolated, the Élorn being an obstacle to its relations with the Bishopric of Leon and especially with Brest. Before the construction of the Albert-Louppe Bridge in 1930, only one ferry allowed to cross the estuary starting from the place called the Passage to lead to a place of the same name located on the current town of Relecq-Kerhuon. The WWI painfully strikes Plougastel, which accounts for 212 deaths during this conflict. In  1944, a parachute unit of the 3rd Parachute Fighter Regiment, was parachuted into the Plougastel-Daoulas area as part of Operation Derry to open the way to the 8th US Army Corps, commanded by General Troy Middleton, responsible for taking Brest, to support the local resistance and to avoid the destruction of the Plougastel bridge. The Task force  “B ” continued its advance and showing a very high attack power clearing the Plougastel Peninsula on August 30, 1944.

The must to see here is the Calvary one of the seven jewels calvaries of Brittany. It is magnificent,and along worth the detour to this nice town of Plougastel-Daoulas.

Plougastel Daoulas

The calvary of Plougastel-Daoulas dates from 1602-1604 and its about 10 meters high. On a yellow granite base of Logonna-Daoulas, about 182 statues carved in blue Kersanton stone, the larger ones measure one meter and weigh from 100 to 200 kg. They illustrate, in 28 paintings, biblical scenes of the life of Christ or legendary scenes such as Katel Kollet. It is one of the seven great Calvaries of Brittany. The octagon that forms the core of the basement is 1.70 meters apart.  A 14-step staircase near the northwestern foothills provides access to the central platform where the preacher was once installed. It was erected as a result of the plague epidemic of 1598. This is a religious ensemble which is unique of Brittany. This one is one of the best around. The stairs on the northwest side allowing to go inside where the predicator is illuminated.

Plougastel Daoulas

Plougastel Daoulas

This is a tremendous beautiful gorgeous magnificent calvary that is a must see even passing just for it is good. My best in the region simple yet detailing of such love and history of Christ. The original date is under the statue of Christ. There is the Nativity, the flight to Egypt, the Last Supper, and the washing of the feet. The great drama of the passion then unfolds in an army of actors among different groups of statuettes. One is the one depicting the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ in Jérusalem. It is dominated by three large crosses in the center.  Destroyed during the period of the terror (French revolution), it was restored again after the liberation after been damaged during the siege of Brest in WWII.

Plougastel Daoulas

Plougastel Daoulas

Again some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must are

Official 7 calvaries of Brittany on Plougastel

Tourist office of Brest on the Calvary of Plougastel

Tourist office of Brittany on heritage of Plougastel

Tourist office of Finistére dept 29 on calvary of Plougastel

There you go, this one is a must to visit I said… on a wonderful city of the Finistére dept 29 Plougastel-Daoulas.

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

February 18, 2019

Church of St Pierre , Plougastel-Daoulas!

And I sticking around the area to take you to another off the beaten path of my lovely Brittany. This time is a wonderful town of many nice memories for my family. We first came to Plougastel-Daoulas on a rainy day and had lunch where we met the owners and try a delicious African chicken dish from Senegal. To our surprise the city is full of memorable places to see and it must be seen.

Plougastel-Daoulas is in the dept 29 of Finistère in Brittany/Bretagne. It is a town in the Brest harbor, located on a peninsula in the southeast of the city, which is separated by the mouth of the Élorn. The town is part of the former bishopric of Cornouaille. Plougastel-Daoulas remained very isolated, the Élorn being an obstacle to its relations with the Bishopric of Leon and especially with Brest. Before the construction of the Albert-Louppe Bridge in 1930, only one ferry allowed to cross the estuary starting from the place called the Passage to lead to a place of the same name located on the current town of Relecq-Kerhuon. The WWI painfully strikes Plougastel, which accounts for 212 deaths during this conflict. In  1944, a parachute unit of the 3rd Parachute Fighter Regiment, was parachuted into the Plougastel-Daoulas area as part of Operation Derry to open the way to the 8th US Army Corps, commanded by General Troy Middleton, responsible for taking Brest, to support the local resistance and to avoid the destruction of the Plougastel bridge. The Task force  “B ” continued its advance and showing a very high attack power clearing the Plougastel Peninsula on August 30, 1944.

The parish Church of St. Peter, once a priory dependent on the abbey of Daoulas, dating from the 15C, but then too small, was destroyed in 1870 and replaced by a Church of Flamboyant Gothic style at a site of a Chapel.  The initiative probably comes back to the Lords of Léon and the family of Rohan. The Church was completed in 1623 with a 28 meters high bell tower in a round turret containing the staircase to access the bells.  A Renaissance porch is added between 1640 and 1650. It was destroyed by WWII  and it was rebuilt with the bell tower done with concrete. However ,some items do remain such as the descend of the Cross and two retables one of Saint-Peter ,and the other of a Rosary.

Plougastel Daoulas

plougastel

The first that you see upon coming to town is the Church of Saint Peter rising above the place de l’église, monumental front and great bell tower. It was rebuilt as it is today in 1950.  The current Church was rebuilt in cross–shaped, style  with a recessed Spire, a nave of five bays with aisles, a crossroads with lantern and wings at the center of which is the choir, then another nave of three bays with aisles terminated by a right chevet. The Church of the 19C has retained a beautiful retable of the Rosary (dated 1654-1656) and topped by an altar the tomb of 16C of the Fallen Christ. The modern altar, made with marble of Mayenne dedicated in 1957.  There is a path of modern cross and the baptismal fonts from the 12C. The Church houses a statue of St. Peter and a Pietà.

Plougastel Daoulas

Plougastel Daoulas

Plougastel Daoulas

A lovely ensemble around the main square of the town, the Church, (calvary next and strawberry museum afterward). A great day for the whole family on a lovely traditional Breton town, and it was here that we first heard the Breton language spoken by folks in the restaurant!!

Some general webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Brittany on Plougastel-Daoulas

Tourist office of Finistére dept 29 on Plougastel

city of Plougastel on heritage

There you go enjoy a nice Church St Pierre in an nice town off the beaten path and trails of coastline to fall in love with!

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

 

 

February 18, 2019

Castle museum of the Navy, Brest!

As I like to stick with maritime heaven of Brest, let me bring you into something more historical , older, and with great architecture. Just what I like to see. I have come to Brest several times with the family, and we have stop here each time with each trip more in depth visits. The diversity of things to see here allows for the opportunity to come back again and again to see these jewels of my beloved Brittany and  belle France.

One of the sights that rigth away comes to your eyes upon entering the city is the Castle , a wonderfully preserved one indeed. However, the best of it is what is inside! A navy museum of France! It is a must to see indeed and good for the whole family! So I like to tell you a bit more on the National Museum of the Navy at Brest!

Brest

The National Museum of the Navy of Brest is one of the five national Museums of the Marine with Port-Louis, Rochefort, Toulon and Paris. The Museum of Brest, located within the framework of the castle, houses a heritage testifying to the history of the arsenal of Brest and the French Navy.  The visit of this Maritime Museum combines interior and exterior and allows discovering its maritime collections: models of ships, navigational instruments, paintings, sculptures (figures of bow and stern, busts of legendary figures linked to the world and objects of art.

Brest

Within the recently renovated Brest Castle, rich in 17 centuries of history, the National Museum of the Navy, traces the history of the arsenal and large sea fleets from Primauguet and Richelieu until today, and confirms the close ties between the city of Brest and this maritime history. By browsing the different rooms of the castle, the historic heart of the city, and one of the few vestiges of its past, you will enjoy a superb collection of models of ships, paintings, sculptures, the pocket submarine, the evocation of the old Brest, The memories of the prison… all in connection with the great naval adventure. Alone or in the company of a speaker, discover this exceptional site that offers a superb panorama of the harbor, the Penfeld and the city.

brest

brest mus marine insignias weapons nov13

Heir to the historical halls of the arsenals, the great collections of Paris, Versailles and the practical Works Hall of the School of Engineering Builders, the National Museum of the Navy is both museum of art and history, science and technical, human adventures and popular traditions, a center of maritime culture open to the widest public. It is intended to be the showcase and the Heritage Conservatory of all Marines. With the Museum of the St. Petersburg (Russia), it shares the privilege of being one of the two oldest maritime museums in the world by the importance and diversity of its collections.  Around its permanent collections, large models of arsenals, paintings including the series of the ports of Vernet, of objects witnessing maritime activities, and by its temporary exhibitions, the National Museum of the Navy sensitizes the public to the maritime fact. It offers to the visitor not only a permanent collection but also temporary exhibitions as well as numerous animations, workshops and visits with family or for the younger ones.

brest

brest

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official National Museum of the Navy at Brest

Official tourist office of Brest on the museum

There is a great parking area just in front of the castle ,where we always parked and from there is easy walking all over the city center. A wonderful time well spent with the family and highly recommended as one of the best maritime museums in the world! Enjoy it

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

 

 

 

 

 

February 18, 2019

Océanopolis at Brest!

So let me bring you up north of my Brittany and into the seafaring tradition of the Bretons. The sea is all around us and is part of the history and traditions of this region so no surprise that one of the best aquariums are here too.

I have written before about Brest of course, but believe showcasing this aquarium or Océanopolis of Brest is worth it. I say it is worth a detour, wonderful place indeed. It is impressive enough arriving on the point of the city next to the harbor and sea making a roundabout turn to get into it and there you have it , again , a wonderful place to visit, and good for the whole family.

Océanopolis is a center of scientific culture dedicated to the oceans, located in Brest, near the marina of the Moulin Blanc. Rue Cormorans, Brest. The shape of the first building, the temperate pavilion, is reminiscent of a crab. Océanopolis opened its doors in 1990. The first goal was to offer a showcase to the sea science through the temperate pavilion. In fact, Brest brings together 60% of European research on the sea. Fully refurbished in 2000 with the addition of the polar and tropical pavilions, Océanopolis proposes a scientific approach to the marine environment as a whole. For this, about 50 aquariums from 50 to 1 000 000 liters for the shark basin are offered to the public. In addition to the basins, different supports (video, interactive kiosks, panels…) provide additional information on the biology of species, the protection of the environment, the functioning of ecosystems. The center is cut into three pavilions, corresponding to three different environments: temperate, polar and tropical. 10 000 animals and marine plants of 1 000 species can thus be discovered in this complex. Océanopolis includes 8 700 m2 of visiting areas and 4 million liters of sea water including 1 million for the shark basin.

Brest oceanopolis boutiques restos nov12

A bit of history I like

Éric Hussenot, marine biologist passionate about marine mammals and Jean-Paul Alayse, oceanographer and specialist of basins, have a joint project of Aquarium-Museum from the beginning of the 1980’s. These two researchers from the CNRS write the thesis “Project for the creation of an aquarium-museum in Brest” highlighting the potential of the ecosystems of the Sea of Iroise. In 1988, the work of Océanopolis, called “The House of the Sea”, began. It opens its doors to the public on June 21, 1990 with the label of center of Scientific and technical culture. By creating in 2000 two new pavilions (one showing the polar ecosystems, the other the tropical marine environment), the center passes from the simple aquarium stage to the ocean Discovery Park.

It is divided into zones or basins such as:

Pavillon Bretagne : The first pavilion of Océanopolis, the temperate pavilion was designed to serve as a showcase for marine and scientific activities in the region. From the bottom of the Atlantic continental Shelf to the fine sand beach, we discover animals and plants of the Breton coast in reconstituted environments in the nearest reality. At the end of the pavilion, visitors have the opportunity to familiarize themselves even more with the fauna and the coastal flora thanks to the demonstration puddle where they can touch the inhabitants of the seaside: starfish, anemones, sea urchins… Among the animals that can be seen in the basins: bars, marine seals, bats and spotted local sharks.

Brest

Pavillon Polaire : Opened in 2000, this pavilion presents the fauna of the north and south poles. At first, it is the penguins and birds that inhabit the sub-antarctic islands that visitors may encounter.  A little further afield, a transitional space allows us to learn more about the food relations in the poles and the Inuit people living in the Arctic. In a second step, the Polar Pavilion proposes to discover the Arctic fauna

Brest

Pavillon Tropicale :  Open at the same time as the Polar Pavilion, the tropical Pavilion is built as a four-step journey through the tropical seas. At the entrance of this tropical pavilion, the visit begins with the lagoon, a new aquarium that allows observing from the surface of the water the species of a tropical lagoon of shallow depth. Each stage of the visit then corresponds to a tropical zone and one or more basins as well as a theme. The Pacific Ocean and the Sharks, the Indo-Australian archipelago, the coral and the inhabitants of the reef, the Indian Ocean and the large tropical fish families, the endemism of the Caribbean regions. The visit of the pavilion ends with a walk in an equatorial forest, carried out in partnership with the National Botanical Conservatory of Brest.

Brest oceanopolis to tropical sect nov12

Outside the Océanopolis building is a marquee that welcomes a new exhibition every two years. Océanopolis has expanded by creating a new outdoor space dedicated to otters and sea lions. This space of 300 m2 is specially designed to discover two new coastal ecosystems, one northeast Atlantic and the other Californian. Océanopolis also offers general public lectures available for free. Océanopolis also hosts annual cultural and scientific events, such as the Oceanographic Adventure Film Festival, the Science Festival or the night of the researchers.

Brest

The Marine Mammal Studies Laboratory of Océanopolis (LEMM) was established in 1989. Its mission is to study the coastal populations of marine mammals in Brittany. The species studied are mainly: the grey seal of the Mullein Archipelago and the Sept-Îles, the great dolphin of the island of Sein and the archipelago of Mullein. It is part of it and tours can be arranged with the Océanopolis.

Brest

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Official Océanopolis in English

Tourist office of Brest on Océanopolis

There you go, again , a wonderful trip with the whole family and fully educational with fantastic views of the basin in all pavillions. Hope you enjoy Océanopolis as we did.

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

February 15, 2019

Basilica minor Saint Sauveur, Dinan!

Today I finish my tour of Dinan in the wonderful Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my beloved region of Brittany. It is an area worth seeing indeed, and one reason is very popular to visitors to Brittany.

As said, have written several posts on Dinan, but this time will pick one monument that needs special attention for a one post visit. This is the Church of Saint Sauveur of Dinan.

The Basilica of Saint-Sauveur in Dinan It is also a place of Marian devotion to Notre-Dame-des-Virtues, bas-relief of the 15C formerly preserved in the convent of the Cordeliers. The object of local veneration, this representation of the assumption of the Virgin allowed the Church to be erected in a minor Basilica by Pope Pius XII on 23 May 1954.

Dinan

Dinan

The building of Saint-Sauveur Church, in 1112, was attributed to the Chevalier Riwallon Le Roux, the grandson of Josselin I of Dinan, on his return from the crusade to the Holy Land, where he fought bravely in Palestine. In the battle, he made a vow, if he saw Dinan, to build a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity: Saint-Sauveur. Back in Dinan, he undertook the construction of the sanctuary. In the arm of the north transept are preserved the heart of De Guesclin and its tombstone. This basilica, which overlooks the Rance river, is one of the most original in Brittany, raised in the 12C, with a Romano-Byzantine façade, and developed in flamboyant Gothic in the 15C and 16C. Also to see, the statuette of the Madonna with the child, the monumental splashback in granite, the vault of the basilica, a stained glass window representing the four Evangelists or the Holy one at the bottom of which appear two fish in high relief that symbolize the life brought by baptism. Note that most stained glass windows date back to the 19C, with some unidentified fragments, apparently prior to the 15C .During the French revolution, the Church was change into a temple of the Supreme Being and then hay Barn, the Church was returned to worship in 1800. The salvage of the dilapidated work continued until the Second Empire.

Dinan

The 12C Church of St Sauveur was the subject of a campaign of important works starting from 1480: a aisle with a line of chapels was built north of the Romanesque nave; The upper level of the façade was rebuilt. South of the nave, a aisle was planned but not built; Instead a small three-piece chapel was built at the old location of a door, starting from 1500. The bedside was completely rebuilt from 1507. The ambulatory and the radiant chapels are vaulted before 1545, the date of the collapse of the steeple. After this event, the upper parts of the choir and the transept, which began in 1557, were not vaulted. These parts are completed in 1646 by a panelled frame, replaced by a false plaster vault in the 18C.

Dinan

The architecture of the Basilica of Saint-Sauveur in Dinan is divided into two distinct ensembles:

A Romanesque part of the 12C consisting of the ground floor of the western façade and the southern wall of the nave, outside, the Romanesque part is exceptional; the western façade is of a very unusual style in Brittany and the south wall seems to influence Byzantine ; while the lower part of the western façade is actually approaching a more prevalent Romanesque style in the regions of Poitou and Saintonge than in Brittany. Of the 12C architecture, the nave and the transept can only be described, the choir having been completely rebuilt in the 15-16C. A Gothic part occupying the rest of the building (top of the western façade, north wall of the lower side of the nave, transept, chorus and bedside). The Basilica of Saint-Sauveur was rebuilt in the 15-16C, the builders adopted the flamboyant Gothic architecture as at the Church of Saint-Malo de Dinan (see previous post)  of which the construction is contemporary with that of the basilica. The upper part of the western façade, the north wall of the nave, the transept and the bedside are built in flamboyant Gothic. The realization of the bedside was laborious, several incidents postponed the work and the construction of the Chapels of the ambulatory, begun in 1507, continued until the 18C. Despite these difficulties, the bedside represents a dazzling example of Renaissance Gothic.

Dinan

The Basilica of Saint Sauveur currently has three bells, which are located on the lower level of the steeple (stone part). Before the French revolution, the Basilica had four, but they were sold. The bells were replaced successively in 1832, 1868 and 1873. The latter was replaced in 1961. The bell name, Elisabeth weighs about 2.516 kg. The diameter of the clamp is 1.620 mm. It was done in 1868. The Bell No. 2, Bell without baptismal name weighs about 1.250 kg. The diameter of the clamp is 1.285 mm; done in 1832. The  Anne Cécile, weighs between 845 and 900 kg. The diameter of the clamp is 1.150 mm and was done in 1961. It is the smallest of the three bells that ring, three times a day, in 8:02, 12:02 and 19h02, the Angelus.

Dinan

 The stained glass windows of the Basilica of Saint Sauveur are mostly from the second half of the 20C, except for the Évangélistes window, placed in a chapel on the north side. The two stained-glass windows of the Romanesque wall closest to the Crusaders contain fragments of unidentified stained glass, probably prior to the 15C.

Dinan

Two   important altarpieces that struck the most on the visit was that of Altar piece painting of Santa Barbara 18C and the Painting of Saint Eloi as a bishop .

 In 1839 , Aristide Cavaillon-Coll delivers his opus 6 to the parish of Saint-Sauveur in Dinan. He then had 28 games on three manual keyboards and a pedal (12 games at the Grand organ, 8 at the positive, 4 in the narrative and 4 on the pedal. The buffet, in a single-minded style, affects neoclassical architecture tempered by Renaissance ornaments. Today, the Grand organs of Saint-Sauveur de Dinan have three manual keyboards and a pedal. of neo-classical aesthetics, the instrument, with electric transmission, has not much to do with the work of Cavaillon-Coll.

Some webpages to shed more on the wonderful Dinan even if on the Basilica you need to come to see are

Tourist office of Dinan Cap Frehel on heritage

Tourist office of Brittany on the heritage in Dinan

There you you go a bit more on wonderful Dinan and its beautiful Basilica Minor Saint Sauveur a well merited stop while here. Another jewel of my belle France and gorgeous Brittany.

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

 

 

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