Posts tagged ‘Bretagne’

May 20, 2022

The Ramparts of Vannes !!!

So you know Vannes is my capital city and administrative center for us. It was as well for 9 years my place of work, just outside city limits, and we go there every week at least once! Therefore, I have written plenty about Vannes in my blog; but as often the case there are some missing parts.. I like to remedy that in writing again on the ramparts of the old town a wonderful place to visit while in Vannes, I say a must. And see my other posts on the ramparts of Vannes!

The first enclosure of Vannes (ramparts) was built in the 3C, the small ancient Roman town, then called Daroritum protected itself behind its walls from the Germanic threat. It was on the hill of Mené, surrounded by swamps, that the town found the best site to fortify. The ancient enclosure surrounds about 5 hectares. The perimeter of these first ramparts was less than 1 km. The Château de la Motte (the castle is partially demolished in 1867 and this will allow the construction of a new street to the train station, the rue Billault) was built on the northern wall between the 5C and 6C. Throughout history, it was successively the home of the counts of Vannes and then of the kings and dukes of Brittany. In the 12C, the ramparts underwent major repairs because they were badly damaged during the repeated assaults of the Plantagenets. In the 13C, the Château de la Motte was partly destroyed by an earthquake and ceded to the bishop of the town. Restored, it will become the episcopal mansion of La Motte. It will be necessary to wait until the 14C for the ancient walls of Vannes to be enlarged ; the walled city then integrates the southern suburbs to go from 5 to 13 hectares. Duke Jean IV of Brittany had the Château de l’Hermine (see post) built at the same time. Despite the integration of Brittany into the Kingdom of France during the 16C, the ramparts of Vannes continued to be maintained until the 17C. They were even reinforced during the religious wars of the 16C and then during the first decades of the 17C, because Vannes remained a city in a strategic geographical position for the kingdom. At the end of the 17C, the search for circulation is privileged, and two additional gates are pierced in the ramparts.

Vannes ramparts walls of Vannes Aug12

The ramparts of Vannes remain, despite these late destructions, among the best preserved in Brittany; more than three quarters of the fortified enclosure still remains. A policy of conservation and enhancement of the city’s ramparts and gates has been in place since the beginning of the 20C. The entire eastern part of the ramparts is enhanced by a pleasant French landscaped public garden. The Jardin des Remparts (see post) is a must when visiting Vannes. Indeed, this French-style garden , open since the 1950s, largely contributes to the enhancement of the fortified heritage of the city. Each year, 30,000 flowers would be needed to decorate the garden of the ramparts, You can see a wonderful carrousel here by the Avenue de Lattre de Tassigny.

vannes courtine de la juliette to garenne garden and tour connetable dec19

vannes old carrousel tour connetable back dec11

For several centuries, the layout of the ramparts remained the same. Five gates then give access to the intramural, these were Saint-Patern, but also Saint-Jean, du Bali, Saint-Salomon, and Mariolle. Then, from 1370 to 1395, the enclosure was extended to the south by decision of Duke Jean IV. In particular, he planned the expansion and construction of the Château de l’Hermine. The work ended with the construction of the western walls near the Cordeliers convent. The new enclosure opens to the south of two gates, the Calmont and Gréguennic. Later, around the middle of the 15C, the enclosure was equipped with towers such as the Tower of the Executioner, but also the Powder Tower, and the Joliette Tower. Then, at the time of the wars of religion, the city reinforced its enclosure with several bastions: Gréguennic, Brozillay, Haute-Folie then La Garenne. At the same time, the future Saint-Vincent gate was created. This additional opening to the south is strategic, it makes it possible to serve the port district. Then, the city evolves again with in particular the installation of the Parliament of Brittany between 1675 and 1689. As a result, from 1650 to the French revolution, new developments are planned. Poterne gate, but also Saint-Jean gate , as well as a restoration of the Saint-Vincent gate. It was also during this period that certain parts of the ramparts were considered obsolete. Thus, the moats are filled in and the fragmented fortifications are broken up to be sold to individuals. At the end of the 18C and during the 19C, some sections of walls and doors were demolished, (look up several of these gates in my posts).


A walk around the fortified city allows you to discover many magnificently preserved elements: the Constable’s tower , first half of the 15C, originally, the tower was to serve as accommodation for the constable, commander of the armies of the Duke of Brittany , the Hermine castle or Lagorce hotel,located between the port and the garden of the ramparts, the castle is integrated into the ramparts which border the closed city. This vast building built at the end of the 18C is at the heart of a new cultural project.The tower and the prison gate, the Garenne spur, the bastions of Haute -Folie and Gréguennic, or the Poudrière, Joliette, Bourreau and Saint-Vincent towers. The lavoirs or washhouses of La Garenne are a former public washhouse , Le Marle, “the river of Vannes” ensures its water supply before mixing with the waters of the gulf. In the heyday, the washerwomen used to come here to wash their clothes. (again look up my posts on many of these).


The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the jardin des remparts of Vannes:

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on things to do/see in Vannes:

The city of Vannes on its ramparts walls:

There you go folks, two wonderful gates/towers along the beautiful ramparts of Vannes a must to visit when in town. Hope you enjoy this more detail post on the ramparts marvelous architectural/historical gems.

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

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May 20, 2022

More streets of Vannes!!!

As I have mentioned several times, have many posts on my capital city of Vannes in my blog, A cornupia of wonderful places to see and things to do, feel free to browse, This time will do a new post with older pictures on the streets of Vannes,it is superbe to walk its medieval streets, and we love it, going km after km sightseeing on foot. We by now know Vannes by heart but it never amazes me to see so much beauty in its architecture and history untouched by the times. Let me tell you again more streets of Vannes.  Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Place du Général de Gaulle is the street of the préfecture government building where the main body of employees are but not the one the public go to, This is just opposite the ramparts where I have several posts, The préfecture building is exactly at 10, Place du Général de Gaulle. The square was created during the construction of the Hôtel de Préfecture in 1863. It was formed according to old plans on the site of part of the gendarmerie barracks, formerly the Jacobins convent, and rue du Roulage, street opened in 1776. It is concomitant with the opening in 1863 of the rue Alain Le Grand, its outlet on the Garenne. Archaeological excavations, undertaken in 1999, during the renovation of the square, have brought to light vestiges of the Gallo-Roman era. By 15, place du General de Gaulle you have a nice above ground parking,


An anecdote here is that Charles de Gaulle came here from a day visit to Rennes in 1944, when Brittany was not yet completely liberated from the Nazis who still held the pockets of Lorient and Saint-Nazaire, Charles de Gaulle, head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic made another trip to Brittany from July 20 to 23, 1945. This trip included the following stops: Saint-Brieuc, Morlaix, Brest, Quimper, Lorient, Auray, Vannes and finally Saint-Nazaire, a little over two months after the definitive liberation of the Morbihan. He was accompanied by four ministers: Raoul Dautry, Minister of Reconstruction and Urban Planning, René Mayer, Minister of Transport and Public Works, Louis Jacquinot, Minister of the Navy, and finally René Pléven, Minister of Finance.

Some spots we have been and nice enough to post here are the bagel local specialists,Le Bagel Ouest at 15 Place du Général de Gaulle , and nice quant bookstore of Archipel des Mots, at 21 Place du Général de Gaulle.

The rue Alain le Grand created through the former garden of the Saint-Nicolas hospital, now the Claret garden, according to the plan of Marius Charier drawn up in 1861, to open up the new préfecture. Connecting street between the prefecture and the Garenne gardens.  One nice example here is at 5 Rue Alain le Grand, This building was built between 1894 and 1906. It has a metal frame (Baltard type construction) and a T-shaped plan. of limestone (tuffeau), bricks, cast iron. Beautiful illustration of industrial art.(see post).


The rue de la Monnaie is a very old street where the mint was located from 1237 to 1488 and which from the cathedral descends to Place Lucien Laroche, Some interesting half timbered houses here are :

At 5 rue de la Monnaie house rebuilt in the first part of the 20C on the site of an old half-timbered house of which there is a declaration made in 1677 for Guillaume Guitton, Sieur de Sourville and Dame Marguerite Billy, his wife, acquired by his parents in 1661. The house was built in alignment with the street on an old plot, and forms an L-shaped plan.


At 3 rue de la Monnaie house built in the 16C. There is a declaration made in 1677 for Paul de Tredazo, knight, lord of Keriscouet and where it is mentioned that it was formerly called Maison Gueho, probably from the name of its previous owners. On the second square floor, the elements of old framework , crossbowman, leg and blocket are still visible indicating that the building had only one square floor originally and that it was raised in ancient times. , perhaps in the 17C, during the exile of the Parliament of Brittany to Vannes, caused great housing needs. In addition, the simple and modest fireplace on this same floor is a type of 15-16C attic floor fireplace as well as the wood used for the realization of this second square floor are of less strong section; which tends to prove an elevation of the house. The staircase has been redone on the site of the old staircase which was screw according to an oral information. The house was plastered in the 19C. The building is the subject of an enlargement at the rear in the rear courtyard on the first floor only. The ground floor has been modified. The exterior entrance steps to the house bear a date of 1889 which is not yet explained: it may be a reused stone. The main half-timbered body, gabled and corbelled, is double in depth, consisting of two rooms per level. Single-span house on a masonry base with 2 square floors and an attic floor with basement. The frame has regular posts with side reliefs and a spandrel cross of Saint-André. The front door of the house is on the side and gives access to a corridor in place on about half of the building and at the bottom of which the staircase starts.

At 10 rue de la Monnaie house built at the beginning of the 20C (dated by the current cadastre as 1920) on the site of a garden or passage visible on the cadastre of 1844 and adjoining the house erected at the bottom of a much older plot. The reform of 1677 attached to this file corresponds to the building which was built in the rue de la Monnaie and which was demolished during its enlargement.

Some of the nice business we have stop by are the coffee grounder Brûlerie D’Alré at 11 rue de la Monnaie, and the always reliable L’Occitane en Provence, at 10 rue de la Monnaie.

The rue du Port was mentioned from the 14C, whose houses then housed merchants in the activity linked to the port. In the second half of the 17C, the arrival of the Parliament of Brittany in Vannes led to the reconstruction, for the nobility, but also for wealthy merchants, of some of the old houses. The irregular layout of this street in its southern part is rectified during the alignment plan of 1840 ; it will only be applied to two houses in the center of the street and to the house located at the southern end. The houses occupy the west side of the street, the east side being bordered by the Promenade de la Rabine. Most of the houses are established on crossing plots of medieval origin between rue du Port and rue du Drézen.

vannes rue du port 14C houses feb15

There is a nice example at 28 rue du Port,house built at the end of the 16C or the beginning of the 17C, Originally with a single corbelled floor, it was raised by one floor in the 17C, then by a third in the 18C. Half-timbered house originally gabled on the street, with a deep plan, with one room per floor. The wooden spiral staircase remains laterally on the north side. It forms together with its neighbors, n° 30 and 32, which have not been raised.

Some of my favorites here at the La Créperie du Port at 32 rue du Port, (see above) ,This pretty creperie is located in a house of four centuries of existence with original decoration. One of the two rooms, upstairs, has a period fireplace. Exposed stones and original beams complete the picture. and my in town favorite pizzeria Don Camilo Pizzeria, at 20 rue du Port, There is a nice underground parking at 9 rue du Port my favorite in the Le Port area(see posts).

The city of Vannes on its heritage

A nice phone book of streets of Vannes, very useful indeed :

There you go folks, I told you walking is best anywhere and in Vannes city of older days it is heavens.  The streets of the city are full of history and with great looking architecture as evidence by my many posts on Vannes in my blog. Hope you enjoy these streets as I

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

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May 20, 2022

Le Port area of Vannes!!!

Looking at my vault of pictures found several not in my blog yet on this beautiful lively area of my capital city. I took it upon getting you some basic information as plenty already in my other posts on Le Port area of Vannes with new blog pictures and tell you more about this magical area. Hope you enjoy it as I.


By now, you have read several posts on Vannes, or Gwened (Breton language) capital city of my beautiful Morbihan (Breton language for petite mer or small sea) dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne or Breizh (Breton language) of my belle France (Bro C’hall in Breton). However, take a look at the pictures, they are new in my blog and tell more of the story of this wonderful Le Port area we come every week.

As said, have plenty of history elsewhere in my blog on Vannes, and Le Port area so this is for the pictorial of this pretty area of my capital city.

The Le Port is a lively and urban district of Vannes, covering an area of 1.5 km². It has many corners of greenery such as the Parc de la Garenne, the Butte de Kérino and the Jardin de Limur.(see posts). The place Gambetta, of hemispherical plan, marks the end of the port of Vannes and puts it in contact with the historic center by the Porte Saint-Vincent.



The port of Vannes is a commercial port, a passenger port and a Marina located north of the Gulf of Morbihan along a 1 200 meters channel that leads the boats from the commercial port of Pont-Vert to the afloat basin at the foot of the Porte Saint-Vincent, entrance gate of the old town of Vannes.  

vannes le port canal boats marina jun19

The Marina has a capacity to host 280 boats on pontoons. It can accommodate 34 boats on dead body. The port of Vannes has a visitor area for your stopovers with 60 places available.

Vannes le port city center from passage n canal 31mar12

The passeport escales port of call on Vannes

The city of Vannes on its heritage

The Gulf of Morbihan Tourist Office on Vannes

There you go folks, a dandy in my Vannes. The Le Port area is the happening place day or night and you would do well to stop by. Hope you enjoy the post as I telling you about my wonderful spots.

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

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May 19, 2022

My L’Escale in Locmariaquer!!

My beautiful Morbihan dept 56 does not stop to amaze me, We do our road warrior trips all over but the coastal area is sublime, We love it by the sea and Locmariaquer is a nice quant port which I have already written plenty in my blog, However, need to tell you a bit more and apart on this wonderful find of ours we keep coming back, Let me tell you about the Hôtel-Restaurant L’Escale of Locmariaquer !!


The L’Escale is at 2 Place Dariorigum facing the sea on the port, and the text is new the pictures are older but again worth the stop here for your lunch or dinner needs, Locmariaquer is a small coastal town with the winter population of about 1500 persons while in summer it goes to 12 times more !! 

locmariaquer L'escale resto hotel in port sep12

The L’Escale is Ideally located on the port of Locmariaquer, with a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Morbihan, it offers traditional cuisine with fish, seafood, mussels and chips, and fish of the day. Superb panorama on the Gulf of Morbihan from the veranda and the terrace. The hotel offers ten comfortable rooms with contemporary decoration, Really very nice restaurant by the sea. Quality cuisine with good quality/price ratio. Smiling servers and good reception with children. It is heavens by the Gulf !!


The city of Locmariaquer on its hotels/restaurants so L’Escale—restaurants-page-129-rub-5.html

The Restaurant Guru reviews on L’Escale resto

There you go folks, without much else to tell you than to come in and try it for yourselves. We can’t wait to be back soon, very soon ,this is heavens on earth in the coastal Morbihan in our lovely Locmariaquer.  Hope you have enjoy the post as I.

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

May 19, 2022

The streets of Auray!!!

I give you my wonderful take on the streets of Auray ,a favorite city of ours , and our first administrative town upon moving to the Morbihan in 2011, I have many posts on Auray in my blog but never enough to see these wonderful streets of it for its wonderful architecture and amazing history. Sometimes even more than the history of France but also, the USA and Canada. I will show you more about Auray or An Alre in the Breton language.

The Place de la République, formerly called “grand placître”, sometimes “place du Martray”, has been the economic and political center of Auray since the Middle Ages. Markets take place outside the halls: the wheat market, the cake market and the millet market. In the 17th century, the square was entirely lined with gabled houses, the ground floor of which was sometimes rented to a merchant. They are home to well-known families at the time: Autheuil, Henry, Boulle, Geffroy, Cadio, Le Livec, Gillouard… At no. 48 (pharmacy today), stands the birthplace of Pierre Le Gouvello de Kériolet , famous penitent. During the French revolution, this square took the name of Place de la Liberté.

Auray pl de la republique jan12

Some houses dating from the very beginning of the 19C have a dressed stone facade. These stones would come from the ruins of the Notre-Dame chapel, demolished in 1803. This was located on the Plain, opposite the Saint-Gildas Church (see posts). Three inns were, also present on the square: “les Trois Pas”, “Le Dauphin Couronné” and “Le Pavillon Royal” later called “Pavillon d’en haut” or “Hôtel du Pavillon”. They were razed in 1980 and replaced by a contemporary construction. At the Place de la République were concentrated the political power with the city/town hall, the commercial power with the medieval wooden halls (market) and the judicial power housed in a building (1908) attached to the halls (gone in 1905) . Upstairs there was a small Italian-style theater from 1903. The city/town hall was completed in 1782, On its pediment the town’s coat of arms features the Duke’s ermine and the three Royal lilies .

auray pl de la republique towards st goustan nov18

Some of the things to see here are : The City/Town Hall ,facade on the square, roof and belfry 18C Freestone houses at nos, 27, 29 and 31 , The 19C Half-timbered house , no 5 Facade and roof 16C, Half-timbered house at no,1 rue du Belzic corner with place de la République. Facade and roof 16C. The Hôtel de Trévégat (17C), located at n° 21. We see the coat of arms of the Plessis de Génédan family. At nos 23, 25 facade on the square and corresponding roof 1st quarter 19C.

Some businesses we have patronise over the years here are : The Pharmacie les Halles (Ardouin) 48 Pl de la République (my twins just got covic 3rd vaccine here), The City Hall of Auray 100 Pl de la République (my first French passport renewal was done here!) ,La Mie Câline,bakery at 12 Pl de la République ,MBA Mutuelle, (Dad health insurance) 32 Pl de la République ,La Trinitaine, 2 pl de la République (favorite store all over), Photo Le Guernevel Kodak Express, 21 Pl de la République (my first photos taken locally ,and partner friend of my photo shop in Versailles !!, of course I was recommended, small world !!).

The rue du Lait is located in the city center of the pretty town of Auray, a busy shopping street, leads to the Saint-Gildas Church (see post). Nearby, below the Place Notre-Dame, one can discover the imposing building of the 13C of the Commandery of the Holy Spirit, (see post) which, successively from the 18C, was a general hospital, infantry barracks and fire station.Now a cultural center and exposition spot, The Chapel of the Congregation of Men: 20, rue du Lait. Now the Tourist Office ! (see post). You see the house at no 25 with nice fireplace bearing the date 1587 with 4th quarter 16C medallion redone at the end of the 17C containing a portrait in bas-relief.


Some businesses we have patronise here over the years are the Bessec, shoe store, 19 rue du Lait; Auréole bookstore, 16 rue du Lai; and A L’Aise Breizh, 26 rue du Lait,local clothing store.

The rue du château was before proceeding with the sale of the ruins of the château, a rue Neuve created on September 6, 1560 on the northern moat. This road connects the main entrance of the castle (destroyed in 1558 by order of Henri II, and stones taken to the Belle Ïle sur Mer to build the Citadel) and the bridge of Saint-Goustan. On both sides, lots of land are sold in auction in 1560. Some are abandoned and find buyers a few years later. A century later, rue Neuve is entirely lined with houses and is now called rue du Château. During the French revolution, it temporarily took the name of Rue de la Montagne. The top of rue du Château is not affected by this sale in the 16C. This stretch of road connects the grand placître to the château. The Maison Gareau house (1608) was built on the edge of the moat, near the old main entrance to the castle. On the other side of the street, at no, 17, was the Auberge de la Croix-Blanche. In addition to a few half-timbered houses, the street is lined with beautiful residences using limestone, a noble material in vogue in the 17C and 18C, The houses built for the most part during the 17C. A half-timbered house bears the date 1608. Stone houses of 1640, 1643, and 1817 survived.


Some of the businesses patronise here over the years are the Librairie Vent du Soleil, 17 rue du Château, La Fromentine resto, 10 rue du Château, and the L’Igloo ice cream 60 rue du Château.

The Rue Jean Marie Barre, The benefactor is Joseph-Marie Barré, and not Jean Marie Barre, Joseph was a lawyer who had inherited a considerable fortune. Very close to the priest of Auray, Gabriel Deshayes, he made many donations and financed, in particular, the purchase of the property of La Chartreuse en Brec’h, (see post) in 1808, then of the enclosure of the Carmes in Sainte-Anne-d’Auray,(see post) in 1810.

Auray rue jean marie Barre et keriolet aug12

Some of the businesses patronise here over the years are : Yves Rocher, 9 rue Jean Marie Barre, Jewelry Guérineau, 31 rue Jean Marie Barre, Charcuterie Eveno (caterer) 28 rue Jean Marie Barre, Optic 2000 3 rue Joseph Marie Barre, (our initial opticians now in Pluvigner).

The rue du Belzic is an old street that goes from the place de la République to the Place Aux Roues , The street is completely full of shops, restos, bars and trafic controlled with days only pedestrian, A wonderful little street to walk and see fantastic stuff.


Some things to see here are the house at no 21 rue du Belzic 1st half of the 17C In-work staircase and winding staircase with daylight returns, and wooden staircase with cut-out balusters. The house facade and roof at no, 1 Rue du Belzic/Pl de la République. The houses at 26 and no 30 rue du Belzic.

Some businesses we have patronise here over the years are : The La Quincaillerie du Belzic, 21 rue Belzic, Crêperie Saint Michel, 33 rue Belzic ,Arts Ménagers du Belzic ,5 rue Belzic , and La Ferme Fromagère, 1 rue Belzic.

The city of Auray and its history

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Auray

There you go folks, a wonderful world indeed, and one I cherish every day feeling lucky to be here and thanking every day my dear late wife Martine my mamie blue forever. Enjoy the streets of Auray as I

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

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May 19, 2022

The Île aux Moines at Port Blanc!

This is another jewel in my beautiful Morbihan,dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne. I like to update this older post and provide you with more info as feel not written enough on it so here I go again. Let me tell you a bit more on the island of Monks oops that is Île aux Moines even thus there are no monks , and sailing there from Port Blanc in the town of Baden.You can see my other posts on Baden in my blog. We go by car to Port-Blanc a village part of the town of Baden, and this is the boarding point by boat to the Île aux Moines.


A bit of history I like on Port Blanc. Since the end of the 19C, it has been the site of a pier for Île-aux-Moines. The village occupies the tip of a point advancing in the Gulf of Morbihan and less than 400 meters from the Ïle aux Moines. The Port-Blanc passenger port handles most of the passenger traffic with Île-aux-Moines. The marina is grouped with that of Île-aux-Moines. The group offers 416 berths, including 120 pontoons and two launching stalls.


The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on Port Blanc :

The passeport escale port of call on Port Blanc :

The Ïle aux Moines is the largest island in the Gulf of Morbihan, Creizic Island, the island of Holavre, and the two islands of Brouël. It is 7 km long and 3.5 km wide with an area of ​​310 ha. Its shape is that of a cross and no point of the island is located more than 450 m from the sea. It can be reached in five minutes from Port-Blanc or about 400 meters at sea! 


Some of the things to see here are typical of the island and the Morbihan in general. Several megalithic vestiges (dolmens and cromlech in particular) remain on the southern point: the Kergenan Cromlech, in the middle of the island, with a radius of more than 70 meters is one of the largest in Europe, the dolmen of Penhap, located in the south 5 km of the borough, is the best preserved of the island.  There are some crucifixes at the points of Trec’h, Brouël and Toulindac (Bois d’Amour) as well as in Penhap and Croix de Kerno. The Saint-Michel Church, located at the exit of the village, present some ex-votos to Sainte Anne. The Chapel Notre-Dame d’Esperance  19C, in the rue de la Mairie, also the Chapelle Sainte-Anne  17C in the bay of Guéric.

Of course, the main thing are the beautiful beaches, they have several but the very best is the Grande Plage or big beach. The Grande Plage is located next to the Bois d’Amour and Pointe de Toulindac near the port of Lério (ferry landing stage). My favorite beach site plages tv tells you more:

A bit of history I like on the monks’ island.  In 854, the king of Brittany Erispoë donated it to the abbey of Saint-Sauveur de Redon (created by his father, Nominoë).  After the Norman invasions of the 10C, the island is attached to the parish of Arradon. In 1543 she was elevated to parish status. In 1792, it became a town under the French name Isle-aux-Moines. During the French revolution, the town temporarily bore the name of Isle-du-Morbihan.

The town of Île aux Moines on heritage :

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the Île aux Moines

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on the Île aux Moines

There you go folks, another jewel in the islands of the Gulf of Morbihan just south of me, heaven on earth indeed! You ought to yourselves to check it out the Morbihan! Hope you have enjoy the introduction the ïle aux Moines and Port Blanc!

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

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May 18, 2022

Saint Armel and Ïle Tascon!!

Right off the bat this is a wonderful secluded off the beaten path of my beautiful Morbihan and lovely Bretagne. I like to update this older post on the town of Saint Armel which the Ïle Tascon island belongs to, Hope you enjoy the post and the natural beauty as I.

I have come many times to the Rhuys peninsula or Presqu’île de Rhuys and past by on the D780 road always, never mind going there. Then, talking with collegues at work on what to do on weekends , decided to take a look at the map and found there is another island you can go to in low tide from the mainland and it is off the D780! The town of Saint Armel now finally discovered with the nice Île Tascon!!


The mainland town of Saint Armel, is the name of the founder of the town’s Church. The name of the territory of Saint-Armel is first Prozat or Prorozat. From 1247, it depends on the Abbey of Saint Gildas of Rhuys (see post). At the French revolution, Prorozat is a simple brotherhood or chapel of Sarzeau (see post) . Formerly of Sarzeau, Saint-Armel was erected as a parish in 1849 and town in 1858-1859. The territory of Saint-Armel encompasses Bailleron island and Tascon island.

The Church of Saint-Armel   destroyed in 1855 , its immediately rebuilt until 1859. The Church is a banal form that has replaced the old Brotherhood Chapel. The square and pseudo-Romanesque Tower has three floors and a Bell Tower surrounded by a guard. The Church houses a statue of the Virgin and the Child, in cardboard molded pulp, dated from the beginning of the 19C.



Tascon island  is in the Gulf of Morbihan , part of the town of Saint-Armel. The Île Tascon is generally rectangular in shape; its longest diagonal stretch does not exceed 1.5 km, and with 55 hectares, it is the third island of the Gulf of Morbihan by its surface.


The Île Tascon is connected to the mainland by the rade of Tascon which is located on the coast of the town of Saint Armel. This submersible road connects the island of Tascon to the mainland parts of the town. The passage is only possible at low tide, about five hours per tidal cycle, for automobiles and pedestrians. The passage road is approximately 400 meters long, and the pavement is rudimentary and is pierced by three large pipes to allow the upstream basin to empty sea side and vice versa.



At the junction of the main rade and the southern tip of the island, a second, more modest about 200 meters road  ,and sand-struck, is joined to the Enézy islet. The  Ïle Tascon has the particularity of being one of the last cultivated islands of the Gulf of Morbihan. The farm of Tascon Island, 18C. The barn is dated 1784. The presence of the Alaneaux family is reported in the village of Tascon in 1427; today about 3 persons lived there in winter a bit more in summer. 


The east cove of Tascon island is home to the second largest eelgrass herbarium in the Gulf of Morbihan, representing an area of approximately 130 hectares. The Tascon cove is numerically the second site of bird reception in the Gulf. Associated with Sarzeau Bay, these two sites accounts for an average of more than 40% of the winter population counted in the Gulf, for only 4% of its area.


Île de Tascon is connected to the mainland by the rade of Tascon which is located on the coast of the town of Saint Armel. This submersible road connects the island of Tascon to the mainland parts of the town. The passage is only possible at low tide, about five hours per tidal cycle, for automobiles and pedestrians. The passage road is approximately 400 meters long, and the pavement is rudimentary and is pierced by three large pipes to allow the upstream basin to empty sea side and vice versa. At the junction of the main rade and the southern tip of the island, a second, more modest about 200 meters road  ,and sand-struck, is joined to the Enézy islet.


The Île Tascon has the particularity of being one of the last cultivated islands of the Gulf. The farm of Tascon Island, 18C. The barn is dated 1784. The presence of the Alaneaux family is reported in the village of Tascon in 1427; today about 3 persons lived there in winter a bit more in summer. We did not visit. The Facebook page of the farm of Tascon: 

The east cove of Tascon island is home to the second largest eelgrass herbarium in the Gulf of Morbihan, representing an area of approximately 130 hectares. The Tascon cove is numerically the second site of bird reception in the Gulf. Associated with Sarzeau Bay, these two sites accounts for an average of more than 40% of the winter population counted in the Gulf of Morbihan, for only 4% of its area. On the other side of the Salt Marsh Road the seawater which enters through airlocks and stretches is particularly salty and leaves on the edges its snow. At low tide the sea is far, hardly if seen.


However, on the way back we were hungry lol! and again another gem found. We passed by bt this restaurant several times, never stopping by as it on the run of the course to do things here. This time as nothing found in secluded Tascon island, and not much to eat in St Armel city center (only two bars!) looking to come into Vannes, well we saw Theix’as Bar in the town of Theix-Noyalo , and finally stop in to a nice surprise. Fixed menu at 12,80€ all you can eat buffet entrée, main dish (mine was fish), dessert (mine créme brulée) , wash down with a nice cold Leffe blonde Belgian beer, nice price , good food, great friendly family service, will be back. This is lovely country resto and plenty of free parking and picnic tables too, camping cars are allowed on the parking. My boys ahead on picture! Le Theix’as Bar, their webpage :



Last but not least, a bit of history I like

One of the famous in Brittany was born here Marie le Franc which while study here went to Montreal Canada to teach French as well as newspaper reporter from 1906 to 1929. She later made several trips between France and Canada from 1929 to 1958 , where she start to published novels such as Grand Louis l’Innocent ,won prize Fémina 1927; Du pays Canadien , chosen by the Académie Française (French Academy)! ; Enfance Marine, that traces her life in the Rhuys peninsula here. A lake in the Laurents (near Montreal) of Canada bears her name since 1934. She received the order of the Legion of Honor of France and knight and then Officer of the legion in 1953 . From 1957 she lived in Sarzeau or at the retirement home of the Legion of Honor in Saint Germain en Laye (Yvelines dept 78), where she passed away in 1964. Buried at the cemetary of Sarzeau in 1965 , her tomb is near the memorial to the Canadians soldiers perished in the Rhuys Peninsula during WWII.

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the sea salt of Tascon island in St Armel

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on the passage of St Armel

There you go folks, another gem in my world and so close to me, will definitively check it out again ,worth the detour! This was a nice off the beaten path trip to Saint Armel and the Île Tascon, Hope you enjoy as I

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

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May 15, 2022

One more time visiting Meaux !!!

As nostalgia sets in on this month of May, I like to update this older post bringing back many memories of my life in my belle France, We were arriving at the end of 2018 , I am glad is over, not a good year for me, as you know, still vivid memories of my dear late wife Martine. I drove this week to her mom’s house,(since passed away too), the grandmother Yvette of my boys and the rest of aunts and cousins in Seine et Marne dept 77. It was a memorable trip of many nice good memories of family visits that will be with me forever.

This one of course is my driving  love the roads and my car is my second home. So therefore, this was my round trip of December 2018, a personal one! On the way there I took the old fashion road , the one from Paris took first to meet my wife; now coming from the Morbihan dept 56 it was the N165 to the N166 to past Rennes and then the A84 to the exit at Fougéres to get on the N12 all the way to Versailles by the N186 , did a brief tour of my beloved city in my old neighborhood , had a walk with my dog Rex, and then kept going on the D985 by Villa d’Avray all the way thru my old job hunt at Suresnes crossing the Pont de Suresnes into the allée de longchamp in the Bois de Boulogne, to the boulevard Périphérique BP into the Porte Maillot and follow the BP all the way to the Porte de Pantin to take the old reliable and slow N3. The road taken to visit my then girlfriend and first time taken it since then !! Just for my boys to see it !



The N3 or nationale 3 is going thru every town next to Paris and every red light you can imagine but it is the old road I took to meet my later wife in 1990! We used to come by the Porte de Pantin, parked by the Church St Germain in Pantin, free parking and take there the metro into Paris at the Eglise de Pantin line 5! taking us to Gare de l’Est train station and sometimes taking the train back to Meaux in Seine et Marne her native town.  This was the old days, now I would not recommend novice or tourists to take this road or traject.



This N3 takes you right into Meaux and and then the town sightseeing to rearch my inlaws in the tiny village of Chambry right by the Battle of the Marne WWI area and the wonderful Museum of the Great War next to the territory of the USA in the Monument Américain.  I reach the town by the country side on a great wheat field !!! (see posts).



The trip with the stops for my father who is on diabetes medication at 83 (still at 87) and my dog Rex (now 4 yrs old) pit stops plus our eating and sightseeing a trip that normaly took 6 hrs this time we did 10 hrs of car driving all by yours truly and I love it!!! Glad always to see the family !

The way back was easier the modern way. I left Chambry thru Meaux on the A140 to connect with the A4 past Disneyland Paris (which is in Seine et Marne dept  77). I went straight into the BP=boulevard périphérique of Paris , easy (dont read all those scary cats transport books) , I continue into the A86 towards Versailles and this will bring you right into the N12 back to Fougéres, and then the A84 to Rennes and then N166 to Vannes and the N165 to our new home easy 6h30 hrs even stopping for lunch and walks of Rex!


The autoroutes de France or highways with toll price info

The ecology gov of France site on the 20 autoroutes each on pdf file (see SANEF)

My best trafic info site infotrafic

The Sytadin for trafic around Paris and region Ïle de France

The Meaux country tourist office on things to see

There you go folks, some road pictures for my memory bank , for the memories to linger ,and already looking forward to do again to Meaux and surroundings, this time by more normal roads like the return trip above, Again ,thanks for reading me over the years since November 26 ,2010 !!!

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

May 15, 2022

The Villa Sainte Hortense of Rochefort en Terre!!

And voilà, a wonderful find in my vault of many pictures many unclassified over the years! We have been to this town many many occasions especially on Christmas time where the best market in Brittany is held in my opinion. Several posts on my blog but left this picturesque house at the entrance to the town which needs to be told more in details. Ahh Rochefort en Terre is in my beautiful Morbihan, of my lovely Bretagne, and in my belle France.

Let me then, tell you a whole lot more of the Villa Sainte Hortense of Rochefort en Terre!!

The Villa Sainte-Hortense, is a nice property from the “Belle Epoque”, inserted in a green setting of more than one hectare fully enclosed, just two hundred meters from the historic heart of the small town of Rochefort en Terre. This property originally belonged to Louise Mougeat. A wealthy heiress from a family in Finistère (dept29) , she had discovered the exceptional site of Rochefort through her friend and distant relative, Marie Maitrot de Varennes, who lived there. This is what decided her, in 1898, to acquire land in the town, to build this house there. The residence, was completed in 1902, as well as the stables and the park which surrounds it. Louise Mougeat, an orphan at a very young age, had been raised by her uncle and aunt, Léon and Hortense Bouchant, hence the name of the house.


Combining classicism and modernity, this imposing but elegant residence is typical of the architecture of these large villas built at the end of the 19C, and the beginning of the 20C by a well-to-do bourgeois in many holiday resorts. Rising over four levels, the main body of the building is flanked by a hexagonal turret housing a vast wooden staircase. The first level, in the semi-basement, houses the service rooms. The second level the reception rooms. The third and fourth levels are the bedrooms, seven in total of varying sizes, including one on the top floor, embellished with a granite terrace overlooking the park. From its origins, the Villa Sainte-Hortense was equipped with a running water system and central hot air heating: it was, at that time, the only house in Rochefort to have such modernism. A few years later, an elevator was even installed in the center of the stairwell! But this equipment, unfortunately not very aesthetic and which was no longer in working order, was dismantled by the current owners who preferred to restore the beautiful and vast stairwell to its original appearance. This house is now inhabited year-round by the owners.


A dependency of the Villa Sainte-Hortense, the stables date from the same period. This beautiful stone construction with a carved granite facade strangely evokes, thanks to its overhanging roof and its earthenware frieze, Asian architecture. With a floor area of ​​75 square meters, the building has two levels: the first, closed by two large wooden gates, housed the horse boxes on one side, and the garage for the carts on the other. The second was a large attic which was accessed by a narrow internal staircase. It was in 2004 that the owners undertook the rehabilitation of these places. On the first level, in the stable boxes, is a bookstore/Library run by the owners. On the other side, the second level has direct and level access to the park: this is where the Sainte-Hortense gite is located.(not visited).

Rochefort et librairie sainte hortense dec19

The park that surrounds the property forms an elongated triangle of 1.2 hectares. The enclosure wall, made of local slate stone, runs along the street for 300 metres. At each of the two ends, large wrought iron gates allow direct access on one side to the center of the village, on the other to the surrounding countryside. Inside, the many beeches, oaks, chestnuts and hazelnut trees rub shoulders with species less common in our regions, such as the cedars of Lebanon or the Himalayas, hemp palms or ginkyo biloba, two species originating from China.


The official Villa Sainte Hortense gîte with history

The official Bookstore/Librarie Sainte Hortense

There you go folks, a dandy spot in my beautiful Rochefort en Terre, a must to visit while in the area. The Villa Sainte Hortense is another architectural jewel and nice history to boot. Hope you have enjoy the post as I.

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

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May 14, 2022

The Castle of Rochefort en Terre!!

I am taking you to a popular town but for Christmas season, However, the rest of the year it can call an off the beaten path site, and we love on both times, Let me update for you and me the Castle of Rochefort en Terre !!. The town is in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely region of Bretagne. I have been here many many times over the years but only one post specifically on the castle and worth the detour me think.


A first castle was built on the initiative of the lords of Rochefort on the rocky spur overlooking the Gueuzon stream in the 12C. It passed, by marriage, in 1374 to the powerful family of Rieux. It ends up partially leveled by order of the king of France Charles VIII in 1488 during the war of succession of Brittany. Again, the castle was looted during the Wars of the League in 1594 by the troops of the Duke of Merceur, Partially rebuilt by the Larlan family at the beginning of the 17C, it was looted again in July 1793 after the battle in March, during the French revolution, leaving it almost entirely destroyed. The only surviving building, the stable, from the 17C was transformed into a dwelling. The site is acquired by the Juhel family in 1843 and will remain the property until its sale in 1907 to the American painter Alfred Klots.


The castle of Rochefort en Terre was built on an elongated pentagonal layout which has survived throughout the history of the site. In 1867 only five towers and a few sections of ramparts remained from the medieval castle. The current mansion, in neo-Gothic style, is built on the outbuildings of the 17C, a body of building at right angles. A first tower, joining the two wings was built before 1914. The skylights, Gothic and Renaissance styles were taken from the castle of Keralio (in Noyal-Muzillac) ; just like the chapel, reassembled in the park of the castle in 1917. The second tower, at the end of the south wing, was completed in January 1927.


From 1907, Alfred Klots, owner of the Castle, invites painters in the city and sets up tourist activities. He had the idea in 1911 to launch a competition throughout the city: that of the “flowered windows”, which became over time that of the “flower villages” or Village Fleuri de France today! YES! This American adopted by the local Rochefortais died in 1939. Alfred Klots was born in Saint Germain en Laye (Yvelines 78) in 1875, from an American family of Baltimore, MD ,that practiced the silk trade. Very early reveals his artistic talent, this young painter will follow most of his training in New York before coming to live in Paris in 1901. It was then that he fell in love with Brittany. He buys the Castle or rather what’s left of it as it was in ruins and only the stables had been converted into a dwelling in the 19C. In successive stages, he will revive it and it will become his castle in Brittany. In 1918-1919 he opened his home to the American Red Cross , which makes it a convalescent center for soldiers , which would be worth to him to receive the Legion of Honor after the war.


His son Trafford Klots born in 1913, also devoted himself to painting. In 1940 when the war broke out he created the American Fund for relief to the Bretons, before engaging as an officer in the U S Army. In 1944, back in Rochefort en Terre, he finds intact the Castle and its collections saved thanks to the dedication of the gatekeeper. Trafford Klots will be made a Knight of the Legion of Honor by France. He died in 1976. Today, the Castle is a property of the town of Rochefort en Terre that makes it live another way for our greatest a cultural center. At the slate time of the Sundial, their present, allied to the past has become an invaluable gift. that of a love story between Brittany and America! Nice story indeed!!!


The Klots family rests in the cemetery of Rochefort en Terre with the  watchman and his maids. What recognition!

The city of Rochefort en Terre on the castle

The Rochefort en Terre tourist office on the castle and its history

The Rochefort en Terre tourist office oin its heritage

There you go folks, a wonderful town of Rochefort en Terre and its nice castle . A  pretty medieval and super during the Christmas holidays to New Year’s town. The castle is tops and see my other post as it has an adjoining museum good for the whole family or a romantic getaway!

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

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