Posts tagged ‘Europe’

August 6, 2020

Saint Malo and Chateaubriand!

And here I am back to the north of my Bretagne and the corsairs city of Saint Malo. This is in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine. We of course been here several times but as often the case with me things are left out… This is the case of one of the greatest writers of France François René de Chateaubriand, a native of Saint Malo. Let me tell you a bit more please.

He needs no introduction simply Chateaubriand, and many will do a better job of explaining his literary story. I will concentrate on the architecture and history of him in Saint Malo.

Coming from the Breton nobility, the most famous member of his family from Saint-Malo, Chateaubriand is politically part of the royalist movement. Several times ambassador to various sovereigns, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1822 to 1824 under the Restoration and counted, under the reign of Charles X, among the ultraroyalists. The many political and diplomatic responsibilities that mark his career as well as his taste for travel, in America and then in the Mediterranean basin, structure a life marked by exile and the nostalgia for stability.

Viscount François-René de Chateaubriand comes from a ruined noble family of Saint-Malo where the Rocher du Quengo family settled at the beginning of the 17C, a family which regained its former dignity thanks to commercial success of Chateaubriand’s father, Count René-Auguste de Chateaubriand (knight, Count of Combourg, Lord of Gaugres, Plessis l’Épine, Boulet, Malestroit en Dol and other places). In January 1789,  Chateaubriand participated in the States of Brittany and , in July of the same year, he attended the storming of the Bastille with his sisters Julie and Lucile.

At the time of the French revolution, in 1791, François-René Chateaubriand left France and embarked for the New World at Baltimore, with the pretext of seeking the Northwest Passage. He arrived in Philadelphia on July 10, 1791 , have been to New York, Boston and Lexington. He relates a meeting with George Washington in Philadelphia, who allegedly told him “Well well, young man”. He sailed up the Hudson River to Albany, where he hired a guide and continued to Niagara Falls, meeting the good savage and the loneliness of the forests of North America. Then he mentions in a few pages its return to Philadelphia via the Ohio River, Mississippi and Louisiana. News of the king’s (Louis XVI) flight to Varennes , he decides to leave America; from Philadelphia, he embarks on the Molly boat bound for La Rochelle.

At the end of March 1792, he married Céleste Buisson de la Vigne, descendant of a 17-year-old family of shipowners from Saint-Malo. They will have no posterity. On July 15, 1792, accompanied by his brother, but without his wife, he left France for Koblenz (Germany). He joined the army of emigres in Koblenz in order to fight the armies of the Republic there; his young wife Celeste, who lives in Brittany, abandoned by her husband who does not give her any news, is arrested as an “emigrant’s wife”, imprisoned in Rennes, where she remains until 27 July. François-René, injured at the siege of Thionville, drags himself to Brussels, from where he is transported convalescent to Jersey island. It was the end of his military career and he went to live in London in 1793 in temporary but real destitution ;he lived in an attic in Holborn, where he was reduced to giving French lessons and teaching translations for booksellers. In 1797 he published his first work there, the Historical, Political and Moral Essay on Ancient and Modern Revolutions, considered in their relationship with the French revolution.  In 1794, his brother, his sister-in-law (a granddaughter of Malesherbes , Louis XVI’s lawyer) and part of their family were guillotined in Paris. Back in France in 1800, he actively participated in the Mercure de France , then directed it for a few years. It is in this logic that he published, in 1801, Atala, an original creation which aroused controversial admiration. Still on the list of emigrants from whom he wants to be struck off, he pleads his case with Élisa Bonaparte, sister of the First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. She intervened several times with her brother to show him the talent of the writer who eventually was struck off this list on July 21, 1801. Bonaparte chose him in 1803 to accompany Cardinal Fesch to Rome as first secretary of the embassy. Later ,Napoléon Bonaparte appointed him on November 29, 1803 charge d’affaires in the Republic of Valais. On March 21, 1804, he learned of the execution of the Duc d’Enghien. He immediately resigned and went into opposition to the Empire.

Eager to visit for himself the places where the action was, he traveled through Greece, Asia Minor, Palestine and Egypt during the year 1806. On his return from the East, exiled by Napoleon three leagues away from the capital, he acquired the Vallée-aux-Loups, in the Val d’Aulnay ,currently in the town of Châtenay-Malabry, near Sceaux, where he locked himself in a modest retirement. Throughout the Restoration, she played the role of a listened adviser to him. Talleyrand, who in the past covered and protected him, appointed him ambassador to Sweden. Chateaubriand had not yet left Paris when Napoleon I returned to France in 1815. He then accompanied Louis XVIII to Ghent, and became a member of his cabinet. He sent him the famous Report on the State of France.

After the Emperor’s defeat, Chateaubriand voted for the death of Marshal Ney in December 1815 in the Chamber of Peers. He was appointed Minister of State and Peer of France; but having attacked the ordinance of September 5, 1816 in La Monarchie according to the Charter which dissolved the Untraceable Chamber, he was disgraced and lost his post of Minister of State. He therefore threw himself into the ultra-royalist opposition, and became one of the main editors of the Conservative, the most powerful organ of this party. According to Pascal Melka, author of Victor Hugo, a fight for the oppressed. Study of his political evolution, the Conservative will be at the origin of the newspaper Le Conservateur Littéraire which will employ Victor Hugo.

In 1821, he was appointed Minister of France in Berlin, then Ambassador to London! where his cook, Montmireil, invented the cooking of the piece of beef that bears his name!!. In 1822, he represented France at the Congress of Verona. In 1823, he received from the hands of the Emperor Alexander I of Russia the Order of Saint Andrew, and from Ferdinand VII of Spain, the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece. He was one of the plenipotentiaries at the Congress of Verona and had the expedition to Spain decided, despite the apparent opposition of the United Kingdom (in reality, the latter wanted an intervention). On his return, he received the portfolio of Minister of Foreign Affairs; he succeeded in the Spanish adventure with the capture of Cadiz at the battle of Trocadero in 1823; but, unable to come to an agreement with Villèle, head of government, he was brutally dismissed on June 6, 1824. He was appointed ambassador to Rome in 1828, where Celeste accompanied him this time and where she held her rank as ambassador brilliantly, but he resigned with the advent of the Polignac ministry, which is its political decline. He retired from business after the Revolution of 1830, even leaving the House of Peers. His last years were spent in deep retirement, in the company of his wife. He hardly leaves his home, an apartment on the ground floor of the Hôtel des Missions Étrangères, at 120 rue du Bac in Paris, except to go to the nearby Abbaye-aux-Bois, at Juliette Récamier’s, whose he is a constant friend and whose salon brings together the elite of the literary world.

On February 11, 1847, Céleste died, and Chateaubriand wrote: “I owe a tender and eternal gratitude to my wife, whose attachment was as touching as it was deep and sincere. She made my life more serious, more noble, more honorable, always inspiring me with respect, if not always the force of homework”. Chateaubriand died in Paris on July 4, 1848 at 120 rue du Bac. His remains are transported to Saint-Malo and deposited facing the sea, according to his wishes, on the rock of Grand Bé, an islet in the harbor of his native town, which can be reached on foot from Saint-Malo  at low tides.

Chateaubriand could have been a great minister. I explain it not only by his acute intelligence, but by his sense and his knowledge of history, and by his concern for national greatness. I also observe how rare it is for a great artist to possess such political gifts ”. said by Charles de Gaulle.

The tomb of Chateaubriand is the tomb where François-René de Chateaubriand is buried, a famous French writer born in Saint-Malo on September 4, 1768 and died in Paris on July 4, 1848. It is located on the islet of Grand Bé , accessible at low tides on foot, in Saint-Malo, his birthplace. It was according to his wish that after his death, on July 4, 1848 in Paris. The tomb is near the edge of the cliff and eternally turned towards the sea and the storm of which, he said.   “The noise rocked my first sleep”. A non-nominative plaque was however placed on the wall behind the tomb, with the inscription: “A great French writer wanted to rest here to hear only the wind and the sea. Passant respects his last will.” An anecdote about the Grand Bé is that the term Bé means falls in Breton, but it is not known if this could have played a role in the choice of the writer.

Saint Malo

In 1849 was first initiative to erect a statue in honor of Chateaubriand, by the Parisian bookseller-publisher, Parent-Desbarre. However, it all began in 1864 when negotiations are initiated with the city of Saint-Malo. The mayor forms a committee within the city council, supported in Paris by a second committee made up of members of the Institute de France. A public subscription is organized and is added by a donation from the bookseller. The committee chose Aimé Millet, who was inspired by a bust of David d’Angers entrusted to him by the Comte de Chateaubriand to make the statue. Then, in 1874: the Ministry of War offers 1200 kg of bronze for casting. Before leaving for Saint-Malo, the statue is on display in the courtyard of the artist’s studio in Paris where the Parisian public saw it next to the statue of Vercingetorix. Eventually in 1875 was the inauguration on September 5 in front of the writer’s birthplace in St Malo. The city in 1881 moved it to the casino garden ,and later in 1930 it was transferred again to the Fort de la Reine bastion. During WWII , in 1942 it was dismantled and melted down under the Vichy collaborator regime. After WWII in 1948, a new stone statue of Chateaubriand, commissioned by the State from Armel Beaufils, is erected in the Square du Casino.

Saint Malo

The tourist office of Saint Malo on the in English:  Tourist office of St Malo on Grand Bé island

And there you now i feel better! One of the great men of France and from Bretagne! Also, one of my favorites even before moving to Bretagne from a historical point of view and as a writer. A giant of his time to read again and again. Hope you enjoy the story on François-René Chateaubriand!

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

August 4, 2020

Little Elven, big heritage!!!

Let me bring back some memories of my work. A while back, hard to remember dates, a collegue working in my dept told me he was from Elven? huh? He show me the map and told me there was nice things to see and a very good restaurant. Needless to say we as a family went and true to local knowledge it was nice. Later our CFO decided to have a party for the group and voilà the restaurant was chosen again, and again it was wonderful. But enough of the restaurant let me tell you a bit more on little Elven, big heritage!!!

We went looking for the fortress tower of Largoët, built in the 13-16C and residence of the Lords of Largoët,and most notable here lived  Jean IV de Rieux, tutor of the duchess Anne de Bretagne ( and queen of France twice!). The fortress was mentioned first in 1020! Here between 1474 and 1476 , this Jean IV lord of Rieux held prisioner Henri Tudor duke of Richmond and future king Henry VII of England. In 1490, king Charles VIII demolished the castle but it was later restored under Anne de Bretagne. Nicolas Fouquet (vaux le vicomte unfame) purchased the castle in 1656 and after his death it is sold to Michel de Trémeurec and since the castle was never sold and remains in the family that hold it today. On November 30 1799 there was a big battle here during the war of the west against the revolution by the local Chouans known as the battle of the Tour d’Elven.

Elven

Elven

The official site of the Forteresse de Largoët in French here: Forteresse de Largoet Elven

You have a beautiful simple Church of  Saint-Alban, rebuilt in the 17C and again in the 19C, it still hold the roman choir of the original Church, see the mechanical clock and replica in wood of the Church. The Church of Saint-Alban, is dedicated to Alban de Verulamium, the patron Saint of the city. The Normans destroyed by fire the first wooden church. In 1121, a Romanesque church was rebuilt, again destroyed by a fire in 1525. A church of Gothic style was elevated, of which only today the Romanesque Choir remains. In 1536 is built a neo-Gothic nave and then, in 1642, a bell tower. In the 19C, the work suffering from the time was renovated, the nave and the transept were rebuilt. The bell tower is completed in 1877 and the Church will be consecrated in 1879.

Elven

Elven ch St Alban side ent apr16

Elven

Elven

The new modern Church of Saint Alban having kept the apse of the old building. Inside, very ornate sandpits with leaves and figures. Two floors of sculptures in high reliefs separated by a moulding. On the lower floor, chimeras supporting ecus; foliage with human heads; garlands of foliage and fruit; birds. On the upper floor, and advancing like on a balcony, curly hair Angels seen from the front and half-body, holding unarmoured ecus; various characters, half-body, in Renaissance costumes, in various attitudes, forming as a gallery of French Renaissance portraits. The Church of St. Alban, rebuilt in the 17C and 19C.

Elven

Elven

And the pretty  Chapelle of Sainte Anne built in 1902. Located 200 meters from St Alban’s Church. Built in neo-Gothic style, its remarkable gable dominates the Ker Anna district. The door is surmounted by an accolade with finial resting on pilasters with flowered pinnacles.  A Cornish bell tower soars into the sky, extended by an arrow confined to small gables and gargoyles. Inside, the stained-glass windows retrace the history of Sainte-Anne. The one in the choir presents the donors, in particular Monsieur de Charette as a pontifical zouave.

Elven

Elven

This is the city of Elven on its heritage with the above church and chapel in French: City of Elven on its religious heritage

Just briefly as had it on another post. The  Le Lion d’Or Hotel et Restaurant at 5 place Adrien le Franc, Elven, just across from the place de l’église and the Church of St Alban. Their Facebook page is here: Facebook page of Le Lion d’Or restaurant Elven

elven

And this time we got our baguettes here! At the Boulangerie Le Texier , place de l’église just around from above resto and church. Very nice good breads even some with chorizos Inside yummy!!!  And their Facebook page is here: Facebook page of Boulangerie Le Texier Elven

elven

And voilà, wanted to update this one as carries memorable moments for me that just wanted to keep that memories and some photos. Hope you enjoy it. Oh by the way Elven is on the road N166 coming from Rennes so if heading for the beaches of Morbihan, direction Vannes or Lorient ,this should be an excellent rest stop and why not the restaurant and bakery come in handy me think. Enjoy it

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

August 3, 2020

Damgan oh yes Morbihan!

And here I am coming back to the coast, the littoral, the beaches of my Morbihan sublime fine sand beaches galore. And one that is not to be missed is the ones at Damgan. Let me tell you briefly on them as already a post on its heritage monument.

Damgan is located in the department 56 of Morbihan and the region of Bretagne. It is also one of the 12 towns of the Arc Sud Bretagne intermunicipal association and the Vannes district. It is a peninsula located between the Rhuys peninsula (see post) and the Vilaine estuary. To the west, the Pénerf river marks the limit of the town, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, the town of Ambon to the north and east. A ria Pénerf stretches between the old salt marines of Ambon to the Pointe du Dibenn in Pénerf; the marshes of Saint-Guérin mark with the pointe du Bil the mouth between the tombolo of Pénerf and the mainland.

From the 15C to the 18C, the port of Pénerf became an important port in Bretagne/Brittany. The 16C was also the golden age for Pénerf, which was then the fourth Breton port. Its boats went to Bordeaux to Rouen, from Cadiz to Norway,etc.
The particular geology of the river or ria of Pénerf allows the establishment of a first oyster park in 1858. The oyster of Pénerf is one of the six crus of southern Brittany with the “Aven Belon”, the “Ria d’Etel”, “Quiberon”, “Gulf of Morbihan” and “Croisicaise”.

The 19C, however, was marked by a long decline in port activity at Pénerf since transport by rail proved to be more economical than cabotage. The first bathers were reported in 1860 and the first cabins appeared in 1877. A large number of tourists arrived in the second half of the 20C, allowing the town to resume economic growth with its development as a seaside resort. Even today, its economy is mainly oriented towards the tourism sector.

The Port of Pénerf  is located on the Pénerf river, at the western end of Damgan. Formerly a commercial and coastal shipping port, today it is a fishing port and increasingly a marina. Several berthing possibilities are available to mariners arriving at Damgan, in the port of Pénerf . The small port offers multiple navigation possibilities, well located, near the Gulf of Morbihan, the Vilaine estuary and the bay of Quiberon.

The Penerf river is a river that flows between Damgan and Sarzeau, in the bay of Penerf, at the northern limit of Mor Braz,the bay of the Atlantic Ocean in the Morbihan. The Penerf river, or ria de Penerf, stretches for 6 km to the pont de Billion bridge in Ambon, a place which more or less marks the end of the salinity of its waters. However, the salinity of the water varies depending on the tides and the time of year.  It is also at this place that two rivers form the Penerf river ; the Drayac stream, or Drague, measuring approximately 7 km, coming from Berric , and the Penbulzo stream. The estuary is composed of 38% of sea or inlets, 22% of salt marshes or salt meadows and 13% of rivers or estuaries subject to the tides.

There are more popular beaches here but for us peace and quiet are best at Plage Saint Guérin. Its located between Damgan and Pénerf in continuity with the promenade, the beach in the bay of St-Guérin will charm you with its natural shelter. Between the grande plage of Damgan and the pointe de Penerf, the beach of Saint-Guérin is located on an isthmus. It is an urbanized beach backed by polders. A large promenade facilitates smooth travel. The sand is generous there. Admittedly, there are fewer facilities and services than on the large nearby beach, but more tranquility.

Damgan

At Pointe du Lenn , facing the ocean, stands the Tour des Anglais. At 15 meters, it has been welcoming boats at the entrance to the Pénerf river and has been doing so for some 5 centuries. It is also the only fire tower, ancestor of the lighthouse, preserved on the Atlantic coast!

Damgan

There is a canon of the 18C coming from the vessel Le Juste sunk during the battle of the Cardinals in 1759 and of which we find in the region many cannons from ships sunk during this battle. When Le Juste sank, 130 crew members were rescued by a captain from Pénerf. In 1992, the Naval foundary of Indret offered this gun to the town of Damgan in memory of this episode.

Damgan

The city of Damgan on tourisme in French: City of Damgan on tourisme

The area tourist office of Damgan-La Roche Bernard on Damgan in French: Tourist office of Damgan La Roche Bernard on Damgan

And there you go folks another dandy by the coast in my beautiful Morbihan, tops really you should take a look. And the beach is open with mask and social distancing please, we can all still enjoy it and better at Damgan! Hope you enjoy the post as I do.

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

August 2, 2020

Lorient: submarines and museum!

So there you go another site vastly overlooked by yours truly in my blog. I have written several posts on Lorient but the coverage on its submariners’ history and museum was vastly overlooked me think. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on Lorient and its submarine museum and history!

Lorient is a sub prefecture regional  government city for the department of Morbihan 56 in Bretagne, and very close to me, in fact is about equal distance to Vannes as well and even thus we come to Lorient often, the habit is to go to Vannes most of the time. Here, there is an underwater Museum of the Pays de Lorient, presenting the underwater heritage of  WWII within the oldest rescue center for submariners built in 1942 by the Kriegsmarine (or nazi navy), then reused for 42 years by the National Navy of France. The submarine “La Flore” S645, the former submarine of the French Army ,with an interactive museum ending with a visit of the submarine. Sublime for the lovers of history and seafaring!

Lorient

The museum features a fine collection of films, archive images, scale models, eye-witness accounts and unusual objects recovered from the Lorient coast from the 40 or so ships that were wrecked or scuttled during WWII. The Flore submarine is an old submarine disarmed in 1989 which is kept for its heritage, and to tell a history of Europe. A gateway allows you to bypass the submarine to admire it from the outside. Get on board! Using an audio guide, former submariners accompany you during your visit of the submarine, and you deliver their stories and the secrets of life on board. Opening in 1999 of the first visitation area in the heart of the Keroman submarine base, within the oldest submarine rescue center in the world, the former nazi tauchtopff renamed Davis Tower by the French Navy after the war. In a totally extraordinary place, where for five decades successive generations of submariners trained in shipwrecks, the Underwater Museum had just found its showcase on land to allow all visitors to “dive” into the history of war of WWII in the Pays de Lorient.

Lorient

The museum on submarine Flore info in English here: Submarine Flore museum at Lorient

The association of friends on the submarine museum in French with a lot more info here: Submarine museum of Lorient

However, for the history buff in me, this is the real story and a must to come to the museum me think. The Submarine base of Lorient.

The Keroman submarine base is a WWII bunker complex located in Lorient , Morbihan dept 56 of Bretagne in my belle France. It occupies the end of the Keroman peninsula, in the bay of Lorient and overlooks the Bay of Biscay. It took the basic name of General Engineer Submarines Stosskopf in 1946.  Built between 1941 and 1944 by Nazi Germany during the Occupation, it was then intended to house the 2nd and 10th U-boat flotillas of the Kriegsmarine (nazi navy), while being part of the device of the Atlantic Wall. Its presence is the cause of the destruction of the city of Lorient by the British and American air forces in January and February 1943, then of the late surrender of the Lorient pocket on May 10, 1945.  The submarine base was taken over by the French Navy after the conflict and was used until 1997 as a submarine base. Since the end of the 1990s, the site has been converted into a nautical center specializing in yachting and offshore racing. It also hosts a business center focused on the maritime world, a museum housed in the Flore submarine, as well as the Éric Tabarly cite du voile (see post). The complex is made up of three bunkers, Keroman I, II and III, two Dom-Bunkers located in the area of the Keroman fishing port, as well as a bunker located in Lanester, on the banks of the Scorff river. The three Keroman bunkers have between five and seven cells intended to accommodate U-boats, covered by roofs 3.5 meters thick for the K1 and K2 models, and 7.5 meters for the K3 model submarine.

Lorient

The city recovered its status of maritime prefecture by a decree of May 20, 1939, and had before the start of the war a garrison of nearly 5,600 sailors and a military arsenal employing some 5,000 workers, for a population of the agglomeration of 60,000 inhabitants. The city of Lorient is used as a base of fallback against the nazi advance in June 1940. The gold of the Belgian and Polish national banks is evacuated by its port on June 17 and 18, 1940. The same day, Admiral François Darlan, then withdrawn to Bordeaux, ordered the local forces to resist the nazi advance. Vice-Admiral Penfentenyo, who is in charge of the city, applies the scorched earth policy: the oil tanks in the city’s ports are set on fire, ammunition is drowned in the roadstead and the doors of the refit basins of the city. Its arsenal are blown up. On June 21, 1940, the nazi troops, which regrouped in Quimperlé, attacked Guidel. The city of Lorient falls on the same day.

lorient

At the beginning of June 1940, the konteradmiral (rear admiral) Karl Dönitz , He decided to establish his headquarters as well as the 2nd U-boat flotilla in the city of Lorient on June 28, 1940: the latter is equipped with modern facilities, is connected by rail and is less exposed to British strikes than Brest. Dönitz moved to a villa in the Kernével district of Larmor-Plage (see post) on October 16, 1940, facing the Keroman peninsula. A first attack by 12 British bombers reached Lorient on August 22 and 23, 1940. Hitler approved the construction plan of the submarine base asked by Dönitz on December 23, 1940 The site of the Keroman peninsula was chosen to accommodate the future base. Almost a million cubic meters of concrete are used to build the fortress, which is almost a quarter of the concrete worked in France for the nazi military effort.

The insufficient size of Keroman’s first two bunkers does not allow them to accommodate certain U-boats such as type IX D and type X B which are too long for these installations, or even type XXI which are too high for them. The decision was therefore taken to build a third bunker, Keroman III, during Fritz Todt’s visit to Lorient on March 10, 1941. Work began in October 1941 and the building was operational in February 1943. The defense perimeter extended. on a strip of 24 km inland and also includes the naval air base of Lann-Bihoué (now Lorient airport). Nearly 400 blockhouses, machine gun nests, or even watchtowers were built between the mouth of the Laïta river and that of the Etel river. The commissioning of U-boats type XXI requires the creation of new bunkers because of their height. The Lorient base is the only one on the Atlantic coast to accommodate them; the construction of new facilities, Keroman IVa and Keroman IVb, was launched in the summer of 1943 to accommodate 24 of these U-boats. The construction of Keroman IVa was however slowed down by the lack of materials and labor and even had to be stopped on April 24, 1944; only the walls of two cells and the one making the interface with Keroman I have been completed. On the other hand, the construction of Keroman IVb does not go further than the work of digging the foundations and beginning of formwork of some cell walls.

The two Dom-Bunkers were built around the slipway of the fishing port from February 1941. They are made in six sections and measure 81 meters long, 16 meters wide and 25 meters high. The walls are 1.5 meters thick and their roofs have an ogive profile, so as to reduce the effect of the bombs. The Keromen I ,originally designed to accommodate U-boats when they are being repaired after they have been mounted on the slipway, they are not very practical in use and are converted into workshops, then into warehouses. It measures 120 meters long and 85 meters wide, has five cells and a covered slipway. Its roof initially consists of a reinforced concrete structure of 3.50 meters. It was enlarged in 1942 by the addition on its rear part of a technical section 81.7 meters long and 23 meters wide intended to accommodate electric generators and by the addition of a drive tower equipped with a 7 meters tank allowing sub- boatmen to simulate evacuation maneuvers. The Keromen II was 120 meters long and 138 meters wide and has seven cells, and was completed in December 1941.  Its roof has the same characteristics as that of Keroman I, with the exception of the DCA sites. It was extended in 1942 by the addition, on its rear part, of a technical part 57.42 meters long and 24 meters wide intended to accommodate electrical transformers. The Keroman III measure 138 meters long and 170 meters wide and has seven cells: two 95 meters long, three 98.5 meters long, and two 84 meters long.  Started in October 1941, the new bunker was completed in January 1943.

The Keroman base also served three times as a port of call for submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy, then an ally of Nazi Germany, between August 1942 and 1944: the I-30, the I-8, and the I-29. Of the three submarines that joined Keroman, only the I-8 managed to return safely to Japan in December 1943.

The Lorient pocket surrendered on May 10, 1945 after a nine-month siege, and the French forces recovered the base in perfect working order. On July 6, 1946, the base took the name of “General Engineer Stosskopf” . At the beginning of the 1970s, the French General Staff decided to gradually replace its classic attack submarines with nuclear attack submarines until the beginning of the 21C. As the Lorient base does not have a nuclear fuel-processing site, it was closed in the early 2000s. La Sirène is the last submarine to pass through the construction sites and leaves the site on the 11th. February 1997 for Toulon.

The bunkers are preserved because of their heritage value and the cost of their destruction, estimated at 31 million euros. It was decided to constitute within its space, a center on “man and the sea in the 21C” structured in five poles: offshore racing, naval strategies, prevention of risks at sea, underwater archeology, and fishing and aquaculture. And indeed the whole area feels the sea ,the mariners, and the history of submarines. Hope you have enjoy the tour and the history of it as we do.

A French site U Boote on more detail of the history of this former submarine base is here: U Boote on Lorient submarine base

And the Lorient south Bretagne tourist office on the visit of the submarine base in French: Lorient south Bretagne tourist office on the submarine base of Lorient

Lorient

And now I feel better! You have another wonderful huge monument near me on the history of France, Europe, and the World never to be repeated again. However, a visit to the Lorient submarine base and museum is a must by all those who like us appreciated the effort. Hope you enjoy it.

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

August 1, 2020

Vannes: Pointe des Emigrés!

So let me bring you “home” OK not the city I live or had lived but the one I work on the outskirts in a castle ruins from 1504! Yes!!! However, other than the usual wonderful monumental things to see here in my beloved Vannes or Gwened in the Breton language, there is history that I like.

I have told many many posts on Vannes and deservently so, however I feel this important historical spot deserves more , besides it is now my favorite hangout with my dog Rex!

In addition a great walkers, bicycle trails into the Pointe des émigrés, bordering all the Gulf of Morbihan area around Vannes starting from the Parc du Golfe to Conleau peninsula along the promenade Paul Chapel. This is a very nice nature walk and you see plenty of people here including dog walkers like me! But it has more.

Vannes point des emigres ent my13

The Pointe des Émigrés is a natural site in Vannes. In the 18C, Pointe des Émigrés was called Pointe Kérero. The name of Pointe des Émigrés recalls the execution of the Émigrés or immigrant Bretons who came to fight the French revolution from England and executed at Vannes in 1795 after the unsuccessful landing of Quiberon.

vannes pointe des emigres natural park to sea may13

A sad story to finish as the above name or the Pointe des émigrés is due to the atrocities of the French revolution ,when in 1795 , 748 immigrants who came to fight for the King were taken prisioners after the failed expedition of Quiberon, and shot to death in various parts of the Morbihan. The head of the expedition was executed on July 28 1795 in Vannes on the site of the Garenne today.  374 others were shot around town with many at the site of the Ermitage.  As a symbolic souvenir of this event this tip of land was renamed the Pointe des ÉmigrésThe remains of these 748 are now resting at the Chartreuse in Auray, (see post) very near me.

For the nature lovers nowdays, the Pointe des Emigrés with the banks of the Vincin river  forms a peri-urban protected area of more than 70 hectares. A former agricultural hotspot, this area has been protected by the Conservatoire de l’Espace Littoral et des Rivages Lacustres since 1986. It is characterized by a succession of original facies (marshes, Atlantic moors, pine forests and salt meadows) sheltering a rich avifauna (heron ash, snipe; etc). More in French on the webpage of the Conservatoire du Littoral and the Pointe des Emigrés: Conservatoire du Littoral on the Pointe des Emigrés

vannes pointe des emigres stone menhir may13

This protected green space of about 30 hectares (including 10 hectares of marshes), is located in the district of Conleau, along the Marle river. It rises to 11 meters. With the banks of the Vincin, a neighboring site located on the other side of the Conleau peninsula, it forms a protected area of 70 hectares. The Pointe des Émigrés is crisscrossed by several hiking trails totaling approximately 3 kms. It is made up of several landscapes: marshes, moorlands, pine forests, salt meadows, mudflats, meadows and there are many species of birds: gray heron, common snipe, etc. The characteristic plants of the site are St. John’s Wort, musk mallow, marsh buttercup, wild orchids, rush, willow, etc.

Here is the webpage of the Morbihan tourist office in English on the Pointe des Emigrés: Tourist office Morbihan 56 on the Pointe des Emigrés

Now for those who think walking is best like me ,to see places, nature or cities once you get there the best way possible often a car and/or a plane for these; let me show you a walker’s paradise here.

Departure from the Vannes Tourist Office at Le Port by the marina. Along the port, on the right bank, walk along the old houses from the 17C, with the half-timbered floors and the 19C bandstand. At the pont de Kérino bridge, cross the pedestrian crossing and continue opposite, direction Pointe des Émigrés. Walk past the Multiplast shipyard, then follow the coastal path, can’t missed water is on your left hand side.

vannes

You can take the dike which gives you access to the Conleau peninsula, which you will walk around. The path passes under the pines then bypasses the point, passes in front of the beach, the pier for the Ïle d’Arz  isle ,and the seawater basin or pool (see post). You can see the boats, anchored in the channel, without tidal constraint. You take the dike in the opposite direction, but not taken this one. Turn left after the bridge as soon as you find the coastal path also called Chemin de Bernus. It follows the meanders of Vincin river, in a rural and green landscape, with steep banks.

At the end of a cove, take the path that goes right and ends near the houses of district of Cliscouët. Walk along the football field. The path leads to rue de Ty-Coët, then chemin des Aubépines which goes down to rue François-de-Surville. Turn right until Avenue du Maréchal-Juin. Take the rue des Salines opposite, pass the Maison de la Nature and the municipal greenhouses gardens. After the dike, take the coastal path on the right then at the first crossroads on the left, the Chemin des Salines. Follow through the woods along the houses towards Parc du Golfe then La Rabine by the same path as on your way in or start. Not difficult and beautiful seas of nature and water, Rex love it!!

vannes

And there ,hope you enjoy the walk and a bit of history which often by victors is not usually told, but I know it. The Pointe des Emigrés is a nice park now good for the whole family.

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

 

August 1, 2020

Perros Guirec: plage Trestraou!

Well rounding up my latest escapades to the north of my Bretagne ,in beautiful Perros Guirec of the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 , I come to what I think is the best beach there: Plage Trestraou!

I have written on Perros Guirec in several posts in my blog, and on the other beach but this one wins it over for us. Let me tell you a bit more on the Plage Trestraou beach.

Perros Guirec

Between the pointe de Beg-Ar-Storloch and Pointe de Pors Nevez, along Boulevard Joseph Le Bihan where there are many shops. Large sandy beach stretching over 1.4 km, Trestraou offers a superb panorama of the Archipelago of 7 Islands. Ideal for swimming, this beach, supervised in season, offers many leisure activities for all, Beach Club, Nautical Center,(see post) Surf Club ,etc. Come stroll along its promenade and taste the pleasures of Trestraou such as the Casino, Center de Thalasso, Cinema, Minigolf, shops, restaurants, hotels (see post), the works!

perros guirec

Perros Guirec

The bay of Trestraou was at the origin of the tourist development of Perros-Guirec. In the 19C, sea baths were recognized for their healing qualities and became fashionable. With the arrival of the train in Lannion in 1881 and the construction of the first hotel by Joseph le Bihan in 1886 (see post),the seaside resorts took off. From 1884, bath cabins were built and superb villas were created between 1893 and 1905; prestigious hotels are located there. In 1970, the construction of the convention center, discreet and integrated into the seafront, gave new impetus to the beach. Admire the superb villas built on the micro-cliff of the Pointe de Beg Ar Storloch.

perros guirec

From the beach, you can also see the Seven Islands archipelago, which today houses a nature and bird sanctuary. To protect this exceptional biodiversity, it is forbidden to land on the islands, except Île aux Moines. However, you can embark on a cruise departing from Trestraou beach, which will allow you to observe birds (see post).

The beach front is full of activities even in these days and it seems all the places were full including the hotel book solid! They did allowed our dog in the rooms!!We did a lot of walking around and the boys enjoy the beach as well as the Armor Navigation cruise. We had a ball walking our dog Rex he wanted to go in the water! but this was off for dogs here as they only allowed in off season November to April.

Perros Guirec

We did went to lunch twice at the wonderful Chez Edouard facing the Trestraou beach right on an outdoor terrace. Even Rex was so much good here we love him ,as he is so calm and well behave. The manager of the restaurant brought him a bowl of water!!!

perros guirec

perros guirec

The former Les Régates is now Chez Edouard with new owners, and even thus we had not try the former, the current one is to be recommended. We had mussels roquefort, pizzas orientales (because they had chorizos), and burgers with a bottle of Les Chanteraires red 2018 of Saumur-Champigny, the Loire’s best ;we buy for the house and glad we found it here! We took the wonderful café gourmand because you get the coffee and five sweets sampler of their desserts, which is fine for the size and the taste. All for 22€ per person which at this location is a super bargain.

perros guirec

The views are fantastic and the ambiance very relax French fashion with lots of families! and a kiddie playground on the beach right up front of us. The views to your left are wonderful with the promontory hills and the gare maritime or cruise boat terminal as well as beach cabins and water boat activities! All in one place, simply the best and we will be back! Plage Trestraou!

perros guirec

And of course, at the beach what is best than Ice Cream! and we love it!!! And so lucky was calling for as just around the corner of the BW hotel and facing the beach at Trestraou there is the wonderful Le Glacier des Sept Ïles or the seven island ice cream parlor. We dig in from anywhere from two to five scoops of different flavor just to cool off lol! the place is nice and friendly and the ice cream superbe!!

Perros Guirec

Let me give you some webpages to help you plan your trip here and well worth it are

My fav plages tv on the beach at TrestraouPlages tv on Trestraou beach

The tourist office of Perros Guirec on Plage TrestraouTourist office of Perros Guirec on Trestraou beach

And a treat from the Association of neighbors of plage Trestraou in French with all that is going on, to see and do at Trestraou beachAssoc of neighbors of Trestraou district

And the anecdote for this wonderful Perros Guirec is that one of my best historical personalities from the world of arts and paintings to be exact used this town as one of his base so here is a bit of Maurice Denis!

Several portraits painted by the great Maurice Denis. Like the Regatta at Perros-Guirec ,1892, oil on canvas, now at the Quimper Museum of Fine Arts (see post). Regattas at Perros-Guirec, views from the west jetty,1897, at the Maurice Denis Departmental Museum “Le Prieuré” at Saint-Germain-en-Laye (see post). Bathers at Perros-Guirec from around 1912,now at the   Petit-Palais Museum, Paris (see post). The forgiveness of Notre-Dame de la Clarté in Perros-Guirec by 1926, manor of Kerazan, Astor foundation, and Itron Varia Sklerder or Notre-Dame de la Clarté oil on canvas, 1931, now at the Musée des beaux-arts de Morlaix (see post).

Hope you enjoy the tour of this wonderful place call Perros Guirec, and do come on in folks! And remember , happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

August 1, 2020

Perros Guirec: Grand Hotel et Best Western hotels!

And why not tell you about hotels at Perros Guirec! There are plenty of accomodation and of all types. However, for me the Grand Hotel was it and now the Best Western Bains et Spas is looking good. Let me tell you briefly of the hotels Grand and Best Western of Perros Guirec!

perros guirec plage trestraou promenade arriving to mansions jul20

Needless, but repeat anyway, have come here often and have several posts in my blog on Perros Guirec. This is the latest escapades to a nice beach Plage Trestraou! I will tell you about the beach later ok.

The Grand Hotel, in plage Trestraou, with an Art Deco architecture typical of the seaside style of the 1920s. Many remarkable villas built at the end of the 19C and the beginning of the 20C, of various architectural inspirations, often including elements in pink granite extracted from the quarries of Ploumanac’h, and fancy elements such as art deco details, half-timberings in the Anglo-Norman style, turrets, bow windows, etc.

Could not stay as currently undergoing complete renovation. At the Grand Hotel, once the metal structure surrounding the front façade and the two gables were completed, demolition work could begin. The destruction of the floors and the rear facade was carried out gradually, with a cut, piece by piece.

Perros Guirec plage trestraou grand hotel renovation shell jul20

The next new Grand Hotel Kasino will house 59 rooms, a restaurant and the casino. The opening is announced in the fall of 2021. There is a complex behind it which includes the construction of a 2,500 m2 spa with a restaurant and, a 4-star hotel with 91 rooms.

There are panels in front of the shell of the old hotel telling you about the history of it here.  It tells us the first hotel was build here in 1886 with 20 rooms under the name Hôtel Le Bihan. The Grand Hotel de Trestraou was built then late 19C and the town developed a following which included Maurice Denis! Later, Joseph Le Bihan was convince by the writer Ernest Renan to built a hotel name Hôtel de la Plage which later became the Grand Hôtel . In the meantime, the Hôtel de la Plage is enlarge from 1888; and by 1914 another building is built next to it. In 1948, the Grand Hôtel is taken over by new owners who hold it for 47 years! In 1955, the Hotel is again renovated. Until our days renovation and new owners by the groupe Kasino de Bretagne.

The official page of the Grand Hotel is here: Grand Hotel at Perros Guirec

We had the entire family, my 3 sons, my Dad, and our dog Rex and me; so we needed two rooms facing the plage Trestraou . Oh yes, this was the Best Western les Bains et Spa Hotel. A suite junior with king size bedding, 26 m2, and a Prestige room with king size bedding 26 m2. Right on Plage Trestraou with beautiful views of the beach and promontory as well as islands! Gorgeous. Will need to make you dream of the interior.

perros guirec

We parked for free very conveniently across from the hotel on Avenue du Casino between Rue de Rohellou and bd Thalassa. This is a minute from the beach on foot!

perros guirec parking rue de rohellou fr bw hotel jul20

All around the Best Western Bains et Spa are numerous restaurants with nice terraces even towards the beach and a great ice cream place we love it. The lunch here was sublime both days.

perros guirec plage trestraou BW hotel side facing beach jul20

We were particularly seduced by the decoration of the rooms paying homage to the seaside resorts of the 1950s. The Best Western Bains et Spa hotel has 49 elegant and modern rooms including Standard, Superior, Prestige, Junior and Family suites. They all have a refined decoration, in soft colors, conducive to rest and relaxation.

perros guirec plage trestraou promenade to restos shops jul20

For more comfort, the Prestige rooms and the Junior suites offer a lounge area while the Superior rooms offer a terrace. Open Bar Soft Drink: in a lounge area, snacks and soft drinks are offered free of charge from 14h to 02h. Guests can enjoy a wellness center with spa, hot tub and hammam at an additional cost. Guests also have access to a gym and massages can be booked at an additional cost.

Walkers can continue their walk by taking the chemin du sentier des douaniers (see post) to discover the unique setting of the côte de granit rose and the 7 îles.

The official webpage of the BW hotel is here: BW les Bains et Spa Hotel Perros Guirec

The chain Best Western on the Bains et Spa hotel at Perros Guirec in English: Best Western on hotel Bains et Spa at Perros Guirec

And there you two wonderful properties facing a wonderful beach at Trestraou in Perros Guirec. We will return, worth it , recommended. Enjoy it

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

July 31, 2020

Perros Guirec: Nautical center and cruises!

So here I am in wonderful Perros Guirec , been here before , love it. This is my first trip here without my dear late wife Martine, many souvenirs flashing by and we must move on with them. One of the prettiest beach resort in France and very well taken. We had a rental at a hotel later will tell.  For now , let me tell you briefly on the nautical center and the cruise terminal.

Perros-Guirec is located in a protected natural site, in the middle of an unusual landscape where the land and the sea are dotted with pink granite rocks with shapes that seem as if carved by the wind It derives an important part of its resources from tourism. During the summer, the city takes on another dimension both in terms of entertainment and population which multiplies by about 5. It enjoys a reputation as a family seaside resort, thanks to its several magnificent fine sandy beaches like Trestraou (more later) and Trestrignel (see post) bordered by remarkable villas and its coast composed in part of blocks of pink granite with impressive shapes or the Côte de granit rose.

At the wonderful Nautical center at the end of the promontory of the plage Trestraou beach you have everything you need for a nice boating out on your own and with able trainers/teachers. You can discover sailing, improve your skills, rent equipment or simply let yourself be guided during a nautical trip. Come and enjoy a unique navigation area, along the Côte de Granit Rose, off the archipelago of  the Sept ïles or 7 islands . A team of qualified professionals and a modern infrastructure guarantee your safety and comfort. Located at end tip of Plage Trestraou beach.

Perros Guirec

Perros Guirec

Perros Guirec

 

Perros Guirec

The city of Perros Guirec on the Centre Nautique or  nautical centerCity of Perros Guirec on the nautical center

The plus here you can embark on a wonderful vedette boat to take a tour of the coast of granite rose and the Seven islands. Embark on an excursion aboard a comfortable speedboat and discover the largest bird sanctuary in France: the 7-islands archipelago. You will be able to observe an exceptional flora and fauna with gannets, seals, and puffins. On the way back, you will follow the Côte de Granit Rose and will be able to admire exceptional rocky formations. The Sept-Îles, archipelago of small islands off Perros, the largest is Île aux Moines with its lighthouse and fort; Ile Riouzig is one of the largest ornithological reserves in France for seabirds or the Sept-Îles Nature Reserve.

Perros Guirec

Perros Guirec

Perros Guirec

perros guirec

perros guirec

 

The city of Perros Guirec on the vedette cruise: City of Perros Guirec on the vedette boat cruise

For the bird lovers in French the Sept-Ïles Nature ReserveSeven Islands nature reserve Perros Guirec

The Armor Navigation vedette boat for the cruise to Seven IslandsArmor Navigation on cruise of Seven Islands

There you go folks a place for pure ocean air fun, all over and constant satisfaction, a perfect family trip. We will be back too. Hope you enjoy this opening post on Perros Guirec one of our favorite spots in my lovely Bretagne right up there in the north of the Côtes d’Armor dept 22. Hope you enjoy enough to try it you will be delighted.

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

July 31, 2020

Côtes d’Armor: Pleumeur-Bodou and Trébeurden!!!

And i continue my road warrior tour of the north of Brittany or the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 in my lovely Bretagne and belle France. Here we follow the wonderful amazing road D788 to visit two new towns in our world map. Pleumeur-Bodou and Trébeurden! Let me tell you a bit on them ok.

In sequence of driving let me tell you first of Pleumeur-Bodou!

Pleumeur-Bodou has a common border with Lannion, Trébeurden, Trégastel, Perros-Guirec (see posts on all of them) and Saint-Quay-Perros. At the south-eastern end of the town, there is also a place called Pont-ar-Pevar-Person (the Pont-des-Quatre-Recteurs), where Pleumeur-Bodou, Lannion, Perros-Guirec and Saint- Quay-Perros join at a single point!.

The Pleumeur coastline stretches for 17 kms. The main sites are Île-Grande, Keryvon Bay and the Landrellec peninsula. The town has several beaches, including those of Pors-Gelen, Toul-Gwenn, Keryvon and Landrellec. Many islets dot the coast. The best known are Aganton Island, Losket Island, Erc’h Island, Morvil Island and especially Avalon Island , where, according to legend, King Arthur would be dormant (the island of Aval is private property, its visit is therefore prohibited).

Pleumeur-Bodou

In the 6C, a monk from the British Isles (UK today), named Bodo or Podo settled in Armorica (Bretagne today). He founded a parish on a very vast territory since it extended over the current towns of Pleumeur-Bodou, Trébeurden, Trégastel, Perros-Guirec, Saint-Quay-Perros, and the west of Lannion (Servel). At the same time, another monk, Uzec, founded a small monastery on a very limited territory ranging from the chapel to the menhir of the same name, but on which he had a great influence. Other monks later settled on Île Aganton and Île d’Aval.  The Saint-Marc Church on Île-Grande: there used to be the Saint-Sauveur Chapel, but it was destroyed by lightning. The inhabitants of the island then undertook to build a church in 1909. The Île-Grande church will take the name of Saint-Marc. In the meantime, a bridge had been built in 1894 to connect the island to the mainland, and avoid having to cross the beach and the Kervoallan marshes on foot.

Pleumeur-Bodou

Saint-Pierre Church in the village: a church dating from the beginning of the 18th century was demolished when it became too small to accommodate all the parishioners. In 1844, one rebuilt at the same place. The first mass in the new church was celebrated only seven months after the start of the works.

The Château de Kerduel, 16C, exterior visitable from Easter to September The covered alley of Île-Grande. Granite from the Île-Grande quarries was used in particular to pave Boulevard Haussmann in Paris! The famous cobblestones of the Paris-Roubaix cycle race also come from these quarries, as do the stones constituting the Morlaix viaduct. Finally, Île-Grandais granite can be found in certain New York buildings. Although the town is located in the heart of the Pink Granite Coast, the island’s granite is gray. Every year in August, a big antiques fair takes place in Pleumeur-Bodou for 3 days. It is organized at the Château de Kerduel. Its fame goes beyond the borders of Brittany.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to Pleumeur-Bodou  and worth the detour are

The town of Pleumeur-BodouTown of Pleumeur-Bodou

The town of Pleumeur-Bodou on the ïle GrandeTown of Pleumeur Bodou on the Big Island

And lets continue to Trébeurden shall we!

Trébeurden is a Breton seaside resort on the Channel, at the entrance to the bay of Lannion, classified as a tourist resort on June 13, 1921.  Its main assets are its protected natural sites, its beaches, two of which benefit from an exposure south and south-west rare in North Brittany, its marina with a floating dock, its municipal port and its other anchorages.

The town of Trébeurden is 45 km from Guingamp, 76 km from Saint-Brieuc, 180 km from Rennes, 524 km from Paris, 47 km from Morlaix and 103 km from Brest. The granite massif of Ploumanac’h stretches over 12 km from Trébeurden to Perros-Guirec and is one of the most beautiful geological sites in France! Indeed I agree!

A geological curiosity: in 1978, Odile Guérin geomorphologist, presented to the Academy of Sciences the results of her study on a geological curiosity encountered on the foreshore of Île Molène in Trébeurden. It is an ellipsoid of revolution in its pot (3 tons, 1.40 meters in length, 1.30 meters in width and 1 meter in depth). The Academy authenticates it, as the biggest pebble in the world!!. In the middle of the promenade of Tresmeur, a compass rose includes, among other things, a sundial of reverse analemmatic horizontal type of circular shape. The circumference of the rose has 24 different stones, all from Trébeurden, and whose age ranges from 2 billion to 100 million years!  At Trébeurden, on the occasion of equinox tides, the maximum tidal range is around 9.40 meters with a coefficient of 115!!. The tidal range corresponds to the difference in water height measured between the levels of a consecutive high tide and low tide. In comparison, the maximum tidal range of some ports in northern Brittany (on the same date): Saint-Malo 12.85 m, Erquy 12.25 m, Saint-Quay-Portrieux 11.85 m, Perros-Guirec 9.75 m , and Roscoff 9.15 m.

The D788 road (which we took) connects Trébeurden to the seaside resorts of the pink granite coast: Trégastel and Perros-Guirec. The D788 is commonly known as the Corniche road. Originally built from Perros-Guirec to Trégastel from 1911 to 1918, it was extended to Trébeurden from 1927 to 1933. It was around 1960, at the initiative of the town, that the section from Place Crec’h Héry to the beach of Pors-Mabo (the D6D road) named route de la Corniche de Pors-Mabo was built. A large part of the 20 km course of the Côte de granit rose takes place on the route of the D788. The D6 links Trébeurden to the town of Pleumeur-Bodou. To the north, the D21 connects Penvern to Île-Grande.

The region experienced a wave of Breton migrations, from the 3C to the 8C. Many Bretons from Great Britain land on the coasts, and introduce Christianity there. Their presence causes a significant impact in the region: the names of Trébeurden and Milliau originate from Preden and Meilaw, names of two Welsh monks. With the French revolution, requisitions and looting are frequent and many properties belonging to the lordships are sold. The tumultuous and sometimes tragic history of the priests of Trégor who attended the parish of Trébeurden during the revolution is reconstructed and synthesized by the biographical notes on each of the priests of the region available in the diocesan archives. Ernest Renan made several stays with his uncle Joseph Morand, lawyer in Lannion, at the manor of Trovern. In 1886, he brought back to the young Maurice Barrès this memory of 1830: “I can still see our stone bench sheltered from the breeze, and the rushing waves. I was reading Telemachus… And an old woman ran up saying: “Ar revolution so e Paris! The revolution is in Paris! “. The Côtes-d’Armor departmental archives keep the program of the regattas of Trébeurden from 1895 to 1913 The regattas will resume, in more or less identical form, after the Great War or WWI.

At the Roches Blanches, the Pointe de Bihit, the ensemble formed by the islands and islets of the coast between Trébeurden and Île-Grande, such as Le Castel, a rocky peninsula between the port and the beach of Tresmeur. Kastell means “Castle” in Breton, but in this case, this word designates a rocky promontory overlooking the sea. On the path that goes around it, it is possible to see the “Père Trébeurden“, a rock in the form of of a face profile. The Île Molène has been the property of the Conservatoire du littoral since 1991. It is 300 meters long by 100 meters wide and is located 3 kms from the coast. There is nice Ïle Milliau island . The pointe de Bihit ,from this point, you can see the bay of Lannion, Locquirec and in good weather, the north coast of Finistère to Roscoff and the Ïle de Batz island. The Quellen marsh is located behind the dunes of Goaz-Trez. It serves as a refuge for many water birds.  Trébeurden has several places discovered at low tide where you can practice shore fishing for crustaceans and molluscs: mussels, cockles, periwinkles, clams, clams, etc. This fishing is free but highly regulated (quantities collected, minimum size of catches, etc.). Main fishing areas are  Goas Treiz, and Toëno. Sea baths were reported from 1880 in Trozoul and Tresmeur. Until the 1890s, Trébeurden was frequented mainly by folks from Lannion, particularly at the end of the week. The houses built as a holiday resort are built by local building owners, in a traditional vernacular style . It was around 1895 that the first villas were built, in a new style that could be described as seaside, by sponsors of more distant origins in the department, or even by Parisians. The first hotel on the seafront was built in Trozoul around 1894-1895.

trebeurden

By Rue Pors-Termen, statue of Aristide Briand b. 1932. He spends his summers in Trébeurden with his partner Lucie, Amélie Uro, known as Mme Jourdan.  The Church of the Holy Trinity; and Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours in Penvern.  Also,Maurice Denis, famous resident of Perros-Guirec, represented The Bathers in Trébeurden in 1919. Henri Morisset , painted a Beach in Trébeurden, presented at the Salon of the National Society of Fine Arts in 1922. François Mitterrand , former French President was invited by a friend in October 1971,when still not president to spend a few days in his villa overlooking the Pointe de Bihit. There he wrote some of the most beautiful pages of La Paille et le grain, in which he described at length the landscape he had before his eyes. Ernest Renan , writer and philosopher as a child, spent many stays with his aunt, Madame Morand, at the manor of Trovern. He recalls this in his letters from the seminary. Kenneth White , writer, poet. Foreign Medici Prize 1983, Brittany Prize 2006. The extravagant Scotsman, as he may have presented himself, has lived in Trébeurden for more than twenty years.  In The House of Tides, he observes, not without humor, like an entomologist, the landscapes, the fauna, the flora and the local population.
trebeurden

And some webpages that will help you enjoy Trébeurden are

The town of Trébeurden on its heritage: Town of Trebeurden on its heritage

The tourist office of Trébeurden on its heritage: Town of Trebeurden on its heritage

And there you go folks a wonderful road ride along beautiful scenery of my beautiful Bretagne and the gorgeous Côte de Granite Rose in the Côtes d’Armor dept 22! Pleumeur-Bodou and Trébeurden are woth the detour.

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

July 31, 2020

Trégastel, the north, Côtes d’Armor!

And yes my dear readers we are on the move again, traveling in my belle France! Nothing better to start than go up about 2 hrs north of me to the neighboring dept 22 of the Côtes d’Armor and visit a bit more Trégastel. We have been on the area before but there is so much to see alone in my beautiful Bretagne that we need to come back again and again.

Let me give a general picture of Trégastel!

Trégastel is seaside resort, the population is multiplied by five in Summer season, like now!. One in two dwellings is a second home. Trégastel is located between Perros-Guirec (see later post) and Pleumeur-Bodou (see later post) on the Côte de Granit Rose or pink granite coast, 70 km from Saint-Brieuc prefecture and 11 km from Lannion, the sub-prefecture. I have come here only by car!

 

By road, the town is served by the departmental road D11 coming from Lannion and by the departmental road D788 coming from Pleumeur-Bodou or Perros-Guirec. There is the Lannion Côte de Granit Airport with daily connection from Paris Orly by Hop! By TGV train line Paris – Lannion or Plouaret with connection at Lannion connection. Lannion SNCF station then bus line E Tibus Stop Ste Anne. Ferry terminal in Roscoff coming from Cork – Plymouth and Bilbao;located 1.5 hours from Trégastel by bus Line E A “TILT” network (Transports Intercommunaux Lannion-Trégor) managed by the LTC (Lannion Trégor Communauté) Agglomeration serves the town of Trégastel via line E from Lannion. Information at https://www.lannion-tregor.com/fr/deplacements/le-reseau-tilt.html

The 17 km of very rocky coasts alternating with fine sand beaches, creeks and spread of rocks, are bordered by small islands which are discovered at low tide while the hinterland shelters wooded valleys, and in particular the Traouiero, at the crossroads of dirt roads. The historic and architectural heritage of the town is exceptionally rich, due to the presence of megalithic monuments in covered alleys, menhirs, Gallic stele and religious buildings such as chapels, churches and ossuaries built between the 12C and the 17C, without forgetting tide mills, calvaries and other fountains and washhouses. Trégastel has always attracted renowned writers and painters, and the cultural program is rich in artistic and musical events. Leave it to the writer Charles Le Goffic to finish convincing you if need be when he said: “Sapphire and coral, blue sea, pink rocks, it’s Trégastel on sunny days”.

Tregastel

A bit of history I like

Trégastel acquired parish status in the 12C or 13C. The first town was created on February 24, 1790 during the French revolution. The first mention started really by 1225 when land was acquired here by the monks of Bégard Abbey. In the 12C it was built the city center church or Bourg church. In 1375: Charles V grants Bryant de Lannion permission to build a tide mill as a reward for his help during the War of Succession of Bretagne. On the site of this one another was built in 1764, which still exists, on the Trégastel / Ploumanac’h border. It ended its   activity in 1932 but open for visits. In 1861, there is written information that in Trégastel, they spoked French and Breton almost indifferently, but Breton dominated, especially among women. In 1869: the statue of the Bon-Sauveur is erected at the request of Abbé Bouget at the top of a rocky mass of Coz-Pors. It was blessed in 1869. It would later take wrongly, the name of statue of the Eternal Father, its current name. In 1872 it was built the Calvaire or calvary of the city center or Bourg, commissioned by Abbé Bouget. In 1895 it was built the Château de Costaérès by Bruno Abakanowicz dit Abdank, a Polish engineer. In 1967 it was built the Aquarium Marin de Trégastel located under a pile of several thousand tons of pink granite, near Place du Coz-Pors, at the start of the Ïle Renote island road, and under the statue of the Eternal Father.

The market is organized every Monday morning in the parking Sainte-Anne. In winter, around fifty traders offer you their merchandise. In summer more than a hundred traders exhibit, making up the largest market in the area. In July and August the market is exclusively pedestrian.  Trégastel has two adjoining ports, “Port Ouest”   with 150 places partially in deep water and “Port Est” with 50 places, easily accessible at all tides, by marked channel. Coz Pors: from May to September with 200 moorings on buoys available. In addition, there are grouped anchorages in Kerlavos Bay and Ste-Anne Bay. Each boat owner is responsible for providing their own moorings. Request to reserve a place: Technical services of the City/Town Hal all year +33 (0) 2 96 15 92 33 . Address of the Harbor Master’s office from June 15 to September 15: Tel: +33 (0) 2 96 23 49 51 or email: capitainerie.tregastel@orange.fr

Tregastel

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Trégastel has 13 sandy beaches with varied orientations, accessible at any time. The beach of Grève Blanche and the beach of Coz-Pors are supervised in July and August by lifeguards. Dogs are allowed on all Trégastel beaches from September 15 to June 15, and prohibited from June 15 to September 15. More on the beaches here: https://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/tregastel-22733

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There are also, 4 picnic areas in the town at plage Quo Vadis beach; Lac des cygnes lake ; plage Toul Bihan beach and Ïle Rénote. Motorhome stopover Parking du Tennis-Club, Rue Poul-Palud.

Things to see at Trégastel, which we still have not seen them all!!!

The Gallic stele of Trégastel is one of the rare witnesses to the Second Iron Age; it dates from the end of the 4C BC. It is a 3 meter tall monument, of the conoido-quadrangular type, each edge of which is folded down to form three grooves. On a whole face, are engraved doubtless symbolic reasons: two spirals in “S” and a spiral in ram’s horn. The stele has been moved to the front of the Trégastel Tourist Office in Place Sainte Anne.

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Sainte Anne Church has a flat chevet building built between the 12C and the 19C. It is a church where all the centuries, from this period, are represented. The semi-circular 17C ossuary presents an elegant gallery with balusters and a roof surmounted by a turret with a granite dome. The ossuary collected the bones from the graves of the cemetery because the latter is not extensible; it was necessary to make room for the new deceased approximately every five years. This ossuary constitutes the originality of the church of Trégastel. The furniture consists, among other things, of a Romanesque font with grotesque figures, the pulpit to preach of the 17C, a beam of glory, of an old wheat measure in stone of the 14C In addition, some old statues representing Notre-Dame de Délivrance, Saint Anne, Saint Marguerite, Saint Nicolas and Saint Yves between the Rich and the Poor. After being under the patronage of Saint Laurent, the Church of Trégastel is currently placed rather under the patronage of Saint Anne, whose feast is in July, date on which forgiveness is celebrated. The west gable, resulting from a first reshuffle, presents a portal from the end of the 14C and the beginning of the 15C. The south facade has a square and vaulted porch, from the end of the 16C. In the 19C, a restoration, in granite from Île-Grande, made the old bell tower with three openings disappear, to replace it with an arch supporting two bells. Collaterals forming six spans separated by arches broken flank the capped nave. On the window-master whose replacement dates from the 17C, the stained glass windows are more recent and date from 1869. Saint Brieuc and Saint Tugdual, the patrons of the bishopric, are represented in the center of the window.

tregastel ch ste anne bourg jul20

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The site where the Sainte-Anne-des-Rochers Chapel is located has long been dedicated to spiritual life. This place of the town was swampy with a fountain and a wash-house. There was also a dolmen which, today destroyed, was an outbuilding of the Peulven farm. After the end of the Roman occupation, a group of monks from across the Channel installed a hermitage with a small wooden chapel. This place then took the name of Langastel. The chapel was founded by Jean de Lannion, lord of Aubays. Around 1630, he was lieutenant of the constabulary of Bretagne, governor of Lannion, captain of the ban and the rear ban of the bishopric of Tréguier, responsible for monitoring the coasts. He also has great devotion to Sainte Anne, patron Saint of Bretagne, which explains the dedication of this chapel. The chapel was rebuilt in 1787. Before 1928 the chapel was a simple rectangle sixteen by four meters. It was not until 1928, with the advent of sea bathing fashion, that the chapel was enlarged with the creation of a transept with the choir in the north wing. Its old character is preserved thanks to the reuse of stones from the hamlet of Keravel. In 1933, the gable was advanced and the sacristy carried out. The altar stone comes from Saint-Marc Chapel on Île-Grande, which had been destroyed by lightning some thirty years ago. On one of the pillars of the entrance to the chapel, is the sculpted torso of a mutilated Christ, in Kersanton granite, from the Calvary of the bourg, built in 1872. This is all that remains of the great cross struck by lightning in 1912

The Calvaire du Bourg or calvary of the town, built in 1872 on the initiative of Abbé Bouget, who had it built on the hill of Krec’h Lest, not far from the town’s church. This dry stone monument consists of a chapel-crypt, dedicated to Notre-Dame-de-Pitié, surrounded by a narrow spiral path which goes up to an upper platform on which the base of the cross. In the first niche is the granite statue of a kneeling peasant holding a spade; in a second, to the south, a statue of the Sacred Heart, made of wood. The following niches house the statues of Saint Laurent, Saint Joseph, Saint Yves and finally Saint François Xavier . You see writings in Breton marking the route.

The moulin à marée du Grand Traouïero or grand Traouïero tide mill was done in 1375, when King Charles V granted Lord Bryan of Lannion the right to have a tide mill built on the arm of the sea that comes from Trov-Meur between the place that says Toul Ar Carhent and Ploumanac’h. The current building dates from 1764 engraved above the door. Its last miller was Toussaint Le Brozec who ceased his activity in 1932. However, the tide mill is open for visits.

In a unique site,the Aquarium marin de Trégastel or theTrégastel marine aquarium nestles under a set of pink granite blocks. This site was in turn the Chapel of Coz-Ilis until about 1877, troglodyte dwelling for successively three families of fishermen including the Adam family, ammunition depot during the war, prehistoric museum before becoming since 1967 the current aquarium dedicated to coastal species from the English Channel. The roof of the first room has a single span of 22 × 15 meters. It weighs almost 5,500 tons! It is one thing to see here, a must!!!More info here: https://www.aquarium-tregastel.com/

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In near Trégastel is the l’île Renote island, now a peninsula, with many beaches. This peninsula offers a view of the Sept-Îles, the lighthouse of Ploumanac’h and the island of Château de Costaérès. A path for hikers goes around the peninsula, about 2 km long. This path runs along the numerous beaches and coves that border the peninsula. Nice indeed!

The Château de Costaérès is located on the Island of Costaérès in the territory of the town of Trégastel, The term castle is overused, it is in fact a large manor of neo-medieval style characteristic of the large holiday homes of the end of the 19C on the pink granite coast. The building, with complex volume resulting from several enlargements, is made of pink granite from the quarries of La Clarté, district of Perros-Guirec. The roof is slate. Its interior layout was designed with reclaimed wood from a three-masted stranded in winter 1896, the Maurice. This was built on an island bought by Bruno Abakanowicz (also called Bruno Abdank, engineer and mathematician of Polish origin at the end of the summer 1892. After 1900, the date of the owner’s death, his daughter, Sofia Abakanowicz, who became Madame Poray, had the villa enlarged by a west wing on the back of the facade. During WWII, the villa was requisitioned by the Nazi army, and suffered some interior damage. Following roofing work, on September 6, 1990, a fire partially destroyed the interior of the castle. This castle took the name of the islet of one hectare on which it was built: Costaérès which comes from coz-seherez which means in Breton “old drying factory”. It was there, in fact, that the sailors dried the fish in the sun. The islet is located opposite the beaches of Tourony and Saint-Guirec (Ploumanac’h), and separated from the latter by the channel of the port of Ploumanac’h (see post)formed by the stream of Grand-Traouiero. It is accessible at low tide via plage Tourony beach.

These webpages will help you plan your trip here

The city of TrégastelCity of Tregastel

Tourist office of the Côtes d’Armor in English: Tourist office of the cotes d armor on things to do

The tourist office of the Granite coast of Brittany on Trégastel: Tourist office cote de granite rose on Tregastel

The Brittany tourist office on things to do in the Granite Coast in English: Brittany tourist office on things to do in the Granite Coast

There is so much to do and see here, this is a general overview on subsequent posts and times I will expand on each of these places. For now enjoy part of the Granite Coast of Brittany at Côtes d’Armor and in the area of Trégastel.

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

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