Atlantic wall memorials
It is here that at liberation day from WWII, a huge hill was chosen to built a cross of Lorraine in granite dedicated to the Bretons who fought for a Free France. The Général De Gaulle came here to open the tower on July 15 , 1951. This was part of the atlantic wall of WWII and those who fought it are well remembered here.
The views are magnificent, you must come here!
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
megalith stones of Lagatjar
the alignments or megaliths stones of the area of LAGATJAR; it had about 600 stones in 1776 from about 2500 BC, and were reduce to 80 today similar to those at Carnac . In 1883 they were declare national monument for its protection.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Chapel of Notre Dame de Rocamadour
the chapel church of Notre Dame de Rocamadour was built between 1610 and 1683 with yellow stones of Logonna. We can see inscriptions that tell us that a previous chapel was built in 1527. Older documents tells us a chapel was done in 1373 ,and even back to 1183 ,date in which the chapel in honor of Notre Dame de Rocamadour was built. Each first Sunday of September a procession takes place to honor the pardon of Notre Dame de Rocamadour.
its magical around the harbor
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Tour Vauban done by Vauban and received its baptismal of fire on June 16 1694
it is part of the Vauban fortifications to protect the harbors of France. It is open for visits in abril, may,june,september and october from tuesdays to sundays from 14-17h and july august from 10h-12h to 14h to 18h
admission is 3€ adults. free for under 12
The 11 canons done made crossing fire with those of the pointe du Gouin, of lines of contention with those at Quélern ,and other coastal batteries. The tour Vauban was in effect done to protect the harbor of Camaret and the access to Brest.
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
Tour around the promontory - Toulinguet
la Pointe du Toulinguet is easily and quickly reached from the road going west out of Camaret and makes a good starting point for a small tour down to Pointe de Penhir and takes you past several other points of interest on this westerly promontory on the Crozon peninsula.
The Pointe du Toulinguet is the location of a French Naval Station and observation post established on the Pointe in 1951.The station now utilises advanced technology in its work but is surrounded by the remains of a much older fortress originally constructed in the Napoleonic wars by Vauban. Its commanding position with views of the ocean, Camaret Bay and the entrance to the Brest gulet provided a strong defence from attack by sea and in 1893 the fortress was protected from land attack by the building of a might wall.
There are wonderful views of the beaches and coves from the cliff tops.
Sad ending of a Poet's Life
The French poet Saint-Pol-Roux (1861 - 1940) is little known outside France and his work has only comparatively recently been translated into English .
Born in Marseille, whilst still a young man he went to Paris, intending to write. He soon moved in literary circle and became acquainted with Stéphane Mallarmé who he greatly admired.
His own interest in poetry developed but his “modern” ideas did not go down well with his contemporaries who tended to ignore him. His published work received poor reviews, and tired of the urbane lifestyle of his peers, and in debt, he left Paris in 1898.
He first settled in the Ardennes where he learned to live a little of the life of a hermit, enjoying the peace and solitude of the forests.
He claimed it was in a vision that he was advised to move to Camaret in Finistere, which he did in the early years of the 20th Century.
He bought a large house, which he extended in a grandiose style, on the Pointe de Penhir above Camaret where he settled with his growing family.
Following the death of his son at Verdun in1915 he renamed the house Manoir de Coecilian.
He lived a reclusive life but still maintained his literary contacts and continued his own writing . His letters reflect not only his artistic interests but also his wider concerns with philosophical issues and the world situation.
At the beginning of the Nazi Occupation he was a widower, still living with his daughter Divine and their housekeeper in the Manoir, when in the autumn of 1940 a German soldier broke in, killed the housekeeper, raped Divine and seriously injured the Poet - by then nearly 80 years old.
Saint-Pol-Roux was taken to hospital in Brest where he died soon after. The abandoned house was vandalised by the occupying forces who wantonly destroyed all the manuscripts of the poet - 40 years work shredded, burned and thrown to the wind.
In 1944 as the Allies advanced on the most westerly area of France to be Liberated the house itself was further destroyed by Allied bombing.
Visit La Chapelle de Notre-Dame-de-Rocmadour.
Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Rocamadour this little Chapel stands at the end of the Sillon Quay close to La Tour Vauban.
It traces its beginnings and its name back to the time when Pilgims, travelling from the north en route to pray before la Vierge noire de Rocamadour at Quercy in the Lot, landed on the quay before continuing their journey overland.
The original construction dates back to 1373 but it underwent many changes until its final style was completed in 1683. Only 11 years later, in June 1694, it was struck by cannon fire from an English ship.
Over the following centuries it became the chapel of local fishermen and their families and the interior reflects this long association with the sea.
A fire in 1910 caused considerable damage but also accounts for the very beautiful colour of the interior stone work on which the smoke apparently caused the pinkish granite to obtain an exceptional golden glow.
Services are still held here regularly, school children visit on history trips and special exhibitions are mounted .
The one on display when we were there was all about the da Vinci Code and traced the links described in the popular book, or lack of them, between recorded biblical history, the mythology around Arthur and the Holy Grail, and the writing of early Christians including the Welsh 12th Century writer and traveller Geraldius Cambriensis.
Fascinating stuff - but I found reading it all in French quite stretching.
This simple little chapel is light,bright and rather beautiful.
Exhibition space in La Chapelle
The first picture shows along the side wall the various displays in Da Vinci Code Exhibition which was showing in June 2007.
Elsewhere the simple themes of the church can be seen in the suspended fishing boats, delicate carvings together with the warm colours of the stone work - said the be the effect of smoke from the 1910 fire on the local granite, giving it a rose-tinted hue.
La Chapelle ( Interior)
Light and Grace, Charm and Simplicity sum up the interior of this old chapel which is still a place of regular worship, prayer and meditation.
Used also as accentre of education and learning - secular and religious history - including the current exhibition (June 2008) regarding the myths, theories, beliefs and facts surrounding the Da Vinci Code, which we studies as we went around.
Christian believer, or of another faith, or of none, I think most people would be touched by the peace and warmth that can be felt in this little fishermens chapel.
Forgotten Heroes- Battle of the Atlantic
This Museum, housed in an old look-out bunker displays a large collection of contemporaneous documents, artefacts , armaments and models to tell the story of the vital part played by the sailors of the Merchant Navy in the Battle of the Atlantic in which the loss of men and shipping was astronomical.
These brave people underwent not only the danger of attack by enemy planes, ships and submarines but also the danger of just being at sea in the north Atlantic - whatever the weather conditions.
Their task was defend Allied shores and protect Allied shipping and convoys of food destined for the war hungry of occupied Europe and of Great Britain. Many, many thousands so lives were lost in this cause.
The approach to the Museum has a collection of fine marine engineering including huge anchors and chains.
On many of the upright anchors brass plates were attached bearingquotations from the poetry of Saint-Pol-Roux, whose former home we had just visited.
Poignant words from a peace-loving man now inscribed on the tools of battle.
All around are the remains of fortifications used in previous conflicts - a sad reflection on the continuation of man’s inhumanity to man.
Some of the best beaches, views and coastal scenery can be seen around the Pointe de Penhir. Close to Camaret we liked best the beaches to the east of the town specially when accompanied by grandchildrenwith buckets and spades. The Plage de Ttrez Rouz was a favourite for the building of damns.
It's a good idea to take your binoculars for the best views which on a clear day are spectacular.
Memorial- Bretons of Free French Forces
The Huge Granite Lorraine Cross erected as a memorial to the Breton members of the Free French Forces in WW2 dominates the skyline where it stands almost on the edge of the cliff.
The role played by these men and women, many of whom lost their lives in firing squads or Nazi concentration camps, was important throughout the years of occupation, and particularly in the final liberation of France where their local knowledge assisted the advance of the Allies after D Day.
The Menhirs at Lagatjar
These Standing Stones do not compare with the vast collection at Carnac but nevertheless provide evidence that this wind swept, westerly point was inhabited over 5000 years ago.
The Information Plaque says that a 1776 inventory of the site recorded 600 stones; by 1883 when the site was classified as an Ancient Monument, only a few more than 100 remained, and these were nearly all lying in the ground.
In 1928 the responsible authorities arranged for the stones to be lifted into the position in which they are seen today.
The French writer and historian of Camaret , Georges Toudouze, explains the location of the stones through astronomical measurent in particular their alignment with the Constellation of Pleiades and its smaller neighbour, known as La Poussinière which was given the old name of Lagat-Jar meaning Oeil de Poule (hen’s eye)
Our visit ended on a more up-to-date note as helicopters from the nearby naval base at Toulinguet flew -just - over our heads.
Look out for Toffs!
We had been told that Le Langioustier was the place to go for a good sea food lunch - it was, we were told where the locals go.
But what was this - it looked very full - and what important people could have arrived in this vintage vehicle?
It was not though, we noticed, environmentally friendly.
At least the owners had the good grace to bring their own cardboard matting to collect the profuse oil leaked from the engine.
Was it a film shoot ? No sign of cameras or camera men.
On such a warm sunny day we did not want to eat inside so went further along to le Styvel.
There, our quiet meal was suddenly disturbed by the excitement of a vintage car, apparently driven by Toffs, (they did wave to us ) passing by our modest restaurant in this unpretentious little resort.
So this is how the other half live!
La Tour Vauban
I am not sure whether Vauban, the military engineer and architect of Louis xiv,
is following me or I am following him but he certainly seems to pop up wherever I am in France!
When you approach Camaret from Crozon one of the first things to catch your eye as the harbour comes into view will be the Tower built by Vauban at the end of the Sillon quay.
The King feared an enemy attack on Brest could be made and Vauban was sent to assess what steps could be taken to stregthen the secrurity of the Brest gulet and defences along the coast. Vauban thought any attack would need a passage close to the Point of the Sillon .
And so the tower was built, and made even more useful by the addition of ramparts which encircled it.The tower played an important part in the crushing defeat by the Bretons of the Anglo-Hollandaise Fleet on 18 June 1694.
Restoration work undertaken in 2007 to commerorate the third centenary of Vauban's death restored the distinctive pink-gold colour of the roughcast stonework in the tower.
A plaque in hommage to the life and works of Vauban and the contribution made by this tower to the defeat in 1894 of the Anglo-Hollandsiae can be seen on the wall at the entrace to the tower.
Occasional temporary exhibitions are held in the Tower, which is open for general viewing only from mid June to mid September from 10am til 1pm and from 3pm to 6pm