Guerlesquin Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Things to Do
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Things to Do
    by CatherineReichardt

Most Recent Things to Do in Guerlesquin

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    Guerlesquin's odd blue war memorial

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Oct 28, 2013

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    One aspect of the Breton landscape that I hadn't anticipated was the number and prominence of war memorials. But then before I visited, I didn't realise that Bretons suffered the highest casualty rate of any nation in the First World War (WWI), during which a staggering one in fourteen Breton men, women and children perished.

    The vast majority commemorate the Great War (WWI) - optimistically dubbed, 'The War to End all Wars'. Unfortunately it didn't, so most of these memorials seem to have been rebranded after 1945 to commemorate both World Wars.

    Looking at the war memorial in Guerlesquin, it's obvious that it originally dates back to the first War, although the inscriptions also contain reference to WWII, and there is a plaque quoting from a speech by De Gaulle is attached to the adjacent wall. The memorial itself is most notable for the fact that it is an odd shade of blue.

    If you're interested in Bretagne's tragic 20th century war history, I would highly recommend that you make a point of visiting the haunting Breton War memorial in Saint-Anne d'Auray.

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    Some rather good gargoyles

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jul 31, 2012

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    I'm partial to a good gargoyle, and was happy to discover that the church of Saint-Ténénan has a couple of endearing offerings which draw on a big cat theme.

    The main picture is certainly a lion, which was a commonly used image in the medieval world, often signifying royalty. The second - which I particularly like because, unusually for a gargoyle, the hind quarters are also shown - is less easy to identify. It doesn't have a mane, so it could be a lioness, but the proportions suggest that it's more likely to be a leopard, which sometimes featured in heraldry of the time.

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    Garden of medicinal herbs around the church

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jul 31, 2012

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    One of our most endearing discoveries in Guerlesquin was the medicinal herb garden that has been established in the grounds of Saint-Ténénan church.

    Neat beds contain a range of plants that would have been used as traditional remedies in the days before modern medicine. Many are scented and it's fascinating to wander along the beds, taking in the scents of an apothecary's medicine chest and wondering what plant was intended for which purpose. There is some signage which is probably informative, but unfortunately this was beyond my schoolgirl French.

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    And a personal word from General de Gaulle ...

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jul 31, 2012

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    I loved this sign which is displayed prominently next to the war memorial.

    It is an excerpt from a famous speech given by General de Gaulle in London during June 1940, which was designed to raise morale among "Tous les Francais" ("All the French") after French troops had suffered a series of demoralising defeats. It starts with a frank statement that, "France has lost a Battle, But France has not lost the War" and then continues in a similar stirring vein, designed to stiffen both spines and resolve among the French troops and their families.

    The speech may have been given over 70 years ago, but his words still have the power to thrill!

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    Go to the musical market!

    by Mikebond Updated Jan 2, 2009

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    If you can, visit Guerlesquin on a Monday: it's the day of the market. This is not a "normal" market with typical Breton products, it's a musical market. As you will see in my travelogues, musicians go through the streets of the village and also across the market, performing great Gaelic music. My father recorded some seconds of music, I will see if I can upload the file!
    Well, the marché musical is a real must, don't miss it!

    musical market musical market musical market in front of the church all the musicians
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    Saint-Ténénan - outside: calvaire

    by Mikebond Written Jul 24, 2006

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    Out of the church you see this small calvaire. It is nothing interesting if compared with those of Guimiliau or Saint-Thégonnec.

    small calvaire
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    Prison seigneurale

    by Mikebond Written Jul 23, 2006

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    The prison seigneurale was the prison of the Lords of Guerlesquin. It was built around 1640 by Vincent du Parc de Kerret, a Lord of the village. It consists of a square fortress with a tower at every corner. You can visit it inside (I think it was free when I did it), where you'll see a room with a fireplace as well as two latrines. The fourth photo shows one from inside and the fifth shows the same from outside. You shouldn't have passed under that hole at the time!

    the prison the prison the fireplace a latrine the latrine outside
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    Saint-Ténénan - inside: decorations

    by Mikebond Written Jul 23, 2006

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    Here you see more decorations located inside Saint-Ténénan.
    The first photo shows a banner with Saint Trechmeur (Trémeur in French), a local saint who was beheaded. This banner is probably used to celebrate a pardon.
    The second image is a painting of Mary's assumption to Heaven, while the third is a statue of the Vergin with his mother Saint Ann.
    The painting on the fourth photo represents a martyr; I'm not sure whether it is Saint Barbara.
    The last picture portrays a wooden confessional.

    Saint-Tr��meur Assumption Ann and Mary martyr confessional
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    Saint-Ténénan - inside: statues

    by Mikebond Written Jul 23, 2006

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    Like most Breton churches, also Saint-Ténénan has a number of statues. Here you see:
    1) Sainte-Marthe who defeated a creature half-dragon half-fish. I have found this information on the web, but I'm not sure it's her, although it looks likely;
    2) Saint-Louis, the Holy King;
    3) Sainte-Barbe (Saint Barbara), whose church was originally located where the église de Saint-Ténénan was built.
    The fourth and fifth photos show 16th-century statues of the Apostles.

    Saint Martha Saint Louis Saint Barbara the Apostles - 1 Apostles - 2
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    Saint-Ténénan - outside: architecture

    by Mikebond Updated Jul 23, 2006

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    The primary église de Saint-Ténenan was built at the end of the 15th or in the early 16th century by the Beaumanoir architect atelier. After it was demolished with the neighbouring chapel of Saint Barbara and charnel house, a new, wider building replaced it in 1859. The new church was erected in Neo-Gothic style and part of the original decorative stones were used.
    Only the wall bell-tower remains of the ancient church. A little cylindric tower (last picture of the tip) enables to enter the bell room.
    Over the entry portal you can see the statues of Saint Peter (left) and Saint Roch (right). The façade is also decorated with Saint Barbara's and Saint Ener's statues. The windows are those of the former charnel house.

    the fa��ade the fa��ade lateral side tower tower
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    Saint-Ténénan - inside: architecture

    by Mikebond Written Jul 23, 2006

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    The church inside shows a mixture of styles: it looks Gothic for the wide and decorated windows, but it is also a little Romanesque because the arches are not real vault-arches as in Gothic. Anyway, you see it is a very rich architecture. Let's have a look at the paintings and statues of the church now.

    the nave the nave the aisle the aisle
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    Saint-Ténénan - outside: decorations

    by Mikebond Updated Jul 23, 2006

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    On the façade you can admire some curious gargoyles and other sculptures. Some of them are really unusual, such as those in the first two photos of this tip, that are cut in two by a column.

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    • Arts and Culture

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Guerlesquin Things to Do

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