Local traditions and culture in Bretagne

  • local bar
    local bar
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  • natural tree by the chimney
    natural tree by the chimney
    by gwened
  • the natural Christmas tree and the gifts
    the natural Christmas tree and the gifts
    by gwened

Most Viewed Local Customs in Bretagne

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    Kouign-amann – Buttery Cake

    by grayfo Written May 28, 2014

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    Kouign-amann is a Breton cake that is round crusty and made with bread dough containing layers of salted butter and sugar folded in, the end result is a puff pastry where the sugar has caramelised. The name is from the Breton words for cake "kouign" and butter "amann", and originated around 1860. It is the local custom to serve with fillings of fresh fruit, chocolate, or even coconut, nestling the filling within the layers of the flaky dough.

    �� www.cookingmumu.com
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    Canal Nantes à Brest at le Roc Saint André

    by gwened Written May 8, 2014

    this is a great economic boom for the region and it passes thru several towns, I have other tips in some of the main town it passes thru but this for the small towns in the Bretagne section.

    Nantes-Brest, Saint-Malo at Arzal and Lorient in Pontivy, these are more than 600 km of one lock at the other in the changing moods natural landscapes, alongside small towns of character and picturesque castles. Over the water, aboard a barge or a kayak, or walking or cycling on the towpaths, discover these preserved spaces that are the delight of fishermen and naturalists!

    See the levies or ecluses along the canal lengh in pdf file

    and a bit of history here
    If in 1538 the estates of Brittany concerned with making navigable the Rennes Vilaine at Messac allowing the first River link of the Breton capital as early as 1585, Redon and the Bay of Biscay "by the maritime Vilaine, we will have to wait until the establishment of"inner Navigation Commission"in 1783 to see the first navigation between Nantes and Brest.
    This canal construction work will begin only in 1804 under the Empire, for strategic reasons with the resumption of hostilities with England and the continental blockade. The superiority of the English fleet on the seas forced Napoleon I to ensure the supply of the arsenals of Brest and Lorient by an inland waterway connecting it to the Loire by Nantes.

    Titanic work of junction between four river basins (Loire, Vilaine, Blavet, alder), eight rivers (Erdre, Isac, Oust, Blavet, Kergoat, Golden, Hyères, and Alder), three bays of the watershed (Bout-de-Bois: 19, 83 m, Hilvern: 128, 71 m, trench Glomel: 183, 85 m) and 236 locks for a 360 km course... Prisoners of Spanish war, deserters and Brest convicts, peasants, soldiers women and children will be Wade for years in such work. The Nantes to Brest canal is delivered in its entirety to navigation in 1842.
    Breton skippers will ensure this waterway a commercial vocation in the transport of goods within the province. The construction of roads and the development of the railways will mark the decline of transport on the channel activities.

    you see here a Google map showing all the businesses that support this canal and many usable by tourists of course

    Canal Nantes-Brest at Le Roc Saint Andr�� the oust and the Canal Nantes-Brest over the bridge river oust canal to Brest the bridge over the Oust river D766A road inland on the Oust river and canal to Nantes
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    The circus

    by gwened Written May 2, 2014

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    a popular event await with great enthusiasm by locals and especially the children,all over Brittany, and France of course. The circus with many troops and companies going back to générations of families.
    They get on their colorful trucks cars, jeeps and go around the region bringing laughter and cheers to many.

    Here the circus is no exception. I happenned to see the ZAVATTA family circus in Grand Champ near me,and it brings back always memories of youth.

    One of the most visible is ZAVATTA, the family circus.5 générations they say, wow, its really something to see.

    There will be here in Grand Champ next to the carrefour market where we often shop. There are many other such as pinder

    a school of circus in Brittany,

    more schools in Brittany

    main tickets for circus zavatta circus zavatta the animals of circus zavatta
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    weddings,anniversaries are big deal here

    by gwened Written Apr 21, 2014

    This is one of the properties colleagues here used for their marriages and birthdays and we had seminars wow!! I have done many seminars and even in big locations like Fontainebleau and Versailles but the small quaint, river side ,beautiful setting of this one is neat. Château de Kérisper!

    the castle offers almost for any festivities. It has a capacity for 300 persons with several rooms available, cocktails outside or in the rooms weather permitting, dance floor, and some sleeping rooms available ::) There is no limits on hours as long as noise levels b law are respected,and plenty of parking space. You can even come to it by boat!!! and choose your own caterer.

    a bit of history I like
    the Château de Kérisper ,near Auray, the oldest parts are from the 14C, and has 800 m2 along the river bono, with private ownership of the Sirs of Montigny, ancestors of of Lesterlin. more history: In 1426, it was in the hands of the Sires de Kerisper Lestrelin; at the end of the 15C to 16C; in 1601 to Montigny, who retain the until the Revolution. To the 19C and 20C, the area belonged successively family Montaigu aux St-Pern in 1876,to the Grand family in 1897, in 1900, Douault, and Pommois in 1979. The old castle was partially destroyed. The House has been modernisee at the beginning of the 20C. Octave Mirbeau would have stayed there in 1887-1888 and allegedly wrote “Abbé Jules”. In 1990 the Castle houses the Théatre de l’écume and an exhibition of floral art. Surrounded by a large Park, Kerisper is visible at 4 km south of Pluneret. to the left of the road D 101 to Baden, between the rivers of Auray and Bono.

    chateau de k��risper entrance right side tower of chateau de k��risper chateau de k��risper side
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    Anne de Bretagne

    by gwened Written Apr 1, 2014

    This duchess and later queen is very revered in this region. She is mentioned directly or indirectly in many buildings, schools, homes, monuments. I like to bring you closer into Breton history.

    In the ducal castle of Nantes (see tip here still visited), on January 25, 1477 a child girl was born at about 5h30 (am) .Daughter of Marguerite de Foix and duke François II(born françois d'étampes, count of Montfort,and Grandson of duke of Brittany Jean IV). She probably was born in a room of the old or vieux logis, that no longer exist. We have no trace of ther baptism.

    The baby sitter we know, it was Françoise de Dinan, dame de Laval et de Châteaubriant. She grows up rich and well tended.

    On the wars, the treaty of Guérande in 1365, tries to fix the war of succession in Brittany, name the male heirs of the house of Montfort as the reigning house of Brittany. Not available male heir ,the house passes to the Penthièvre. The King of France Louis XI buys from Nicolas de Penthièvre the right of the duchy in 1480, if François II dies, the duchy becomes part of France.

    To avoid this, the duke François II does manouvres in favor of his daughter. The States of Brittany meets on February 8 1486 in the parliament at Rennes in the big room of the bishop. The States accept and serve swearing to the new duke their fidelity by February 11, 1486 Anne receives there the serment sweating her as their leader at the age of 9!

    This is not enough, he needs to find an alliance to secure the duchy and he know his daughter Anne is very pretty. He tries with Edward IV of England but he dies in 1483. Many pretenders follow such as Louis of Orléans ,the future Louis XII, Jean d'Albret, jean de Châlon, and Maximilian of Austria. François II did not see this end he died at Couëron on September 9, 1488. Anne marries by procuration to Maximilien in Rennes in 1490 at the age of 13 years; in between she is declared Duchess at the Cathedral of Rennes on February 10, 1489.

    France continues to want Brittany, and the dukes continues to defied it. Charles VIII react with a French army he defeats the Bretons at Saint-Aubin, JUly 28 1488; in August the duke needs to sign a document that prohibits him from marriering his daughter without the king consent.

    Anne its force to marry Charles VIII she did not want to but does so to preserve her duchy. The marriage is held at the castle of Langeais in December 6 1491. Part of the marriage contract said that if he dies without heir, she will become again Duchees of Brittany, Charles VIII dies in accident at the castle of Amboise in April 7 1498. She is ask to marry the king Louis XII in Nantes January 8 1499 at the age of 21.She is again crowned queen at Saint Denis in 1504.

    She had 6 children with Charles VIII and 5 with Louis XII.The children of Charles VIII do not survive childhood. From Louis XII only two daughters survives to adulthood, Claude (future queen of France as well) and Renée.

    Anne de Bretagne was very religious ,she accompany the prayers and the pilgrimages according to the practice in Brittany. She takes a bath every day rare for the times. The traditions of Brittany were kept, such as the bishops are not the candidates of the king like in other régions.

    She lives the longer while in court at Amboise,then Blois. You can still see marks of her in these two castles of the Loire. She keeps her own crew of 235-325 persons , she had 27 dogs, hundred horses and mules, a falcon tent. At Blois each morning she goes to mass.She enjoy the jewerly and the tapestries and bring the best as well doing it herself with her daughter Claude. She is the first queen of France to have her own bodyguard army of about 100 men mostly Bretons. They wait for her each time she left the castle of Blois.

    On January 9 1514 , Anne de Bretagne dies at the castle of Blois. she is not yet 37 years old. king Louis XII impose on the court to wear dueil in black as it is the practice in Brittany. Her body is embalmed before the heart is taken out. To give it to Brittany the heart is encircle in a mass of gold and transported to Nantes to rest next to her parents. January 13 her body is expose in the grand salle d'honneur of the Castle of Blois.A huge crowd from nobles to humble come to see her; the funeral will last 40 days. ON January 16 her body is enrobed in linen put in coffin of wood and lead,and kept 15 days more with prayers and big masses.

    On February 4, the funeral parade escorted by 400 flagbearers, follow by the court, take the last trip of Anne de Bretagne towards Saint Denis. The convoy passes by Cléry, Orléans, étampes, then on February 12 at the abbey of Notre Dame des champs where the village people come to pay their respect.It is the same in Paris, February 14 whre each inhabitant set fire to a torch in front of the house. On FEbruary 15 a mass is held at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, later that evening it arrives at Saint Denis.

    She is buried at Saint Denis (near PARIS in the basilica) but her heart remains in Brittany.In March 19 1514 it was put in a mausoleum that Anne de Bretagne had done in honor of her father François II and where rest her parents. During the French revolution the mausoleum was found empty, and it is today at the musée Dobrée at Nantes.

    It tells the towns that meant a lot to her from Rennes, Nantes,Langeais,Amboise, Blois, Saint Denis. She ,also, pass or lived in Moulins, Tours,Lyon, Guérande, Grenoble, Vannes, Angers, Bourges Romorantin, Loches, Chartres, Laval, Montfort l'Amaury, and Paris

    In Brittany in addition to those already mentioned, she enjoy visiting, Le Folgoët, Brest,Locronan,Saint-Pol-de-Léon, Quimper, Guingamp, Dinan, Tréguier, Château de la Hunaudaye, Vitré.
    In 1505 when Louis XII sick,she prays and he recovered so she makes a pilgrimage to all Brittany..

    her biography in French, pdf file

    Cathedral St Pierre Rennes Chateau de Blois Chateau d'Amboise tomb of parents at Cathedral Pierre et Paul Nantes chateau dukes of Brittany Nantes
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    La Troménie, Locronan

    by gwened Written Dec 26, 2013

    This is a deeply religious event that takes place here every 6th year, and on the second and third Sunday in July is the grande troménie, that is done over 12 kms.The small tromenie is done every year.
    the tourist page of Brittany has it for July 2014.

    I will put some photos from the Church where all starts and wait for my first one next year Grande Tromenie.

    I like to give you the history from the Bretagne historical society in English translation.

    The Tromenie. The great act of piety, what one might call the formal devotion to saint Ronan. It affects successively at the territory of five parishes and made twelve stations in different chapels of piety, (or temporary shrines ), with sermon, singing of hymns, songs, Gospels, etc., in each of these stations. "The route of the procession, perfectly determined by immemorial tradition, is any point invariable, and the procession is stopped by hedge or barrier, by prairie covered with hay, or seeded field. The route represents the demarcation of the free lands belonging to the Saint and the Church, thereby even exempt such or such charges. Such is also the etymological meaning of the word Tromenie: Trominihy, the (land) tour of the monastery. And it is thought that the current (1925) Tromenie would be a Christian transposition of an old practice of paganism. There were in the region of Locronan a vast foret named nevet or Napier. In pagan Ireland meant a holy place in a forest, and in the Christian Ireland a Christian sanctuary with the land that belonged to him. The pagan name was surrounded by a series of menhirs that set the limits. Thus was he formerly of Locronan . Later, at the time where has inaugurated the Christian Tromenie, these menhirs were replaced by stone crosses or cross shaped everything at least trimmed. As formerly pagan procession, the current Tromenie is done from left to right, in the same direction as the market of the Sun. The great Tromenie takes place every six years; for example 1923, 1929, 1935, etc..The tumultuous events of the Tromenie of 1737 ; It would seem that the disorders have caused a little natural antipathy of the population for the marechaussee men called by the Rector, Miss. Philippe Perrault, and especially by the fear of accidents that would have brought the presence of this escort horses, in narrow passages and difficult of the procession. In referring to the former documents, we find some dates representing years of great Tromenie: 1617, 1677, 1689, 1737, 1770. As a result, the particulars in the supplement to the «Semaine religieuse» of Quimper, July 16, 1887, are mostly fanciful.

    The Tromenie is also privately, through a crowd of pilgrims singly or in a group, and this, not only to the two Sundays solemn processions, but every day of the week. In this case, although the total course will remain the same, you can start in any point of the journey, provided that it ends at the point of departure. The number of these private pilgrimages is very considerable. Has estimated it between 10,000 and 15,000, in 1923. There is also a small Tromenie, every year, the second Sunday of July, on a good course, less extended, which in popular traditions, represents the journey that was every morning, saint Florian, fasting and barefoot. Under the Revolution, the Tromenies had no place (that is, without doubt, in 1797 and 1803).

    The tr��sor or treasure of the church St Ronan The Chair in ceramic of Quimper the baptismal station of St Ronan church St Ronan rue du Four church St Ronan back rue de Charrettes
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    Monument to the fallen, Grand Champ

    by gwened Written Sep 21, 2013

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    These are all over France, land of wars and battles from milleniums, some are closer to the memory such as the bloody scandal of WWI.

    The Memorial, inaugurated in 1926, has the names of the victims of the war 14-18 to which have been added the victims of other 20th century conflicts. 193 men of Grand-Champ, in the prime of life, died on the fields of battle or died from their wounds. The population of Grand-Champ passes from 3040 inhabitants in 1913 to 2873 in 1921.
    To honour the memory of those combatants, history and genealogy enthusiasts have made the research they present in the form of this virtual memorial. The number indicated in the list on the virtual memorial is that of the order of the names on the Monument to the dead. Reading the plug individual information and the Act of death of each victims gives an idea of the trauma experienced by people who have seen leaving for a trip without return so many men in this terrible war.

    it sits right around a nice park call in Breton , Ti Kreiz Ker

    memorial to the Fallen park of Ti Kreiz Ker
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    many chapels I give you one Grand Champ

    by gwened Written Sep 21, 2013

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    The chapel of Notre Dame of Perpétuel Secours is right in city center by rue Saint Yves. not far from main church of Saint Tugdual (see tip)

    The chapel was built in 1898 on land donated by the family Samuele. The priest Gourron wanted a place of worship for the pious meetings of the Congregation . The first stone was laid on June 10, 1898. The works were conducted quickly and the monument was blessed on November 6 of the same year!
    The chapel was in fact not really completed, but will that the building was blessed by Bishop Kane, child of the country and Archbishop of Port - au-Prince in Haiti spurred the ceremony.
    The stones are from the ruins of the chapel of the old Priory of Saints.The building is very simple, rectangular with a three sided apse. Entrance from the street is through a large door semicircular shape of a torus. Above, the oculus is part of a rosette with trefles lobes. At the bottom of the crawling of fantastic plenty worried.
    Inside, the furniture reflects the piety of the time. At the bottom of the choir, a heavenly day brightens the appearance of the sacred heart to Sainte Marguerite-Marie.The altar is no shortage of originality by drawing an arc mounted on short columns with each side an Angel supporting a floor lamp.

    The peculiarities is that the chapel is right in town surrounded by modern houses, while most are outside of town. The Chapels are an integral part of Breton life, there are more of then than even churches! Usually the pardons or forgiveness are held in them.

    Chapel of Notre Dame of perp��tuel secours
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    école municipale de musique saint avé

    by gwened Written May 1, 2013

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    This is music school right in the heart of city center Saint Avé a town of 11K in the agglo of Vannes, capital of the dept of Morbihan

    In the school they teach you many instruments but also, Breton ones. Some like Piano, Saxophone,
    Flûte with beak and traverse style, Violon, Battery, Bombarde, traditional flûte , danse, Harp, Clarinette, and classical jazz electric and base guitars not to forget choral singing.

    They bring performers too so you listen to the masters,and learn. Its a very lively event when open, very busy, I just took the pictures on labor day may 1 a holiday.

    The buldings are historical longéres breton style.

    main entrance school of music performing building next door school of music
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    The celtic tradition of language and music

    by gwened Written Mar 14, 2012

    every year there is big festival in Bretagne yes it is at Lorient near me. There all the celtic background countries get together to showcase their language, music, food, and tradition. It is a big event and huge crowds come in.

    I saw on local TV last year,and I am planning to see this year in person with the family. A great way to know the area if you are around those dates in August 2012.

    All is set up to get you here, by car on the N165 road direction Lorient and the festival will be well posted. See Viamichelin for directions.

    Bus by CTRL and Morbihan regional council, boats by LD Lines and Brittany Ferries, and the local train TER have special rates for festivals here is the info in FRench

    And all the area airports,
    Aéroport de Lorient 02 97 87 21 50 - www.lorient.aeroport.fr
    Aéroport Brest Bretagne - 02 98 32 86 00 - www.brest.aeroport.fr
    Aéroport Nantes- 02 40 84 80 00 - www.nantes.aeroport.fr
    Aéroport Rennes- 02 99 29 60 00 - www.rennes.aeroport.fr
    Aéroport Quimper- 02 98 94 30 30 - www.quimper.cci.fr

    The site is in French or Breton, but if need help let me know.

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    Sailings, boating,that is Brittany=Bretagne

    by gwened Written Nov 2, 2011

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    well Brittany is boat heaven, welcome to my new part of the world ::)
    Yes Brest is the Fetes Maritime in 2012. http://www.lestonnerresdebrest2012.fr/

    Douarnenez july 2012


    and you should check this site for more

    hope it helps and happy sails ::)

    by the rock at La Roche St Bernard canal out to Gulf of Morbihan at Vannes harbor at Locmariaquer pont j brix to inner bay at Le Bono harbor at la Trinit�� sur Mer and pont de Kerister
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    Where kisses on the cheeks come from

    by Mikebond Updated Aug 4, 2008

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    Did you know that Bretagne is the homeland of the typical French and European gesture of kissing on the cheeks (se faire la bise)? It was introduced in the countryside of this region and then exported to the rest of France. Bretagne is probably also the region where the number of kisses to be exchanged vary the most and the most often. People exchange from one to four kisses when they meet. One kiss should be the most typical, but there's absolutely no rule. I have visited many villages and observed how many kisses people exchanged. So, in a village the most common number was two but in the closest one it was one or four (you will find more specific information in some of my Breton pages). I haven't been able to understand on what the number depends, if there ever is a rule. However, in Rennes and Morlaix, I only saw people exchanging one or maximum two kisses.

    (c) combiendebises.free.fr

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    What country is this car from?

    by Mikebond Updated Nov 3, 2007

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    It's from the département Finistère (29) in Breizh. As you can see, this numberplate hasn't got the blue strip with the European flag and the letter "F" for France, but the symbol of Bretagne and the letters BZH for Breizh. This proves another confirmation that Bretagne belongs to France only politically.

    Breton numberplate

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    The Calvary

    by hquittner Written Nov 3, 2007

    The Calvary, a form of cross in an outdoor site, is a testimonial to the plethora of granite stonecarvers in Brittany during the 16C-17C. There were at that time thousandsof them (to ward off the plague?). Most are just simple stone crosses set at intersections or sites of reverence, but a few are elaborately figured like this one. The elaborate ones are usually next to churches (in Closes). (see Tip>Things to Do; also the Close towns: Guilmiliau, St. Thegonnec, Lampaul-Guimiliau, Pleyben, etc). This one was encountered on the road from Lampaul-Guimiliau to Guimiliau (junction of D11 and D111?). Miraculously there was a picnic table set in front of it to fill our need.

    The Roadside Calvary near Guimiliau Detail
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    The Fight Between St. Michel & Satan (Round 1)

    by hquittner Written Oct 21, 2007

    The great fight between St. Michel and Satan began at Mount Dol (Dol Mound) a hill outside of Dolde Bretagne (see Tips there). Satan was thrown down compessing the rock; he scratched them heavily as he struggled to get up and away. Michel created a deep cleft with his sword and threw Satan into it. He disappeared there, but reappeared laughing on top of Mont St.-Michel. In one bound Miechel leaped over to the Mount to continue the battle compressing more rock from the thrust-force of his jump. (Did he use a rocket?). The rest of the story took place in Normandy so it cannot be a custom here. You need a map. imagination and possibly guidance to se the rocky remains. We do not guarantee their accuracy.

    Satan was thrown here (?) Claw marks{?} More claw marks (below Carolyn)(?) Standing in Michel's footsteps (?)
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