Local traditions and culture in Bretagne

  • 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
  • left side looking from the house
    left side looking from the house
    by gwened

Most Viewed Local Customs in Bretagne

  • gwened's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    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
    http://www.chateau-nantes.fr/expositions/ab/dossiers/biographie.pdf

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • gwened's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Monument to the fallen

    by gwened Written Sep 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • gwened's Profile Photo

    many chapels I give you one Grand Champ

    by gwened Written Sep 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • gwened's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    école municipale de musique saint avé

    by gwened Written May 1, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Music

    Was this review helpful?

  • gwened's Profile Photo

    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
    http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/bretagne/Fr/Idees_Loisirs/Coup_de_coeur_TER/DetailCoupCoeur.aspx?URI=tcm%3a16-32050-2

    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.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Music
    • Festivals

    Was this review helpful?

  • gwened's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Sailings, boating,that is Brittany=Bretagne

    by gwened Written Nov 2, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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
    http://www.tempsfete-dz.com/

    Morlaix
    http://www.entreterreetmer2011.com/

    and you should check this site for more
    www.festival-bretagne.fr

    hope it helps and happy sails ::)

    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Fishing
    • Water Sports

    Was this review helpful?

  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Where kisses on the cheeks come from

    by Mikebond Updated Aug 4, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    What country is this car from?

    by Mikebond Updated Nov 3, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • hquittner's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    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.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Seniors

    Was this review helpful?

  • hquittner's Profile Photo
    3 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Breizh

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 20, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Breizh is the name of Bretagne in the Breton language or brezhoneg. Breton is a language belonging to the Celtic group, so it is close to Irish, Welsh and Scottish and has nothing in common with French, apart from the pronunciation.
    Breton is still very important unlike the other regional languages, since Breizh has been independent from France much longer than the other regions. You find Breton words in almost every geographical name.
    Brezhoneg is spoken in three departements: Finistère (which is the most Breton of all), Côtes d'Armor and Morbihan (this variety, called vannetais is different from the one spoken in the two other departements). Only in Ille-et-Vilaine people speak exclusively French.

    Was this review helpful?

  • debtravers's Profile Photo

    Go to a Fest Noz

    by debtravers Written Oct 12, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Festoù Noz was traditionally the feast which took place after a communal chore in Breton villages and towns as a means of relaxation after a hard day’s work. Nowadays it has become a great excuse to listen to traditional music, eat, dance and make merry!

    The Fest Noz dance, with it’s infectious music played on violins, flutes, guitars and drums, is for everybody to join in, with simple steps and hands linked. They are held all through the summer months particularly in all villages and towns. The music has recently undergone a huge revival.
    Try looking in AngloINFO Whats on for more details of fest noz in your area.

    Was this review helpful?

  • elgin99's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    The peoples

    by elgin99 Written Jun 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Peoples in Bretagne are mostly nice and helpful. But do not wait for one who would speak German or English language. You must understand French. Like we noted they WANT not speak English (only our guide in Keriolet did).
    They understand to celebrate, like we seen in Pont Aven during festival. And they have a pleasantly distance. Not like German tourists. They are often only loud and obtrusive, as that were been on festival (delegation of Hesse), so that we were ashamed to be also Germans.
    One of the Breton people spoken original Bretonic language to us, because we asked for. And he had a special humour, indeed, so funny. Told to us about his whole family history... on street!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals

    Was this review helpful?

  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Gwen-ha-Du

    by Mikebond Updated May 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Breton flag is called Gwen-ha-Du ("White and Black"). It was created in 1925, so it is very recent. The eleven ermines refer to the kings and the dukes who governed independent Breizh. The strips represent the nine ancient bishoprics. The five black strips symbolize the dioceses of gallo (French) language: Dol, Nantes, Rennes, St-Malo and St-Brieuc; the four white strips symbolize the Breton-speaking, or bretonnantes, dioceses of Trégor, Léon, Cornouaille and Vannes.
    When you go to Bretagne, you will realize that Gwen-ha-Du is much more than a regional flag: it is the symbol of the Breton identity and reminds that Breizh has nothing to do with France, to which it belongs only from the administrative point of view.
    Thanks to Jean-Louis (VT JLBG) who has written me about the meaning of the strips, which I have also found in the sites below.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Songs, dances and religion

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 22, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    These are the ways Bretons have kept their culture and language alive.
    During my visit of Côtes d'Armor and Finistère I've seen many folkloric performances, among which the traditional pardons, religious ceremonies organized around the 15th August in honour of Virgin Mary. If you can, you should attend one of these Breton events; there are plenty of them in every single village.
    Visit my Plèstin-les-Grèves page with photos of Breton dances.

    Related to:
    • Music
    • Festivals
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

Bretagne Hotels

See all 670 Hotels in Bretagne

Top Bretagne Hotels

Rennes Hotels
123 Reviews - 423 Photos
Saint-Malo Hotels
231 Reviews - 772 Photos
Quimper Hotels
53 Reviews - 222 Photos
Carnac Hotels
64 Reviews - 235 Photos
Roscoff Hotels
48 Reviews - 152 Photos
Perros-Guirec Hotels
22 Hotels
Dinan Hotels
64 Reviews - 233 Photos
Brest Hotels
136 Reviews - 369 Photos
Fougères Hotels
43 Reviews - 101 Photos
Quiberon Hotels
66 Reviews - 213 Photos
Ploumanac'h Hotels
11 Reviews - 16 Photos
Douarnenez Hotels
8 Reviews - 61 Photos
Vannes Hotels
161 Reviews - 509 Photos
Saint-Servan-sur-Mer Hotels
6 Reviews - 20 Photos
Saint-Brieuc Hotels
43 Reviews - 50 Photos

Instant Answers: Bretagne

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

63 travelers online now

Comments

Bretagne Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Bretagne local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Bretagne sightseeing.
Map of Bretagne