This is probably one of the daftest things I have attempted. This weekend is the Journées du Patrimoine (Heritage Days) in France and, together with all the other events in the department of Morbihan, I have to whittle over 550 events down to 10!! No apologies then… I have selected those events that, whilst they may not all be the biggest or the “best”, are the ones that appeal to me the most:
1. L’art dans les chapelles
Rather embarrassingly, this summer, we have not been to see some of the rather quirky exhibitions tucked away in the chapels of the Blavet Valley countryside. As this is now the last weekend of the exhibition, top of my list is to try and fit in my favorite mini-tour of the three chapels around St Nicolas-des-Eaux: St Gildas carved into the rock on the Blavet River, La Trinité at the ancient Roman site of Castennec and St Nicolas at St Nicolas-des-Eaux. Open 14h-19h. Free.
3. Ancient prison of Auray
Built in the late 1780’s this old prison with two dungeons and graffiti carved into wooden beds appeals to my ghoulish side. According to the blurb, the prison “welcomed” up to 90 prisoners and housed many prisoners in the Chouan uprising. Open 10h-13h and 14h30-18h30. Guided tours: 10h, 11h30, 14h30, 16h, 17h30
4. Mausoleum of Georges Cadoudal, Hamlet of Kerléano
Still feeling in a grizzly mood, and following on in a similar theme, I have selected the Mausolée de Georges Cadoudal still in the area of Auray. Born and finally buried here in the hamlet, Georges Cadoudal was the head of the Breton Chouans, the royalist uprising against the republicans. He was arrested and guillotined in Paris June 25, 1804. Situated opposite the mausoleum, the original modest home of Cadoudal was changed into a manor in the 19th century. Open 10h-13h and 14h30-18h30. Guided tours: 10h, 11h30, 14h30, 16h, 17h30.
5. Chapelle Saint-Cado
Well, whilst we are in Auray and still in the same theme, its time to visit this 16th century chapel. It was aquired by the Cadoudal family to prevent its demolition and several of the family are buried heer together with General Joseph Cadoudal, brother of George, the head of the Breton Chouans. Open 10h-12h (Sat) and 14h-18h30 (Sat & Sun). And not to miss the chance of a Pardon, the mass for the Pardon de St-Cado starts at 10h30!
7. Art Museum, Le Faouët
Heading north and back into the countryside, there is free entry to the Musée du Faouët, a great little art museum dedicated to Breton artists. Le Faouët is also home to one of the few remaining 16th century covered markets in France and it is well worth a look around to then compare to the paintings in the museum. Open 10h-12h & 14h-18h.
9. Kernascléden church
Getting back again to the more macrabre (literally!) the gothic church of Kernascledan has some ancient frescoes dating back to the 15C with one of 7 remaining “macabre danses ” depicting that in the end we are all equal! Open 8h-19h. Guided visit at 15h.
Now this may count as two things, but the church is also resident to bats, so you can also visit the Maison de la chauve-souris between 14h and 17h30 with a guided visit at 15h.
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