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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Photo by Eurotraveller

Locronan is a French commune located in the department of Finistère, in Brittany. Inhabitants of Locronan are called Locronanais in French and Lokorn in Breton.

Locronan should have been inhabited for many centuries before Christ. In the late nineteenth century, a large mound like a grave of a noble or a shrine was found. It was discovered by Maurice Halna du Fretay but unfortunately no trace exists of this undeniable evidence of the past. Joseph Loth also claimed to have found traces of material from the Iron Age to the top of the called "Montagne de Locronan" (Locronan Mountain).

Le bourg de Quéménéven et la Montagne de Locronan, photo by Loïc Borveau

In Roman times Locronan was at the junction of two Roman roads, one going from Quimper to the Peninsula of Crozon and another that went to Douarmenez. In 1950 a treasure in silver coins of the Roman Republic was found but the treasure disappeared. Someone got rich. Pas moi, je vous assure. So I'm still looking. Perhaps...

The first verifiable evidence of Locronan dates back to 1031 when the Earl of Cornouaille, Alain Canhiart donates a church called Saint Ronan, to the Abbey of Sainte-Croix de Quimperlé to give thanks to the saint, which he was devoted, by his victory over the Duke Alain III of Bretagne, in the battle known by the name "Bataille de Ronan" (Ronan Battle). The name Locronan means place of the hermit Saint Ronan.


The small village is elevated to city status in 1505 by the Duchess Anne de Bretagne and become a place of pilgrimage. Appears she was able to have children through a grace for her devotion to the saint. A sixteenth-century chalice found in the church of Saint Ronan and in which is inscribed the name of Anna, could have been offered by the Duchess to the saint when her grace was granted. Stories of towns that no one certify but no one refute.

Tomb of Saint Ronan in the Church of Locronan
Bretagne Finistere Locronan2 tango7174

In the fourteenth century Locronan knew prosperity. The proximity to Pouldavid, the old port of Douarnenez, facilitated the export of manufactured products. Many weavers settled in the small town to manufacture and many traders to sell and export. Manufacturing and selling of ship sailcloth quickly flourished and prospered. Ships of the Royal British Navy and the Indian Companies stocked their vessels from the small Locronan. Even Shakespeare quote on Coriolan (Scene I, Act II) that the Spanish Royal Navy had stocked from the village artisans. They also worked and prospered manufacturing linens. Long live to the capitalism, productive labor, trade and entrepreneurship. Communists are not liked around here.

Talking about Shakespeare and Coriolan, as I adore Beethoven, I hope you too dear reader, I will not lose the opportunity to invite you to listen to the overture written by him for the Coriolan of Shakespeare, led by conductor Leonard Bernstein mastering the Wiener Philharmoniker. Just to relax a little and make live beauty. Enjoy it.

Everything was going smoothly until the war came again with its trail of destruction. Now called Wars of the League or Wars of Religion. Locronan is sacked by Spanish troops in 1594 and then successively by Captains Anne de Sanzay de la Magnane and Guy Eder de La Fontenelle, seems French them by their names. With so much destruction the good people leave the village. Locronan remains poor and abandoned between 1595 and 1599. Four years lost because of the warlords. By 1751 the efforts of the people to keep on the village despite the difficulties still counted 151 looms in Locronan, as a reminder of the good times generated by peace and commerce.

In 1764 the Crown decided to create the Royal Factories of Brest, primarily to provide work for the convicts prison. Many weavers from Locronan leave the village and move to Brest in search of better living conditions. Factory activity decreases. From 10000 pieces per year that were manufactured in 1751 they passed to 6329 in 1776. By 1813 there are only 13 looms in Locronan. These stupid warlords do not know the terrible damage they do to the progress and welfare of decent people. Watch the full video below. Sorry, it's in French. Terrible scenes of hatred and destruction. Brothers against brothers. In the video it is shown when one of them forgive life of the other.

On July 20, 1792, during the French Revolution, the legislature decided to create the town of Locronan increasing the territories of the ancient parish. Like all decrees of all revolutions abounds grandiose and put the teeny big without worrying indeed the welfare of people. The important thing is the media effect. In 1830, 38 years after the famous decree, the population is ruined. Say Jean-François Brousmiche: Locronan is in the middle of the mountain of the same name. It is a large village which may contain one hundred and fifty houses. A very nice place with a beautiful Gothic church. All the houses are built of stone. No drinking water is obtained except at a stand in the square. The population is miserable. Men, women, children and old people are a disgusting spectacle to the few travelers passing through this city. We are really beset by the crowd of beggars and cadging.

The telegraph service was opened in 1904. By 1914 start coming more artisans to Locronan and textile activity begins. On January 8, 1929, by decree, Locronan receives a portion of the municipality of Plonévez-Porzay. The area goes from 330 to 808 hectares. In 2009, Hervé Le Bihan, a middle-aged village, took over the loom. Work hard. He has contracts from outside, although he recognizes that the important remains local sale. Tourists, true source of income of the small village. Watch the video below. Hervé makes a great work. We love this kind of people who bring progress to the villages. They do no need decrees. They need people that work and people that buy.

Well, if they want tourists is time to go and have fun and, of course, help with the economy of the village. But never forget, where you go, to be a good citizen. Respect people and rules. How to go? Easy. Being in Paris take a train from Gare Paris Montparnasse (17, Boulevard de Vaugirard, Paris 15, Metro Lines 4, 6, 12 and 13) to Quimper. Here the timetable. Being in Quimper you have two options. By bus here the timetable for Ligne 37. Just 2 euros, cheap. Or book a taxi. Trip is 18.2 km, about 16 min. Fine, we are, at last, here in Locronan. Being in Locronan here you can book a taxi to go around.

For a place to stay do not forget to book in advance. It's very important and never I will be tired to insist on this. Hotels and places to stay are very requested. Here at you will find many options in or close to Locronan. Select what you like and do not hesitate to book. If something goes wrong you will have plenty of time to cancel your reservation without paying a cent. You can also have a look to Trip Advisor that always has very good recommendations. It's a must to visit the Tourist Office. They always will have the most trusted and updated info about Locronan.

Places to visit

Centre Historique
Bretagne Finistere Locronan1 tango7174

Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle
FRANCE - Bretagne - Locronan - Chapelle

Ty Kouign Amann, Biscuitier Chocolatier

There is a procession every two years in Locronan. Next in 2015. Great work by Danielle Ropars

Bois du Névet

Église Saint-Ronan
Bretagne Finistere Locronan 09002

Rue Saint Maurice
Locronan Rue Saint-Maurice

Lavoirs du Finistère, sur la route de St Simon et Moal

Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Locronan

There are a lot of Little Art Galleries and Artisan Boutiques in Locronan. Happy shopping. And leaving out provide for me.

Even Roman Polanski selected Locronan for his famous film Tess with Nastassja Kinski.

Well my friends, that's all for today. But have before a complete list of the best restaurants in and close to Locronan according to TripAdvisor. Enjoy your meal. Au revoir!


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