Notre Dame de Penhors, Brittany

It was a beautiful day and we had enjoyed a wonderful walk around Pors Poulhan, but I was keen to see more of the coast and so we used the map to follow small roads further south.

Notre Dame de Penhors was originally built in the 13C, rebuilt in the 15C and enlarged in the 16C. Nowadays it has a Pardon which is one of the most important in the Pays Bigoudena part of Brittany in which the women wear distinctive tall hats on feast days.

bigoudenes women, brittany (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FIL_2009_-_Coiffes_bretonnes_-_bigoud%C3%A8nes_-_cercle_ar_vro_vigoudenn.JPG)
Bigoudenes women, Brittany (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FIL_2009_-_Coiffes_bretonnes_-_bigoud%C3%A8nes_-_cercle_ar_vro_vigoudenn.JPG)

The Triumphal Arch of the church is 16C and unlike the Arches in the Enclos Paroissiaux further north it seemed to be unadorned; the enclosing walls are also very low. The Calvary dates from the same period.

Notre Dame de Penhors

Notre Dame de Penhors

Notre Dame de Penhors

Inside, the building is quite low. I think this is called a pitched roof with a king pin truss, and very different to the vaulted, painted ceilings further north. A curious side aisle has a low, slanted ceiling which is painted blue. The carvings on the granite columns were also curious, quite unlike others I have seen.

Notre Dame de Penhors Notre Dame de Penhors

Notre Dame de Penhors

Notre Dame de Penhors

I found this an altogether curious building which left me wondering about the carvings… And then we found the sea and a wide, flat stretch of sandy beach behind a strange ‘dune’ of rocks. The rock band used to be much wider but has been taken out and used for building – a practice now forbidden. The explanation for how these dunes are built is somewhat complex, but here is an interesting paper which tackles the relationship between weather, climate, and Man.

Bay of Audierne, Palud de TrebanecBay of Audierne, Palud de Trebanec Bay of Audierne, Palud de Trebanec Bay of Audierne, Palud de Trebanec

Further information
Penhors and the coastal area
The waves at Penhors Pouldreuzic
The Bay of Audierne
T
he formation of dunes – fascinating, but a difficult read

 

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