Locronan & Douarnenez
Locronan is a spunky little town! Located in Brittany, 40 km from La Forêt-Fouesnant and 16 km from Quimper. Listed as a historic monument since 1924, Locronan is one of the most prestigious architectural sites in Brittany. Many artisans live there. Located on a beautiful mountain 5 km from the sea, Locronan is the starting point for many hiking and mountain biking trails. This little slice of Brittany has inspired many artists, painters, writers, sculptors and filmmakers, and will inspire you, as well! Locronan is now labeled one of the prestigious petites cités de caractère (spunky little towns) and one of the most beautiful villages in France. You will quickly see why as you walk by the homes that surround the central square and well. Saint Ronan Christianized the area in the 11th century and founded the town. Locronan’s history dates back over 2000 years. It was originally a sacred space in the Celtic religion known as a nemeton.
It then became an important religious center during the Middle Ages, and later manufactured sailcloth for the local naval industry. With all the large fleets at the time, the townspeople became wealthy. They then built beautiful granite houses. The walls remain true to their origin. In the summer, the town is yours to explore as the morning light gilds the old stones. Elegant homes with carved dormers surround the square.
¹The term nemeton is confirmed by ancient scripts written in the Gallic language, either in the Greek or Latin alphabet. It originally meant “sacred wood”, before it came to mean “sanctuary”.
The Saint-Ronan church and Pénit chapel form a single facade, but don’t mix up their gargoyles! The surrounding streets are also lined with charming buildings. To preserve the historic center, no cars are allowed and traditional signs indicate the shops. The bakeries make some impressive Kouign-amann! Le cult of Saint Roman gave rise to a Troménie, a pardon that follows his meditations. The colorful and impressive Grande Troménie takes place every 6 years in July. Banners and blue costumes file down the 12 km of the ancient nemeton.
Pagan activities showcase the unspoiled beauty of the town. Several films have used this unique backdrop: Roman Polanski’s “Tess”, Philippe de Broca’s “Chouans!”, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “A Very Long Engagement”, and more. Filmmakers and spectators alike enjoy this untouched setting, unpolluted with electrical cables, antennas or traffic lights. You will also find a wide selection of cafes, creperies and artisans’ boutiques in the village. Some of the art galleries scattered throughout the town are quite impressive. The Locronan Art and History Museum provides an interesting insight into the town’s history.