Churches and Megaliths

CHURCHES IN FINISTERRE

Brittany’s rural churches are renowned in France for their charming looks. With their quaint and curious embellishments, they have the power to pull you in, even if you’re not religious. Competition between neighbouring parishes was intense, most remarkably around Finistère’s Monts d’Arrée. The region''s only cathedral in the tiny city of SAN POL DE LEON, pictured left, is well worth a visit too. Under some of the seats are little carved gargoyles, surely something to keep you on your toes during mass. The prettiest churches must be at La Roche Maurice and Rumengol; the most ornate at Guimiliau with its 200 figures on the calvary; the most magnificent being the newly restored church at St. Thegonnec; and one of the oldest must be the 14th-16th century church at St. Herbot. Finisterre even boasts a Cistertian Abbey at Le Relecq (5 km from the camping) with an 'Art Nouveau' altar window. You can explore the remains of its cloisters, the two lakes, grand fountain and former moated gardens. The accoustics in the abbey are divine, and are home to regular Breton Concerts. The most remote, and our favourite, is the tiny chapel perched on the top of Montagne St. Michel in the heart of the Monts d’Arrée. This little sanctuary (amazingly still used for worship) is a beautiful outpost at the end of one of the regions finest walks.

MEGALITHS IN FINISTERRE

Brittany is home to the largest collection of megaliths in the world, and Finsiterre's, CAIRN DE BARNANEZ, pictured right, is Europe's largest burial chamber and probably the world's oldest monument. Overlooking the seas, (and some 20 km from the camping) it has a magnificent 75-metre corridor that is estimated to date from 5000 BC. This makes it an incredible 2000 years older than the Egyptian Pyramids. Probably the most famous of the regions megaliths is Carnac, one of the most important centres of European prehistory in existence. Carnac boast the largest gathering of standing stones (3000) in the world. These structures are to this day surrounded by mystery. The menhirs are a stone army according to legend, or perhaps a neolithic expressway. There is an enormous standing stone at Brignongan, taller than the average house. Nearby Sizan is home to a very large burriel chamber in the forest. Plouscat even has them on the beach! They are quite literally dotted all over the place. We even have one on the camping; an ancient tomb; children make dens in it and play house. It is this ancient monalith that gives us such peace at the campsite.