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At first glance, Locronan France charms.
Perhaps it is the abundance of violet and pink hydrangeas backed by classic Breton stone houses.
Or maybe it’s the square bell tower of the Church of Saint-Ronan beckoning from the end of a cobbled street.
Possibly it is Locronan’s quaint main square framed by ancient granite buildings, each architectural detail telling stories and encouraging curiosity.
Perhaps Locronan’s charm is the invitation to the traveller passing through to pause and step into a time gone by.
It is no surprise that Locronan France is designated as one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France, the most beautiful villages in France.
Discovered on a road trip through the Finistère department of Brittany, Locronan France is located about 15 km west of Quimper and 10 km east of Douarnenez. Locronan France is tranquil, charming and the perfect place to flâner. When you flâner in Locronan, or aimlessly roam around observing life, you never know which moments will make a lasting impression.
For me, the delightful essence of village life in Locronan France will forever be the gentle dog protecting the cemetery, the watercolour class in Place de l’Eglise, and the enchanting chapel tucked away on a tiny street.
What will you discover in Locronan France?
Locronan France: The Legend of Saint Ronan
The village Locronan, which literally means the place of Ronan, is named after the Irish saint, pilgrim and hermit Ronan. The legend recounts that Saint Ronan left Ireland and came to the Nevet forest near Locronan. He had many faithful followers but was also accused of wicked deeds. On the orders of the king, he was thrown before some wild and ravenous dogs. Instead of devouring him, the dogs lay at Saint Ronan’s feet. When Saint Ronan was accused of killing a child, he found her in the accuser’s house and brought her back to life.
And so the legend goes that the king and people threw themselves at Saint Ronan’s feet begging for pardon. Saint Ronan returned to his life as a hermit living in the forest near Locronan.
Place de l’Eglise In Locronan France
Place de l’Eglise, the main cobblestone square of Locronan, is the perfect place to observe life. Stand by the well in the centre and take in all the square has to offer: the ancient houses, the church façade and towers, typical French cafés, artisanal boutiques, crêperies, and on this day a watercolour class. Men and women sit with their sketching pads capturing the timely charm of this square while their instructor in his straw hat surveys and offers advice.
Locronan France: The Church Of Saint-Ronan
The tolling bell calls you to enter the Church Of Saint-Ronan which dates from the 15th century. Its blue and white tiled floor, vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows are immediately calming and impressive. The stained glass window behind the altar hails from around 1480 and depicts the Passion of Christ.
For centuries, this has been the centre of life in Locronan France, in fact, a church has been in this exact spot since 1031. With the help of the ducs de Bretagne, the current Church of Saint-Ronan was built between 1420 and 1480.
At the side of the church is the Penity Chapel which contains the tomb of Saint Ronan surrounded by six angels. Note the spectacular stained glass windows which show family crests reminding us of which families donated to the building of the chapel.
Wander behind the church into the graveyard where views of the church, the delicate soaring spire of the Penity Chapel, gravestones, flowers, and the local dog will hold your attention for longer than you expected.
Chapelle de Notre-Dame de Bonne Nouvelle
Stroll down the charming cobblestone street, rue Moal, to discover the small late 15th-century Chapelle de Notre-Dame de Bonne Nouvelle. Who wouldn’t like to spend a few minutes in a chapel called Our Lady of Good News? Framed by hydrangeas, and with its bell tower, calvary and a fountain dating from 1698, this chapel in Locronan is a delightful discovery.
La Grande Troménie In Locronan France
What is La Grande Troménie? La Grande Troménie is a Breton form of pardon and a pilgrimage. It is one of the most traditional demonstrations of Catholicism in Brittany. La Grande Troménie in Locronan takes place every six years between the second and third Sundays in July inviting faithful pilgrims on a 12-kilometre pilgrimage route following the path through the countryside that Saint Ronan followed. The pilgrimage is completed in silence.
La Grande Troménie in Locronan where locals dress in magnificent traditional Breton costumes and carry heavy silver crosses and banners embroidered in silk and gold is one of the most authentic pardons in Brittany.
The next Grande Troménie in Locronan takes place in 2025.
Every year the Small Troménie, a 6-km pilgrimage, takes place on the second Sunday of July.
Crêpes And Cider in Locronan France
In Brittany France, you find crêperies on every corner. Locronan is no different! For those of us who love crêpes, well, it’s like a dream come true! I love galettes, buckwheat flour savoury crêpes. Galettes are perfect for anyone that is travelling in Brittany and gluten-free.
Find a little outdoor table and order a classic galette with Emmenthal cheese, ham and an egg. Pair it with a cold cup of dry Breton cider and voilà – you have the perfect Breton lunch.
Locronan France: Fun Fact
Locronan France has been used as a location in several films. You may recognize the village from Tess by Roman Polanski in 1979. In 2003, Locronan was used in the filming of Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement), a romantic war drama. The film was nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography at the 77th Academy Awards.
I hope you get the opportunity to visit Locronan France and enjoy it as much as I did.
Until next time,
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