Sunday, March 14, 2010


Locronan is a small and beautifully preserved Breton town about half an hour south of us. During the 15th-17th century it was a thriving commercial center using plants that grew in local abundance to make sails etc., for the English, French and Spanish Navies. Then the town fell on hard times and suffered ‘agony and ruin’ in the 19th century and the town was largely forgotten and passed by. The consequence of all this is the huge medieval mansions in the center of town were never replaced and the area around the town was never developed, leaving this a beautiful pristine example of an authentic medieval Breton town. It’s been used several times as a film location, most memorably for me as the setting of Roman Polanski’s Tess—of course, he couldn’t film it in Britain because from there he could be extradited to the US for the rape charges he faces today. He made the film because his wife Sharon Tate apparently handed him the book (by Thomas Hardy) the last time he saw her and she told him it would make a great movie. Anyway the town is beautiful and I must watch Tess again now I've visited.

Today the town is chockablock with tourist shops and art galleries, a glassblowers and a fantastic chocolatier.  The impressive church is St. Ronan's and house his relics.  I think I saw them but I couldn't identify exactly what they were.

I loved this old wooden door and the wooden carvings of the crucifixion hung crookedly above the door. Another good day out :)

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