Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1980: Megaliths, Parish Closes and Cider - Part 1 Southern Finistère
By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2011
Page 9 of 26: Pont-Croix
Pont-Croix is a small heritage town which hardly merits a mention in the guide books. The Tourist Office provides a lot of information for visitors, including a walk around the town. It is built on a hill above the river Goyen and is dominated by the church.
We followed the heritage walk beginning at the Tourist Office. Behind are the large buildings of a 17thC Ursuline convent which later housed a catholic secondary school. Beyond is the Collegial Church of Notre-Dame-De-Roscuden. This was founded in the 12thC and parts of the original building can still be seen. The large square tower with pinnacles and slender spire can be seen from all over the town. The south porch has an ornately carved dormer above the doorway with similarly carved pinnacles.
Inside there are slender nave pillars and rounded arches. The massive transept pillars support the weight of the tower. There is a small carved gallery at the west end and also a fire place. There was a small side chapel with an altar to St. Nicholas at one end and a font with a carved wood canopy at the other. The side chapel of the Rosary has a decorative painted ceiling. The main altar was carved wood with gilded decoration and it is possible to walk round behind it. There are statues of saints around the church.
We enjoyed the walk round the town. It is built on top of a hill and still has a lot of 16thC granite houses and narrow cobbled streets. Rue des Courtils is surrounded by high stone walls. The narrow Petite rue Cherie drops steeply down to the river. (‘Cherie’ comes from the old French ‘cheyere' meaning to fall, not the modern translation of 'dear'.) It is cobbled and has 16thC stone houses at the top and bottom with high walls between them.
At the bridge there is a footpath which runs along the river to the old port.
We crossed the bridge into Keridreuff, where there are good views up to Pont-Croix. There had been a 16thC water mill on the bridge but this is now a private house. Keridreuff was a small village with many houses belonging to 17thC wealthy merchants. In its time it had been a prosperous centre with weaving, washing soda factory and a cannery. Now it is part of Pont-Croix.
Back over the bridge we climbed up Grande rue Cherie to the town. This is also cobbled but wider than Petite rue Cherie and lined with some splendid old houses.
Plas de la Republic in the centre of the town is lined with newer and larger stone houses and has heavily pollarded plane trees. This is used as a car park except on Thursdays when the market is held in the square. The Hotel de Ville is a splendid white building with a small clock tower on one side of the square.
We enjoyed Pont-Croix, it is a delightful place. It gets few tourists and is still unspoilt.
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