Lesneven and Le Folgoët
Lesneven and Le Folgoët
Le Folgoët Basilica, an architectural gem
The basilica is not only famous for the religious fervour and the legend that surround it.
The building itself is also a lovely architectural complex. The Gothic church built in the flamboyant style was the idea of Jean IV, Duke of Brittany, and was completed under the reign of his son Jean V in 1453. Anne of Brittany visited it on multiple occasions, which further enhanced its popularity. Although it was the victim of fires and damage during the French Revolution, it still managed to preserve its incredible rood screen made of delicately chiselled stones from Kersanton.
Outside, don’t forget to take a look at the amazing fountain, whose source is under the basilica’s high altar.
« Salaün Ar Foll »
This character, and the words he is said to have repeated continuously throughout his life, “Ave Maria”, still resonate here. After the miracles said to have taken place following his death, the place became a major pilgrimage destination. His story inspired artists to create an installation in the orchard for Les Ribin’ de l’Imaginaire 2020 (see p. 15).
Even now, more than 20,000 pilgrims come here each year, the first weekend in September, for the Pardon, a shared time where piety and belief are mixed with a touch of folklore, as people bring out their banners and costumes.
His story inspired artists for a contemporary art installation - information here (french).
A bit of history
Lesneven was a military capital in the Middle Ages and then later, the administrative and judicial capital of the Diocese of Léon, and is now a town of academics and commerce.
Known as the “town of three flowers”, acknowledging its pleasant quality of life and environment, Lesneven is great to explore along its granite coloured streets lined with ancient houses. A focal point at the centre of the Côte des Légendes, it offers a multitude of local services and a wide selection of businesses.
Many boutiques liven up the town all year long.
Build in stages beginning in 1720, the old Ursuline Convent has seen its share of history! It served in turn as annexe to the maritime hospital in Brest and then as a school for girls…
And there is only one surviving witness: the wisteria. Tucked away in the cloister, this old girl is now more than 150 years old and is fit as a fiddle. In fact, this is the longest wisteria in Europe on a single stem!
Le musée du Léon
This museum presents the “Léon country” in a fun and educational way, from the prehistoric era to the present. Learn all about local history and economic development.
It features temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
► July and August : Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 12:30 am and from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, saturday and holidays from 9:30 am to 12:30 am
► All year : Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 12:30 am and from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm. Closed the Tuesday morning.
► Adults : €3 - Free : - 14 y/o
+33 (0)2 29 61 13 60
Have a blast with Léon
This character will take you on an exploration of the town of Lesneven, whose streets are packed with ancient houses. Solve riddles and find the town’s star attractions.
Touchscreen tablets are available from the Lesneven Tourist Information Bureau, or download the app to your smartphone. Ages 7 and up. Length: 1½ hrs.
Free game that starts from the Lesneven Tourist Information Bureau
Inaugurated in 1968, this site in Ploudaniel (as you exit Lesneven) is unique in Brittany. It holds the graves of 5,835 soldiers who died in Finistère and Côtes-d’Armor in the last world war.
Whether you take a guided tour or explore it on your own, you will undoubtedly be struck by the soberness and tranquillity of this place for quiet reflection.
Every Monday, a crowd from across the region gravitates to and takes over Place Le Flo and the adjoining squares. The town becomes a preferred place for strolling, meeting up, reconnecting and, above, for “good deals”! So, why not settle in at a sidewalk café to prolong your enjoyment of this friendly atmosphere?
In the summertime, there are more than 120 shops, and the delicious smells of rotisseries and other prepared meals will compel you to give in!
To the delight of young and old alike, the small animals market sets up on Place du Pont. How can anyone not be moved at the sight of these living cuddly toys, so easily within arm’s reach for a pet!
This great eclectic and colourful jumble has been a fixture since the Middle Ages and remains one of the biggest events in Finistère.