Discover our history
The richness of its historical, architectural, maritime and natural heritage makes Le Croisic a city to discover or rediscover
Art historian and attaché for the Heritage Conservatory
When do the first traces of mankind go back to our peninsula?
Traces of human presence date back to the Upper Paleolithic with a site discovered in the 1980s on the coast near the Vigie de la Romaine. The Pierre Longue menhir also evokes the Neolithic era.
The port experienced a period of great prosperity, how far does this go back and what were the “materials / products” marketed?
The prosperity of Le Croisic began in the 14th century and was at its peak between the 15th and the middle of the 17th century. This economic dynamism is mainly linked to the export of salt but also to cod fishing. The city also redistributes the goods brought from all over Northern Europe by merchant ships.
Do the cruise ships' houses have a particularity?
These residences are distinguished from the 16th century by large independent staircase towers but also by facades in granite freestone and with the use of tufa from Anjou. The city adopts an architecture inspired as much from Brittany as from the Loire Valley thanks to trade.
Le Croisic was also a seaside resort, can you tell us more?
The first seaside resorts were established where there was already a small town to accommodate tourists. From the 1820s, Le Croisic was a seaside resort even if the facilities were still modest and the access difficult. The construction of the jetty at the entrance to the port in 1840 favored the creation of a bathhouse in Saint-Goustan which would become the main holiday resort in the region in the 1860s. On the other hand, the arrival of the Chemin de iron in 1879 will be detrimental to the appeal of Le Croisic, which will soon come up against more recent and better equipped resorts such as La Baule, Pornichet or Le Pouliguen. The city is moving towards more medical and family tourism with 2 sanatoriums, family pensions and soon summer camps and campsites.
Le Croisic, Breton?
Le Croisic has been a Breton city from the start, as its historical coat of arms reminds us, its architecture and traditions are strongly inspired by the nearby Morbihan. Relations were very close with the Dukes of Brittany to whom the city directly reported. The migrations of populations from Finistère at the beginning of the 20th century linked to sardine fishing only confirmed these Breton roots.
The scientific and artistic Croisic?
Several scholars have lived or frequented Le Croisic. The most famous is of course Pierre Bouguer (1698-1758), hydrographer and talented astronomer who has his statue in front of the old auction house. At the beginning of the 20th century, a marine biology laboratory hosted many scientists who were interested in the local marine environment and its riches. On the artistic level, without comparing itself to the schools of Pont-Aven, Douarnenez or Concarneau, Le Croisic has attracted many visiting artists who have represented the peninsula on canvas since the 19th century. We can name the best known such as Charles Jacque, Eugène Boudin, Signac, Maufra, Le Sidaner but also of course Puigaudeau and Laboureur. A circle of painters allow visitors to discover many of them on the port and on the coast.
According to you, the perfect route to discover the Croisicais heritage in 1 day?
Discover the ancient city by following the quays between Mount Esprit and Mount Lénigo without forgetting to take the perpendicular alleys which lead to the church and to the town hall, then embark on a "tour of the coast" along the coast from Saint-Goustan to Port-Lin (recommended stops at Pointe du Croisic on the hiking trails or in the park of Penn Avel).
Le Croisic offers you its history
Let yourself be charmed by its elegant facades, its lively streets and quays, the rustling of its shaded mounts and parks and the vigor of its sea air.
Discovery of the old town
This walk takes you to discover the old quarters of Le Croisic, witnesses of the city's rich commercial past, focused on the export of Guérande salt. From the medieval quarter huddled around the church to the alignment of shipowners' houses on the granite quays, historical memories and anecdotes will punctuate this stroll, while also evoking the development of sardine fishing in the XIXth century or the boom in sea bathing at the same time. An open book on a glorious past brought to light today.
Walk on the traict
Le Traict (ocean inlet) du Croisic is a remarkable natural site where shellfish farming has developed over the past hundred years, first oysters and today cockles and clams. This stroll invites you to walk for nearly 2 hours on this great sandy desert at low tide to discover the shellfish farming activity but also the rich history of this site which once served as a link between Le Croisic and the Guerandais country. An immersion in the middle of nature, birds and shellfish parks that will leave a lasting memory to the participants. Due to the tides, the times of these visits are variable.
Maison du patrimoine
The Maison du patrimoine opens its doors for the sixth year. The place is run by the heritage protection association the "Société des Amis du Croisic", in partnership with the town of Le Croisic, which makes these premises available. This former gardener's house, located north of Penn Avel Park, has been completely restored by the town, as well as the area surrounding the site.
Maison du Sauvetage
The SNSM du Croisic opened the Maison du Sauvetage, in the old auction house on the port, where a collection of old objects is exhibited, some of which were used during the time of the HSB (Hospitaliers Sauveteurs Bretons).
Old objects which are the memory of an era, accumulated over time by enthusiasts of the sea. Some presentations of current equipment show us the evolution of sea rescue for 150 years, first with the SCNS and the HSB, which will become today's SNSM. The history of the Croisic Station is told there through permanent videos. Remarkable pieces have come to enrich its collections.
The Galerie Chapleau is the former 17th century hospital in Le Croisic
Bought by the painter Eugène Jean Chapleau at the start of the 20th century, it became his place of work and residence.
The parcel was bequeathed in 1996 by his widow. Rehabilitated in 2015, the property hosts temporary exhibitions from April to September.
Windmill of Providence
Le Croisic once had more than a dozen windmills spread over the high points of the peninsula and mainly in the district known as "des Moulins" (current sector of the water tower). These mills almost all disappeared with the development of flour mills and the arrival of the railway. Two mills remain today, one moved to the coast opposite Penn Avel Park, and the other, the mill of Providence, preserved in its original location in the same park. The old windmill had in fact been bought by the owner of the park, Mr. Levesque, and incorporated into the property at the beginning of the 1841th century. It was now used as a shed. This windmill called Providence was built in XNUMX by the miller Jean Baholet, it is one of the last mills built in Le Croisic. It is of the tower-mill type, different from the small-foot or wasp-waist mills, which are more generally found in the region. It is, however, a model with canvas wings which was not subsequently modernized with Berton-type mechanical wings.