Last modified: 2005-03-05 by
Keywords: finistere | fouesnant | foen | eagle: double-headed (black) | glenan | sardine |
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by Arnaud Leroy
Fouesnant is a city of c. 8,000 inhabitants, located on the southern coast of Brittany, on the mouth of a small river, thus explaining the origin of the name of the city (Foën, lit., "brook in the valley" in Breton).
Fouesnant is famous for its cider, which received the officially protected name (AOC) of cidre de Cornouaille. The city is also known for its traditional headdresses and costumes, which are still worn during the festivals such as the Fête des Pommiers (Apple Tree Festival) and St. Ann, St. Guénolé and Kerbader's pardons (religious festivals specific to Brittany). Fouesnant has a church built in XIIth century and modified in XVIIIth century. The municipal war memorial was designed by the Breton artist René Quivillic (1879-1969), who sculpted a woman wearing the local headdress.
Fouesnant is the most important sea resort of Finistère, since the municipal territory includes scenic places such as Beg-Meil, Cap Croz, Mousterlin and the Glénan Isles.
Ivan Sache, 4 April 2002
The flag of Fouesnant, as reported by Divy Kervella, is a banner of the traditional arms of the city, dated 1426, and blazoned as:
Sable, a double-headed eagle argent, langued, beaked and clawed gules.
Source: P. Rault. Les drapeaux bretons de 1188 à nos jours [rau98]
Ivan Sache, 20 March 2002
The Glénan archipelago is made of a dozen of islands surrounding a kind of lagoon locally called la Chambre (The Room). The area is protected and hosts an ornithological reserve. An endemic (found only there) narcissus species flowers on the islands for three weeks in mid-April. This flower was described in 1803 by a Breton druggist. Fournier gives several names for the flower: N. reflexus, N. calathinus, N. triander and N. Loiseleuri, whereas Bonnier calls it only N. calathinus.
The islands of Bananec and Grenec host the Centre nautique de Glénan, the biggest yachting school in Europe. Island St. Nicolas hosts an international scubadiving center. Penfret island hosts a lighthouse, and Cigogne island hosts ruins of a XVIIIth century fort and a laboratory of marine biology. In the past, causting soda was produced from wrack on the archipelago.
The Glénan archipelago is located south of Concarneau, which is one of the main centers of sardine canning industry.
Ivan Sache, 4 April 2002
According to Ar Banniel [arb] #18, a short-lived independent Republic of Glénan was proclaimed in August 1926. Ar Banniel shows the flag of the Republic and several proposals in case of an hypothetic restoration of the Republic, without providing historical details.
The flag is white with a blue sardine placed horizontally in the middle of the flag and nearly touching the vertical borders of the flag.
Jaume Ollé, 25 July 2003
Honestly, this story seems very fishy. Jaume mentioned the image shown on was made using a photo of a real sardine, and I am wondering if it not a hoax related to the 1st of April. In France, April fool is called poisson d'avril, and paper fishes are for instance sticked on the back of fooled people, whereas (unfortunately less and less frequently) newspapers, TV and radio stations spread absolutley incredible news.
I am not sure there was any permanent population on Glénan in 1926, except the lighthouse keeper and maybe a few fishers and caustic soda producers. Unless some adventurer decided the islands were his private property, the probability of an independence proclamation seems to be fairly low.
Moreover, it is weird that Ar Banniel did not provide any historical details on the story.
Ivan Sache, 25 July 2003Mostbet