This stunning little town in Finistère, 5 kilometres from the sea, has earned the Small Town of Character and Most Beautiful Village of France labels, and is also a listed Historic Monument! So that makes three reasons to stop by there and admire its architectural heritage: a 15th-century church featuring a pulpit telling the story of St. Ronan, its founder; some beautiful Renaissance homes made of blue granite; the Chapel of Our Lady of Good News; the St. Eutropius fountain, and more.
Locronan became a weavers' town in the 15th century with the development of sail cloth manufacturing. This industrial past is on display at the Art and History Museum, which also has a collection of Breton paintings from the early 20th century.
Other curiosities include the creative craft shops, including a glass works run by a master glassmaker, an expert in the various glass-blowing techniques.
From Locronan, you can go into the Névet woods, which are ideal for outings and hikes with the family, on foot, horseback or mountain bike.
Visitors may be interested to know that Locronan is a location of choice for film directors: scenes from "Tess," "A Very Long Engagement" and "Chouans!" were filmed there.
Once his car is parked on one of the vast outdoor parking lots, the visitor quickly discovers all the rich heritage of Locronan including the church square, always paved and adorned with a picturesque well with curb.
Dating from the 15th century, then funded by the Dukes of Brittany, the church dedicated to Saint-Ronan is listed as a Historic Monument since 1846. It is flamboyant Gothic style. It is observed that the porch precedes an imposing tower whose arrow, several times touched by the lightning, was suppressed in the 19th century. More than 40 m long, the church houses a 17th century pulpit. It is in the annex built in the early sixteenth century, the chapel of Penity, sober architecture, that is the tomb of the saint.
Former units belonging to the textile factory, mansions or commercial offices also dating from the "industrial" period of the city, all the other buildings of the square with blue granite facade, most of Renaissance style, are also classified and form a real architectural postcard.
We continue the visit of the village by the beautiful chapel Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle (fifteenth, sixteenth and eighteenth) that adjoin a calvary and a fountain. It houses many stone statues and contemporary stained glass windows (1985) inspired by drawings by the painter Alfred Manessier.
Another must-see, fully restored, the Museum of Fine Arts created in 1934 has reopened in autumn 2018. It presents a particularly rich collection of paintings of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries signed by famous artists who stayed or settled in the region where they appreciated the exceptional brightness and the contrasts between land and sea landscapes: Émile Simon, Désiré Lucas, Kamesuke Hiraga, Yvonne Jean Haffen, Henri Le Sidaner... Open every day. Entry: 5 euros. Information on +33 2 98 51 80 80.
Commented tours of Locronan, where many art craftsmen have settled, are offered by the Office Tourism on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 15h in July and August (contact +33 2 98 91 70 14).
Walks are also well designed to apprehend other sites of interest in the locality.
One of them allows to discover the village via cross paths marked out by gardens and alleys less frequented than the main roads or the square... Another leads to the top of Plas ar Hom (the mountain of Locronan in some sort), classified site from which one benefits from magnificent panoramic points of view on the bay of Douarnenez even the peninsula of Crozon.
Finally, a third circuit leads to the Nevet Wood, a vast area of 225 hectares, which the druids had chosen for their cult. The site has given birth to many legends and druidic traditions (sometimes christianized over the centuries) that are still respected and punctuate the calendar of festivities of the city, to the delight of tourists (the "tromenies" of July, for example).
In addition, hiking or mountain biking from the village are proposed and marked out, which allow for many of them to follow the historical sites of the town or to join the coast. Maps and information on +33 2 98 91 70 14.