LE CONQUET

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 The town of le Conquet stands at the western extremity of the continent on the Atlantic Ocean facing the islands of Ushant (Ouessant) and Molène.


 
Its history

  Le Conquet (Poulconquet in 1398) owes its prosperity to its harbour which is situated in the bay of Poulconq. According to reference documents, Conq, in Breton, can mean cove, safe haven or bay.
   Its strategic position has given it a prominent role in the maritime history of the area. It was subjected to numerous sieges by the English (in 1313, 1403, 1512). In 1373, the English succeeded in establishing a garrison in Le Conquet for a short period.  In 1558, the town was pillaged and burnt. Only 8 houses were left standing. These are still visible, the most famous being la maison des seigneurs , situated on the Quai du Drellach in the old harbour.
Historically, Le Conquet formed part of the parish of Lochrist whose origins may be traced back to the Templars or Hospitallers of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. Its church was built at a central point between Plougonvelin and the port (of Le Conquet). Lochrist was incorporated into Plougonvelin.
Le Conquet became  a fully-fledged commune in 1790 with the Revolution and then a separate parish in 1857. The ancient parish church was demolished and reconstructed in the town centre between 1855-58 using the original stones from Lochrist, .  (for info) site : info Bretagne

The cemetery, left on its original site of Lochrist, contains the tomb of Jean-François LE GONIDEC (1775-1838), a local man who gave written form to the Breton language. He published a French-Breton dictionary in1821. For more information  see website :-recherches.historiques-leconquet de JP CLOCHON
Over the last century Le Conquet has declined as a port but its maritime heritage still exists in its fishing fleet. Besides fishing, tourism is the other major economic activity. There was once an important industry centred around the harvesting and processing of seaweed. The buildings of the old iodine factory in Poulconq (see photograph opposite taken in 1975) are being renovated.


Today
The town has a population of 2635 people. Neighbouring communes include Plougonvelin, Saint-Renan,  and Plouzané. Brest, the most important town in the department, is 25 kms away.
The pretty little seaside town of Le Conquet attracts many visitors thanks to its maritime natural park (le parc naturel marin d'Iroise created in 2007 which is the first of its kind in France), its historical landmarks and its access to the offshore islands. Le Conquet is a very lively place with a variety of shops which are open every day of the week, even on Sundays, all year round.
  A unique natural environment which includes:
  •  fine coastal paths,
  • 7 islands in the Molène archipelago,
  • 2 lighthouses: Kermorvan built in 1849 and les Pierres noires, standing 35m high on an isolated rock opposite Saint Mathieu,
  •  The 15m high signal light in Lochrist which was built in 1921,
  • An aber- Poulconq - a natural conservation area of specific interest, rich in protected flora and fauna.
An economy based on a variety of activities including agriculture but mainly centred on the sea:
  • its dynamic shopping centre includes a significant number of seafood restaurants,
  • its harbour is the point of departure for daily crossings to Molène and Ushant (100 000 passangers sailed from  Le Conquet in 2011),
  • its fishing port (with a fleet of 30 professional fishing vessels specialising in shellfish and noble fish such as turbot, bass, pollack, brill and monkfish, :
  • its yachting harbour (176 anchorages in the dredged outer zone and about 100 in the old port).


Picturesque Seaside Resort

Le Conquet boasts 7 beaches!  The largest, Les Blancs Sablons, is 2.5 kms long. Since 2010, the award of the European Blue Flag bears witness to the excellent quality of the sea-bathing available.




More Pictures

A signposted town trail brings to life Le Conquet's special identity and history.

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