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The Ponant Museum

( Municipality of Saint-Renan )

GPS : 48°25'56.4 N  4°37'23.6 W

   Access :   The Musée du Ponant is located in the centre of St-Renan, at 16 St Mathieu street, at the top of the Place du Vieux Marché.
Open Tuesday to Friday, 9:30am to 12pm and Saturday, 10am to 12pm and 2:30pm to 5:30pm.
Admission 2 euros, free for students and under-18s, as well as for disabled people and their companions.
Groups of up to 9 people are welcome all year round by appointment:
Parking: in front of the neighbouring cinema.

   Established since 1981 in an 18th century bourgeois house, the Musée du Ponant is the result of the work of volunteers from the Musée du Ponant association, whose aim is to preserve and present to the public the heritage elements of the Bas-Léon. In its six exhibition rooms, you can discover the furniture characteristic of the Leonard interiors of the 1900s, as well as traditional costumes and headdresses, not to mention the tools of the past trades.

Jeanne Le Bihan, 1914-1985, founder of the museum.

From the entrance, the visitor is welcomed by an exceptional Gallic stele whose enigmatic engravings evoke the possible presence of a chariot tomb in Brélès.

See our page dedicated to the  stèle de Brélès.

Then it's the restoration of a 1950s coffee-grocer's shop :

The largest room in the museum then displays the city's past and a video shows its Saturday market at the same time.

A long showcase displays the traditional costumes of the region

One of the first straight shuttle sewing machines

The accessories of the former city guard and
objects from the prison located not far from the museum.

Then we discover a Leonard interior of yesteryear with its closed bed, its dresser, its kneeding table around a huge fireplace.

A corner of the room brings together the dairy elements

The reconstruction of an early twentieth-century classroom always intrigues young audiences. The blackboard shows a statement of a calculation problem given in 1912 on the examination test of the primary school certificate :

  In the past, schoolchildren easily solved this problem by simple arithmetic reasoning and multiplication or division that they laboriously did on paper.
Would you be able, today, with the calculator of your cell phone, to find the solution? *

    The Ponant Museum is also a museum of local history that presents exhibitions on the highlights that have marked the inhabitants of the Iroise region since immemorial time. From 1960 to 1975, COMIREN's extraction of cassiterite, the tin ore used to make bronze, which was already the reputation of the region in antiquity, is shown and told in a video.

    The last room is dedicated to temporary exhibitions. It evokes in 2020 various elements of Leon's religious past.

An interactive montage briefly tells the visitor
legends relating to the many saints venerated in the Iroise Country

Baptism and solemn communion

    This museum of popular arts and traditions complements our website admirably : before or after having discovered one by one the elements of the heritage on the spot, the visitor becomes aware in a short time of what shaped the today's Iroise Country. Through carefully preserved objects and modern videos, the memory of an endearing region is exposed, emerging from oblivion a not so distant past that the younger generations may discover with astonishment, but certainly with pleasure, and will have no trouble remembering.

* The solution to the problem: 31.2 kg of butter.

Visit the website of the Ponant Museum :

Yannick Loukianoff


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