Saint-Gildas-des-Bois

A farm school

The farm school in St Gildas was created in 1849 as an institution for the sons of local peasants to teach them the trades of farming and breeding.
A chapel was also built on the spot to spare the pupils a long walk to go to church. In 1876 the farm was sold to a religious institution from Ploermel who took great care of the chapel. In 1905 the farm was turned into a dairy while the chapel became a barn for straw. The site was abandoned in 1973. The town bought the farm in 1990 and turned it into a school for construction workers hosting some 50 pupils each year. Through the years, students and teachers restored the farm and preserved the chapel which was equipped with a belfry in 2008  and by a slate-roofed spire a year later.

Web sites

Chapel of the farm school - © Ville de Saint-Gildas-Les-Boisfarm school after the storm - © Ville de Saint-Gildas-Les-Bois
No previous stage
Population: 3,400
Chef-lieu de canton of Loire-Atlantique (44)
Specialities: cheese (saint-gildas-des-bois), pancakes and cider.
Economy: agriculture, upholstery.
Sport: Tour Bretagne – Loire Atlatnique espoirs.
Celebrities: Andre Trillard (politician), Philippe Gildas.
Festivals: Comics Festival (March), Franco-American chamber music meetings (August)

Timeline

  • 6th century

    Establishment of the church of Lampridic, the first name of the village.
  • 1026

    Foundation of the abbey of Saint-Gildas-des-Bois by Simon de la Roche and monks from Saint-Sauveur of Redon.
  • 12th century

    Construction of the abbatial church.
  • 1595

    Plague epidemic in Saint-Gildas.
  • 1790

    The abbey is sold by the Revolutionary and left unattended.
  • 1828

    Father Gabriel Deshayes buys back the abbey buildings and creates a religious order, the Religious Sisters of Christian Education.
  • 1944

    Saint-Gildas is in the Festung St Nazaire and remains occupied by the Germans until May 11, 1945.
  • 1966

    The restoration of the abbatial church is completed.
  • 1994

    Saint-Gildas abbatial becomes the third church of the Loire-Atlantique department to be list as a Historic Monument.
  • 2007

    Installation of new stained glass windows in the church.
Abbey of Saint-Gildas-des-Bois - © Jibi44Abbatial church – © Ville de Saint-Gildas-Les-BoisNew stained-glass windows of Abbatial church -© Ville de Saint-Gildas-Les-Bois
No previous stage
Population: 3,400
Chef-lieu de canton of Loire-Atlantique (44)
Specialities: cheese (saint-gildas-des-bois), pancakes and cider.
Economy: agriculture, upholstery.
Sport: Tour Bretagne – Loire Atlatnique espoirs.
Celebrities: Andre Trillard (politician), Philippe Gildas.
Festivals: Comics Festival (March), Franco-American chamber music meetings (August)

Web sites

Saint-Gildas-des-Bois and cycling

Saint-Gildas-des-Bois never hosted a Tour de France stage but still has some expertise in the field of sprinters. In 2001, the town saw the peloton head towards nearby Redon for a bunch sprint won by Tyler Farrar.  A year before, the St Gildas stage of the Tour of Brittany was won by a then little known German sprinter named John Degenkolb. St Gildas also host every year the Under-23 Loire-Atlantique race won in 2010 by another fast man, 2012 French champion Nacer Bouhanni.

Romain Delalot, Saint-Gildas-Des-Bois/Saint-Gildas-Des-Bois, Loire Atlantique Espoirs - © Presse Sports
No previous stage
Population: 3,400
Chef-lieu de canton of Loire-Atlantique (44)
Specialities: cheese (saint-gildas-des-bois), pancakes and cider.
Economy: agriculture, upholstery.
Sport: Tour Bretagne – Loire Atlatnique espoirs.
Celebrities: Andre Trillard (politician), Philippe Gildas.
Festivals: Comics Festival (March), Franco-American chamber music meetings (August)

Web sites

Places to see

Abbatial church:

The abbey of  Saint-Gildas-des-Bois was built in the early 11th century when the abbot of St Gildas de Rhuys decides to evangelise the southern part of Brittany. Relics of St Gildas were brought to the new monastery at the time and remained in the church until the Revolution when they were lost. Thought to cure mental diseases, the relics attracted many pilgrims, forcing the monks to build a larger church. In the mid-12t century, the new church was built and remains remarkable for its unity of style. It is for instance made of “roussard”, a local sandstone rusting in humidity. Its stained glass windows, conceived by Pascal Convert and installed in 2007 contributed to the renown of the church. The buildings of the old abbey are still occupied by Religious Sisters of Christian Education, an order also known as the St Gildas sisters.

Abbatial church - © Ville de Saint-Gildas-Les-BoisAbbatial church - © Ville de Saint-Gildas-Les-Bois
No previous stage
Population: 3,400
Chef-lieu de canton of Loire-Atlantique (44)
Specialities: cheese (saint-gildas-des-bois), pancakes and cider.
Economy: agriculture, upholstery.
Sport: Tour Bretagne – Loire Atlatnique espoirs.
Celebrities: Andre Trillard (politician), Philippe Gildas.
Festivals: Comics Festival (March), Franco-American chamber music meetings (August)

Web sites

Stained glass in the abbatial

Badly damaged in 1944 by two bombings, the church of St Gildas des Bois, by lack of funds, had been unable to recover the whole of its stained glass windows. In 2003, a committee was formed by the municipality for the 12th century church to be equipped with brand new windows worthy of its long history. It regrouped local political and religious authorities as well as writer Jean Rouaud, who lives in the area. After a two years survey it was decided to ask Pascal Convert, who built the Mont Valerien memorial near Paris; to conceive the new windows. Convert remained faithful to his technique to turn figurines or photographs into crystal. In the Middle Ages, St Gildas was invoked to help cure mental diseases and the sculptor used pictures of mentally handicapped children taken in the XIXth century in the mental institution of Charcot in La Salpetriere hospital in Paris. The pictures were first turned into bas-reliefs by sculptor Claus Velte before being transformed into glass structures by glass sculptors Dominique Fleury and Olivier Juteau. The effect is startling as each of the fourteen children keep gazing at the visitors with a deeply moving insistence. The works ended in 2007 and cost 300,000 euros funded by all local authorities, the state and private sponsors.

stained glass - © Ville de Saint-Gildas-Les-Boisstained glass - © Ville de Saint-Gildas-Les-Boisstained glass - © Ville de Saint-Gildas-Les-Bois
No previous stage
Population: 3,400
Chef-lieu de canton of Loire-Atlantique (44)
Specialities: cheese (saint-gildas-des-bois), pancakes and cider.
Economy: agriculture, upholstery.
Sport: Tour Bretagne – Loire Atlatnique espoirs.
Celebrities: Andre Trillard (politician), Philippe Gildas.
Festivals: Comics Festival (March), Franco-American chamber music meetings (August)

Web sites

Jersey wearers after the stage 14

Classifications after the stage 14

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