The Community of Communes of the Pays d'Iroise, which is now called Pays d'Iroise Communauté ( PIC ), is one of the oldest in Brittany. It was created in 1992 by the transformation of the Syndicat Intercommunal à Vocations Multiples (SIVOM) of St-Renan, which had already brought together 11 communes since 1989.
In 1994, the municipality of Ile-Molène also joined it. Then in 1997, the dissolution of the SIVOM of Ploudalmézeau led to the accession of 8 new municipalities. In 2016 two of them decided to merge.
At present, Iroise Communauté has 48630 inhabitants on a territory of 317 km2, that is 153 inhabitants per km2. For six years its population has increased by 3.6 % ce which makes it, after the Pays fouesnantais, the 2nd territory of Finistère whose demography has increased the most.
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Brélès, Brelez in Breton, means plateau where justice is done. One thinks, of course, of the columns of justice near the castle of Kergroadez, but the name of the village is much older and could, according to Fréminville, refer to a feudal mound that has disappeared today, named Castel-Mériadec, near the Aber Ildut river. Plourin's parish part under the Ancien Régime, Brélès became a commune during the Revolution.
Known for its old houses, castles and manor houses as well as the triumphal arch giving access to its church, Brélès has added some modernity under the form of a granite statue, the Brélès Lady, as well as the organization of a great Breton wedding, every year, on August 15th.
Today, on its 14 km2, it is an agricultural commune of 861 inhabitants which turns more and more towards tourism and the development of its rich heritage.
The Brélès engraved stele in the Ponant Museum
The Bel Air manor
The Kergroadez castle (link)
Notre Dame Church
The Pampas grass
Known since prehistoric times, this neighbouring island of Ushant probably takes its name from the Breton word moul-enez, the island in the shape of a rounded hill (moul = millstone). Formerly an outbuilding of St-Mathieu abbey, it has always lived seafood thanks to its small sheltered fishing port and its merchant seamen who have sailed on all the seas of the world. When an English liner sank in 1896 in the Fromveur Current, its inhabitants rescued the survivors and earned England's recognition for the care they had given to the many bodies washed up on their coast. Knowing their shortage of fresh water, Queen Victoria offered them a cistern fed by an impluvium.
In 2022, there are 160 Molenese on an island of 0.75 km2.
The « Drummond Castle » Museum in Molène
The House of Environment in Molène
St-Ronan church in Molène ( link )
The precious water of Molène
The sea fennel
The great dolphin of the Iroise sea
Seaweed from the Iroise Sea
The grey seals of the Iroise Sea
The goose barnacle and the goose neck barnacles
Lampaul-Plouarzel owes its name to Saint Pol-Aurélien, a Welsh monk who later became bishop of Leon, who would have landed on Armoric shores in the VIe century and founded a monastery later destroyed by the Vikings. Thanks to its naturally sheltered port, Lampaul-Plouarzel has always used gabarres to carry out a cabotage trade. It is nowadays a commune of 2145 inhabitants, the most dense of the Pays d'Iroise with an area of only 4 km2.
Porspaul's orientation table
Seaweed kilns, or coastal soda pits
Saint Egarec Chapel
Saint Paul-Aurélien church
Lampaul-Plouarzel, a coastal town with a natural port, has seen Mediterranean ships pass through since ancient times. In 1959, a massaliote gold coin from the IVe century BC was found among the seaweeds on its shore. It could have come from the Pythéas expedition. See the document, column opposite. Like Lampaul-Plouarzel above and Lampaul in Ouessant, the town owes its name to the monk Saint Pol-Aurélien who built a monastery in the VIe century on the site of the current church. The territory became a parish in its own right in the Middle Ages, after being a Ploudalmézeau parish part. Mainly farmers, the Lampolais are 821 in 2022 on a surface of 6 km2.
The dolmen of the Ribl
The Gallic stele of Croas Men
Saint-Pol Aurélien Church
The marram gras, fixator of the sands
The seaweeds at the lower part of the foreshore
The gold currency known as Pytheas' stater
Document: Pytheas the Massaliot
Landunvez is a mainly agricultural community with a population of 1486 in 2022 and a surface area of 13.5 km2.
Although its main activity is focused on cattle and pig farming, the commune has an old castle and a magnificent coastline, a real jewel of the Iroise Country, which is well known by hikers and water sports enthusiasts alike. On stormy days, the curious who love thrills flock to the spectacle of a wild coast assaulted by the waves. Every summer, commented walks, a sea festival and concerts are organised for an audience increasingly attached to its charm.
In Landunvez, the associations that defend your heritage are
" SOS Trémazan ".
Discover its website : SOS Trémazan
as well as the "Association for the Safeguard of the Chapels of Landunvez".
website : Association pour la Sauvegarde des Chapelles de Landunvez
Sentinels of the wild coast
The buried dolmen of Saint Gonvel
The great menhir of St-Gonvarc'h
The engraved stele of the St-Gonvel chapel
The lying stele of the Sainte-Haude fountain
The Saint Haude fountain
The Potatoes Train Viaduct
The Potatoes Train
The Argenton sundial
The castle of Trémazan
Notre-Dame de Kersaint Chapel
Saint Samson Chapel
The tourist road of the Wild Coast
The Canons' House
The peninsula of the Fishpond
The former semaphore of Kerhoazoc
The old Argenton battery
With a well sheltered estuary port, Lanildut has always been oriented towards the sea. Its name comes from that of Saint Ildut, who, in the Ve century, founded a hermitage near the shore. Many small shipowners, or boat owners, have had their beautiful homes built in the parish. Very active, the port of Lanildut has specialised in the harvesting of seaweed near the Molène archipelago. It has thus become the leading seaweeds port in Europe and supplies several plants producing gelling agents for food or cosmetics. In 2022, the commune has 957 inhabitants on its 5.8 km2.
The Lanildut sundial
The obelisk of Lanildut
The Lanildut Coastal Battery
The Aber-Ildut viewpoint
The Seaweed House
Seaweeds lower than the foreshore
'Eeum ha kalonek' = Straight and brave
Lanrivoaré is the seat of the Community of Communes of the Pays d'Iroise, and was once a simple truce of Plourin. Lanrivoaré, which covers an area of 15 km2, is an agricultural commune of 1460 inhabitants, close to St-Renan. Here a legend places the martyrdom of 7777 saints during the Ve century. Lan Rivoaré ( the monastery of Rivoaré) comes from the name of a hermit whose life could be linked to this legend, probably remembering a later massacre of the population during the Viking incursion of 919.
The sundial of Lanrivoaré
The Cemetery of the Saints
The engraved stele of the Cemetery of Saints
Already in the Middle Ages, man did not say the village but the town of Le Conquet. Occupied since prehistoric times, this port at the end of the world was a shelter on maritime routes and a nest of commercial ships owners. The Normans and then the English devastated him several times. Inland, the village of Lochrist still bears witness to the time when, simply as a part in the parish of Plougonvelin, the historic centre of Le Conquet was located away from the sea. As demographic pressure changed, the Lochrist church was dismantled stone by stone in 1856 to be transferred to its present location.
This is how Anatole Le Braz described Le Conquet in his book Le gardien du feu written in 1899 :
Le Conquet, the pearl of Breton ports, a veritable marine hive, buzzing like a conch, with its terraced quays, the four hundred sails of its fishing fleet, its almost seigneurial houses, built in the opulent ages of the buccaneers, its noisy and colourful population, a mixture of all the types and bloods of Brittany.
Today it is still a small and active town with 2750 inhabitants in 2022. Active because of its pretty fishing port, mainly oriented towards crustaceans : edible crabs, lobsters and rock lobsters. But also because of tourism : the old boatsmen's houses, the ria populated by birds, the pier for the islands, the Iroise Marine Natural Park, the long Blancs Sablons beach, the magnificent coastal paths attract a large public. The commune, which owns the Kermorvan peninsula and eight islands of the Molène archipelago, now extends over 8.5 km2.
At Le Conquet, the association that defends your heritage is
Discover its website: Aspect
The last menhirs of Kermorvan
The ria of Le Conquet
The birds of the Conquet estuary
An exhibition of the Iroise Marine Natural Park
The lavoirs of Le Conquet
The house of the Golden Lion
The house of Lords
The lighthouse of Kermorvan
The Lochrist light
The English House
The sundial of the town hall
The Poncelin Street Pump
The Holy Cross Church
Dom Michel Chapel
The chapel Saint-Michel
or of the Guardian Angel
The Bilou sentry box
An invasive flora
Three Cornered Leek
The flora to protect
The Jean Hobé promenade
The sea cave of Portez
The tip of Kermorvan
This former Plouzané parish part has been occupied by humans since prehistoric times, as shown by the old Kereven alignment. Many Christianized Gallic stelae show that this occupation has continued. It became a commune during the Revolution and its former name of Locmaria-Lanvénec was changed, but its 5092 inhabitants still bear the name of Lanvénecois. It was from its shore that the first French transatlantic cable was launched in 1869. Nearborough of Brest, this 23 km2 commune is still essentially agricultural but is rapidly becoming urbanized and industrialized.
In Locmaria-Plouzané, the association that defends your heritage is
Discover its website: Locmaria-Patrimoine
Kereven's dismantled alignment
The pretty stele of Goulven
The guardians of the Town Hall square
The giant stele of Croas Teo
The forgotten steles of La Madeleine
The steles of the Norman Cross
The manor of Kerscao
Notre Dame of Lanvénec Church
The cove of Deolen
Ru Vras windmill
The fort of Toulbroc'h
Seaweeds of the upper part of the foreshore
Milizac was and still is mainly oriented towards agriculture. Its vast territory of 33 km2 is mainly dedicated to cattle and pig breeding as well as potato cultivation. The commune was once the seat of several chatellenies, including the Curru manor house. There are also several water mills and three dovecotes. The new commune of Milizac-Guipronvel, with its 4550 inhabitants in 2022, is currently in the middle of an urbanization phase thanks to its proximity to Brest.
Guipronvel was an agricultural commune that took its name from that of Saint Ronvel whose hermitage, dating back to the VIe century, would have been located in the Coat-Douen woods. First the centre of a large religious district that once encompassed six parishes, Guipronvel became a simple part of the Milizac parish, its neighbour. Then it was autonomous since the Revolution until 2017.
In 2016, it decided to merge with its neighbour Milizac.It had 787 inhabitants in 2014 on its 8.4 km2.
Its heritage, painstakingly listed by Jean Lescop, a native of Guipronvel, is described in detail and illustrated with numerous photos on the communal website.
The Gallic stele of Milizac
The sundial of Milizac
The manor of Keranflec'h
The church and parish enclosure of Guipronvel (link)
Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul Church
Calvaries and crosses (link)
The oratories (link)
Castles, manors and noble lands (link)
The mills (link)
"War vor ha war zouar" = On sea and land
The largest municipality in the Pays d'Iroise, with its 43 km2, boasts the highest menhir in Europe on its territory, thus proving the seniority of its human occupation. The name Plouarzel comes from the name of Saint Arzel, a Welsh monk who came to found the parish in the VIe century. At the end of the Middle Ages, Hervé de Porsmoguer, a brilliant captain from Plouarzel, whose motto became that of the town, distinguished himself in front of Pointe St-Mathieu in a naval battle against the English. He sacrificed his brand new warship and his entire crew in order to sink the enemy flagship.
Knowing a brilliant development thanks to the culture of the wheat and the flax, Plouarzel did not disdain either, from the middle of the XIXth century, the harvest of the seaweed which was burned on the coast to provide bread of soda to the factories of the coast.
In 2022 it is an agricultural commune of 3854 inhabitants which shelters at the point of Corsen the CROSS monitoring and safeguarding the very intense naval traffic from the Cotentin to the point of Penmarc'h.
In Plouarzel, the association that defends your heritage is
Discover its website: Tre-Arzh
The giant menhir of Kerloas
The lighthouse of Trézien
The headland of Corsen
The Lanhalla dovecote
The retting pool of Lanhalla
Saint Arzel church and its parish enclosure
Notre Dame of Trézien Church
The Saint-Eloi Chapel
The beautiful stele of the Plouarzel cemetery
The steles of the golf road
The stele of the old lavoir of Trézien
It is a bipolar urban area, of 23 km2, with a centre of more than 4000 inhabitants in the countryside and a coastline, Portsall ( = the port of Trémazan castle ), of 2000 residents, four kilometres away. But all in all, the second commune of the CCPI with its 6312 souls, Ploudalmézeau, in Breton Gwitalmeze ( = frank village ), was populated very early since its megaliths are 6000 years old. A huge parish originally encompassing four other communes, it transferred its church to its current location in the Middle Ages. It was then dismembered and its mayor guillotined during the Revolution for collusion with the enemy. The town was severely affected in 1978 by the stranding of the tanker Amoco Cadiz in front of Portsall, but fought hard against the gigantic pollution that followed. Its mayor, Alphonse Arzel, then took the lead in a coalition of plaintiff municipalities and finally succeeded to do convicting the polluter 14 years later in the American courts.
The tumulus of Carn Island
The megaliths of Guilliguy
The Gallic stele of the city centre
The stele of the Place du Général de Gaulle
The hemispherical stele of Sandrioné
The beautiful stele of Stang-an-Heol
St-Pierre and St-Vincent-Ferrier Church
The Moulin Neuf Park
This seaside resort of 18 km2 counts today 4183 inhabitants. Its location between Pointe St-Mathieu and the Brest Channel has always given it strategic importance and traces of human occupation date back to the Mesolithic period. A Bronze Age necropolis with burials in stone chests has recently been discovered on the Bertheaume plateau, probably indicating the presence of a village 4000 years ago. Later, a Roman road was to join Carhaix ( Vorgium ) to St-Mathieu (Gesocribate ? ). The struggle against England led to several bloody naval battles in the 16th century in front of its coasts and a devastating landing. The parish, which was depending on the powerful abbey of St-Mathieu, saw Lochrist and Le Conquet detach from it during the Revolution. Today, Plougonvelin is focusing on tourism, which is developing around its beautiful beach of Trez Hir and Pointe St-Mathieu.
In Plougonvelin, the association that defends your heritage is
Discover its website: Phase
The Gallic steles of St-Mathieu
The stèles of the lapidary garden of Keraudy
Saint-Mathieu de Fine-Terre Abbey
The Pointe St-Mathieu Fire Tower
The abbey church of Pointe St-Mathieu
The remains of the medieval monastery of Pointe St-Mathieu
The missing Maurist building at Pointe St-Mathieu
The Chapel of Our Lady of Grace
The Memory Museum 39-45
The Toul Logot battery
The fort of Bertheaume ( link )
The lighthouses of the Iroise Sea
The Pointe St-Mathieu lighthouse
Memories of a lighthouse keeper.
The davits of the coast
The Vaéré garden
The small carnation of the coast
The Pigface or Hottentot fig
Roman remains testify to the age of human occupation in the territory of this large municipality of 39 km2 which has nevertheless been amputated from its islands and the Kermorvan peninsula for the benefit of the Conquet. Composed of two distinct parishes, since it includes that of Lamber, this rural commune of 2119 inhabitants is essentially turned towards breeding and agricultural production. Its population has been growing by 6.1% since 2013.Its coastline of coves and cliffs, its lookout on the highest hill in the Pays d'Iroise, however, is gradually seeing a growth in hiking tourism.
The belvedere of Keramézec
Brenterc'h's low flowered walls
The cliff of Brenterc'h
The davits of the coast
Saint Peter's Church
The two great menhirs of Kergadiou show that man has occupied this territory since the Neolithic period. The parish is said to have been founded in the 6th century by Saint Budoc, whose reliquary of the church has three fingers perilously brought back from Dol by his disciple Saint Ildut. It was one of the most extensive in the Leon, but has been amputated from Larret, Lanildut, Porspoder and Landunvez. Today, this agricultural commune covers 25 km2 and has 1245 inhabitants.
In Plourin, the association that defends your heritage is
Discover its website: Teñzorioù Ploerin
The menhirs of Kerguiabo
The fallen stele of Penn an Dour
The Columns of Justice
The sundial of the town hall
The manor of Kerenneur
Saint Roch Chapel
St-Budoc Church, currently closed to the public ( link )
As shown in the list opposite, Porspoder is the capital of the megaliths of the Iroise country. But not only that: this former Plourin parish part, which became a parish in the 17th century, has a superb coastline that always attracks walkers. The lap around the St. Lawrence Peninsula is one of the most beautiful discoveries in the region. The municipality thus combines the advantages of the countryside and the sea. And if it has lost the port of Aber to Lanildut, it has managed to maintain the originality of the port of Mazou and benefited from the attachment of the former commune of Larret, two charming places that delight tourists. The commune has 1779 inhabitants for 11 km2.
In Porspoder, the associations which defend your heritage are :
Cap à l'Ouest en Pays d'Iroise
The great menhir of Kerhouézel
The menhirs of the St-Laurent peninsula
The megaliths of Kerivoret and Prat Joulou
The megaliths of Melon Island
The dolmen of Poulliot
The menhirs and the engraved slab of St-Denec
The lower ovoid stele of the Dreff
The low ovoid stele of Prat-Paul
The Gard'Sign ( or Garchine) orientation table
Mazou, the small mooring stakes port
The sentry box of Melon
Seaweed from the Iroise Sea
The main city of the entire CCPI territory, St-Renan was from the Gallo-Roman era a place where cassiterite, the tin ore, deposits were mined. In the Ve century the Irish hermit Ronan founded his first hermitage there. An important medieval centre with a court of justice, the town, with 8163 inhabitants and an area of 13 km2, has become a very active historical, commercial and cultural centre. Once mainly oriented towards livestock, its weekly Saturday morning market still attracts a considerable public at the foot of medieval houses. Thanks to its central position in the Iroise Country, its proximity to Brest, its vast bodies of water, the city, in full expansion, is experiencing a dynamism that many others envy it.
In St-Renan, the association that defends your heritage is
'LE MUSEE DU PONANT'.
Discover its website: Musée du Ponant
The Ponant Museum
The Brélès engraved stele in the Ponant Museum
The Cardinal House
The Gérard House
Notre-Dame de Liesse Church
The Thieves chapel
The Great Lavoir
The primrose willow (link)
The search for tin in St-Renan
The birds of the lakes of St-Renan
The name of this small neighbouring commune of Le Conquet comes from that of Saint Tugdual, also known as Saint Pabu. This Welsh monk who came to evangelize the Armorican country would have established his first monastery there as early as the Ve century. Turned towards the breeding and the agricultural productions, Trébabu, which has only 4 km2, develops its allotments in order to increase appreciably its population which reaches only 360 inhabitants. Its church, nestled in the hollow of a romantic valley, and its Notre-Dame du Val chapel, whose main statue has recently undergone an astonishing peregrination, are worth a visit.
The drudgery boundary stone
Notre-Dame du Val Chapel
St. Tugdual Church
This small commune of 6 km2, located at a good distance from the coast, is naturally rural. It has been occupied at least since Gallic times, as shown by the stelae that still remain. Ancient parish part of Plouguin, its name comes from that of Saint Gouescat, also named Saint Ergat, patron saint of the parish, to whom is dedicated, in the woods, a sacred fountain. Several small manors and remarkable houses testify to its past importance. During the Second World War, it hid an important maquis. Every year in May, its 333 inhabitants organize a big horse festival which attracts to Tréouergat the horse lovers of all the department.
The Kergoff maquis
The stele of Penn-ar-Prat
The steles of Saint-Ergat
The Saint-Ergat fountain
The missing sundial
The japanese knotweed