Saint-Mathieu Lighthouse

The Saint-Mathieu lighthouse is located on Pointe Saint-Mathieu, in Plougonvelin, near Brest, in Finistère department, in the westernmost point of mainland France.
1250: the monks of Saint-Mathieu, whose abbey has just been completed, place a lantern at the top of a tower to guide ships in the Iroise Sea. For centuries, they will carry on this tradition. While it is not considered the first lighthouse , it is still the first light in Finistère.
Due to the poor condition of the abbey tower, the order to build a new lighthouse was placed on June 15, 1835. This should have a diameter of 3.6 m and a height of 37 m and be built on a round building, equipped with shops and a living area for the lighthouse keeper. A staircase leads to the lighting system, which is around 56 m above sea level. The range is now 29 nautical miles. It was fired with rapeseed or mineral oil before electrification took place in 1935.
In June 1963, Saint-Mathieu got its current appearance: white with red stripes and the words “SAINT-MATHIEU”. September 2005: the lighthouse is listed in the inventory of historical monuments. On May 23, 2011, the Ministry of Culture and Communication issued a protection order classifying the lighthouse as historical monuments.

Access : Coordinates: 48.33, -4.770833 / The pointe Saint-Mathieu  is a headland located near Le Conquet in the territory of the commune of Plougonvelin in in north-western France. / Access: From Brest, take the D789 towards Le Conquet. About fifteen kilometers, at the Lannou roundabout, turn left towards Pointe St-Mathieu.

Highlights :

  •  According to an ancient Breton legend, the engulfed city of Ys is said to be here off the coast.
  •  Photosphere on Pointe St Mathieu : The “Maison du Libre” association has developed a panoramic shooting system and online virtual tour tool under the name of the Open Path View projec.
  •  memorial to the sailors who died for France : This national monument dedicated to the memory of sailors who died for France was built in 1927 ,Commissioned by Emile Geprette and Georges Leigue after World War I, this memorial was built following the passage of the relevant law on July 26, 1923.Since 2005, the memorial has been open to the public and offers an exhibition of photographs of missing sailors.
  •  The Abbey Saint-Mathieu de Fine-Terre and its museum : At the Pointe Saint-Mathieu there is an impressive ruin of an abbey church from the 13th century. This abbey with church was dedicated to Saint-Mathieu.
  •  semaphore : The first semaphore was built in 1806. In the white lighthouse, with a red hood from 1835, are large copper lamps to guide the ships at night, to the sea channel of Brest and on to the north side of the English Channel.
  •  Hiking : Pointe Saint-Mathieu is a stage for hikers on the GR34. It is also a starting point for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela, just 1958 km away!
  •  Bike lovers can embark on the An Envor circuit, an 18 km loop trail.

opening hours : from April 14 to May 13 from 2 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. (closed Tuesday) from June 1 to June 30 from 2 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. except Tuesday
July and August: 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
From September 1 to 30: 6 days a week (closed Tuesday) from 2 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

Entrance fees: St-Mathieu Lighthouse and Abbey Museum: € 3.50 from 12 years old, € 1.50 between 6 and 11 years old, free for children under 6.

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / guided tour with the temporary exhibition and the screening of short films on the country and the Iroise Sea.
/ Nearby trekking route :  An ideal place for walking and sightseeing. This is where the GR34 hiking trail runs.

Go next : the picturesque Breton village of Plougonvelin  / the beaches of Trez-Hir, Bertheaume, the Fort de Bertheaume.


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