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Plouescat (Municipality, Finistère, France)


Last modified: 2023-09-09 by olivier touzeau
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Flag of Plouescat - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 7 December 2021

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Presentation of Plouescat

The municipality of Plouescat (in Breton, Ploueskad; 3,741 inhabitants in 2006; 1,479 ha) is located in northern Brittany, 15 west of Saint- Pol-de-Léon. Plouescat is part of the "golden belt" of northern Brittany, a main area of production of fresh vegetables such as artichokes, cauliflowers, cabbages and onions. It has also a fishing port and sand beaches.
Plouescat was the northern end of the Plouescat-Rosporden railway line (1912-1946) that crossed Finistère from north to south through the Monts d'Arrée (132 km, journey time, 10 h).

The town developed a few kilometers off the sea shore, on a site already settled in the Prehistoric (as evidenced by the Cam Louis, Cougn An Dré, Créac'h Ar Vrenn and Guinivrit megalithes), Celtic (as evidenced by low and high steles) and Roman (as evidenced by the Gorré Bloué balneum, 4th century) times. Built in the 16th century, the big market hall (one of the three kept in Brittany, the other being in Questembert and Le Faouët) emphasizes the economical development of the town, as do several manors built in the countryside in the 16th-19th centuries.

The 13-km long sea shore of Plouescat, limited in the west by Kernic Bay, remained nearly uninhabited until the 1930s, when a sea resort emerged; vacation houses were built in the dunes but the place has been preserved from mass urbanization until now. Kernic Bay, a birds' paradise, was registered by the "Natura 2000" conservation network. The Porsmeur and Poulfoën dunes harbour a specific fauna and flora, including the rare and protected sea kale (Crambe maritima L.) and sand toadflax (Linaria arenaria DC).
The villagers used to collect wrack on the shore and to burn it in open-air ditches called "wrack ovens"; one ton of fresh wrack yielded 50 kg of "soda", sold to the chemical plant of Pont-Christ (active in 1919-1955) for the production of 1 kg of iodine.

Like most villages in Léon, once known as "The Land of the Priests", Plouescat has kept several religious buildings. The parish church, rebuilt in 1863 in neo-gothical style, was added in 1870 a stone spire of 58 m in height; the pride of Plouescat, the spire is the second highest spire in Léon after the spire of the Kreisker chapel of Saint-Pol-de-Léon, which is the model of most openworked spires of the region. Plouescat has also two chapels and some 25 crosses and calvaries, the oldest of them, the Irvit calvary, dating back to the 15th century.

Ivan Sache, 7 August 2010

Flag of Plouescat

The flag of Plouescat (photo) is white with the municipal logo in the center.
The municipal logo represents the triangular silhouette of the historic market hall (photo), with two pillars shown on the right. The upper part of the silhouette is filled with a green triangle, probably representing agriculture - maybe the local flag crop, artichoke. The left part of the silhouette is filled with horizontal black lines turning white when entering a blue triangle, probably representing the sea shore. The name of the town is written in black capital letters below the silhouette.

Ivan Sache & Olivier Touzeau, 7 December 2021