Île Verte (Côtes-d'Armor)

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Île Verte
the Île Verte (center of the picture, view from the northeast; in front right the Île Grou Ézen)
the Île Verte (center, view from the northeast;

front right the Île Grou Ézen)

Waters English Channel
Archipelago Bréhat Islands
Geographical location 48 ° 50 '34 "  N , 3 ° 2' 14"  W Coordinates: 48 ° 50 '34 "  N , 3 ° 2' 14"  W.
Île Verte (Côtes-d'Armor) (Département Côtes-d'Armor)
Île Verte (Côtes-d'Armor)
length 430 m
width 200 m
Highest elevation 16  m

Satellite image of the Bréhat archipelago with the Île Verte

The Ile Verte (debate " il vɛʀt ", French for. Green Island ; bret. : Enez glass or Enez C'H read - enez = island, glass = green, blue, gray ) is a small Breton island of Brehat Islands in French department of Côtes-d'Armor .

The small, barren island has long been considered the island on which in the 5th / 6th The Breton Saint Budoc is said to have lived in the 19th century . In fact, a small Franciscan monastery community settled here for centuries. The monks' bad reputation is said to have been proverbial on the nearby mainland.

Today the Île Verte serves as a base for the sailing school les Glénans in the summer , especially for young people.


The Île Verte is located in the southwest of the Bréhat archipelago, near the mouth of the Trieux , opposite the small coastal town of Loguivy-de-la-Mer (municipality of Ploubazlanec ). Immediately to the west of the island, the fairway runs from Trieux to the open sea.

The highest point on the island is officially about 16 meters high (actually strongly tide dependent); the island is about 430 meters long and 200 meters wide. In the northeast of the island a small sandy beach becomes free when the tide is low. The island has no port; in the south, west and east, however, the shore is relatively flat, so that smaller boats can be pulled onto the stone beach. A somewhat protected but still sufficiently deep anchorage is in the south of the island, at the entrance to a canal to the Île de Bréhat in the east.

The Île Verte is located in an area with a tidal range of several meters (the difference between high and low water). When the tide is low, connections to three larger rock groups in the southwest, north and east of the island are exposed, which are flooded again when the tide is high. Due to the tides, there are also relatively strong currents around the island in the tidal rhythm .


Dictionnaire historique et géographique of the geographer Jean-Baptiste Ogée (new edition from 1843)

Supposed monastery of Budoc

For a long time the Île Verte was considered to be the Île des Lauriers (French for: island of the laurel trees; lat: Isla Laureaca ), on which, according to tradition, Saint Budoc (often also Saint-Budoc ) was a monastery - probably in the 5th or 6th century - supposed to have built. According to one of the authors of the revised 1843 edition of Ogées Dictionnaire historique et géographique (i.e. A. Marteville or P. Varin), the Breton name of Île Verte Enez-Laur (enez = island, i.e. "Laur Island") is said to have been what probably stems from the island's former laurel vegetation; According to Habasques (1832) the island was called Enez-Glas in Breton, but he considered it to be identical to the "Île-aux-Lauriers" des Budoc and expressly criticized an edition of Ogées Dictionnaire that distinguished between the two islands. According to widespread traditions, later monks are said to have chosen the Île Verte as the location for their monastery in order to live in the place of activity of Budoc.

Today, however, the Île Lavrec (in the east of Bréhat, about three and a half kilometers from the Île Verte) is commonly identified as the Île des Lauriers . In 1994, the truthfulness of the account of the early monastery - as well as the claims of other monasteries from the same period - was generally questioned, as the ruins of these monasteries had not yet been archaeologically examined.

The actual history of the settlement of the Île Verte is a bit confusing due to the mix-up. Until the 19th century the history of the island was z. Partly reproduced without clearly distinguishing between traditions about the Île des Lauriers and verifiable facts about the Île Verte; as a result, it is sometimes unclear in older texts whether the events can be assigned to the Île Verte or Lavrec or whether they belong entirely to the legends.

Vauban's plans

According to Habasques, the famous French fortress builder Vauban (1633–1707) developed plans to build a military port on the nearby Île à Bois peninsula . To protect it, a fortress should have been built on the Île Verte. However, the project was never realized.

Actual settlement

The actual settlement of monks on the island - in one or two different monasteries, since the 13th or 15th century - is presented differently. It is also not mentioned whether the island was already in use before the monastery was founded - for example by farmers or fishermen.

Perhaps the first Franciscan monastery

Abbot François Manet (1764–1844), one of the authors who wrote down lore and facts about the island in the 19th century

An early, short-lived Franciscan monastery existed on the Île Verte according to Ogées Dictionnaire historique et géographique (expressly criticized by Habasques) and according to Abbot Manet in his Histoire de la Petite-Bretagne (p. 48). Accordingly, the monastic presence on the Île Verte - supposedly "renewed" after Budoc's monastery - began in 1431 with the reform of the Franciscans (OFM) ( Pères Cordeliers ) in Brittany, according to which these monks withdrew to very remote places . 1434 allowed the competent bishop of Dol (1431-1437), Jean XII. de Bruc, a group of Franciscans settled the Île Verte. Since the ruler of the island, N. de la Rochejacut (or Roche-Jagu), also agreed, the Franciscan brothers built a small monastery with a chapel between the rocks of the island. In 1436 the provincial chapter met in the new community . The Franciscans left the island as early as 1458, probably because the soil of the Île Verte was stony, limited and therefore not very productive. According to the Isle Verte entry in Ogées Dictionnaire , Alain, the Viscount of Rohan , had built a new monastery for the impoverished monks at Morlaix ; according to the entry Tréguier des Dictionnaire , however, Duc François II had called the poor monks to Morlaix; some stayed with Tréguier, where they were offered a house in the parish of Plouguiel on the Guindi River . According to Manet (p. 48), the monks divided into three groups, each of which would have founded a new monastery: half a mile from Morlaix, in Landerneau and on the Île de Cézembre near Saint-Malo . This led the French Franciscans to use the phrase: Virgo peperit tres, et postea infirmari cœpit, et fuit derelicta et sterilis ut ante - the virgin (another name for the island is Insula Virgo ) gave birth to three, then she got sick, then she was deserted and sterile as before.

A different representation can be found in Habasques, the Ogées o. G. Representation expressly criticized. Accordingly, the Île Verte was taken over by a Franciscan community at the end of the 13th century . The island was left to the Franciscans by the sovereign Gilles Tournemine, the Seigneur de la Hunandaie et de Bolloy ; this is how the monastery chief ( Guardian ) M. Abgrall stated in February 1790 to the city of Saint-Brieuc . According to Habasques, the monastery on Île Verte existed continuously until 1791 and was a recollect monastery. Accordingly, there would have been only one monastery in the history of the island that developed into the recollect monastery described below.

Recollect monastery

The various authors agree that until 1790/91 a recollect community lived on the Île Verte, i. H. Brothers of the very withdrawn Franciscan community of the recollects , who lived according to strict rules and which merged with other Franciscans to form the Franciscans (OFM) in France in 1897 . It is unclear when the Rekollektenkloster settled on the Île Verte - whether it emerged from the Franciscan monastery (Habasques, see above), which has existed in an uninterrupted tradition since the end of the 13th century or later. According to Manet, the new monastic community came to the island a short time (" peu de temps ") after the departure of the first Franciscan community (1458). In the revised edition of the Dictionnaire from 1843 it is said that by 1790 one of 14 recollect communities in Brittany lived on the Île Verte; when the monastery community moved to the island is not mentioned in the dictionnaire . It is also not mentioned in the representations since when the community lived according to the rules of the order of the recollects - which developed around the end of the 16th century.

The authors uniformly report that monks were temporarily sent to the monastery to repent if they had broken rules elsewhere. People who were arrested by lettre de cachet (secret royal arrest warrant) are also said to have been repeatedly detained on the island.

According to Habasques, the monks lived on donations from the mainland in addition to the supplies from their own garden, at the latest in the 18th century. To do this, they stayed three times a year for eight days with the pastor of Plouzec (probably Plouézec ), asked for donations from there for the monastery and thanked the donors with a pinch of earth from the Île Verte: The earth had the reputation of a miracle cure because Saint Budoc drove the poisonous animals from the island [in fact on the Île des Lauriers ], which never returned afterwards. The monks then used the donations to buy wheat, butter and ham for the monastery.

In 1790, the monastery comprised three main buildings for the monks, a small church (with 22 ornaments, three Holy Communion goblets, probably a monstrance in the form of a silver sun) and a garden, plus an area half as large outside its walls, also used for cultivation ( 24 ar ) and, also beyond the walls, a chapel and a shed. The - less profitable - agriculturally used areas were irrigated with water from a cistern that was destroyed again in 1832 at the latest. According to Habasques, the community had a total of ten beds (three of which were for domestic workers); according to the dictionnaire of 1843 there were 17 beds. The library contained 1000 volumes including Bibles, sermon books, historical and philosophical writings, etc.

In 1790/91 the monastery was given up. According to Habasques, only one farmer lived on the island by 1832 at the latest. Until the beginning of the 20th century a family lived on the island and continued the meager agriculture. The island then remained uninhabited.

Todays use

Since 1973 the island has been one of the bases of the famous French sailing school les Glénans . The only modern house on the island was built by the sailing school in the remains of the monastery; Today it houses a dining and common room as well as the kitchen, the roof is covered with solar panels . Otherwise there is only a small, mostly underground equipment room and a barrack for the showers on the island. The sailing course participants and supervisors initially slept in tents (at times three army tents for 12 people each), more recently mostly in large yurts .

During the sailing season, the Île Verte mainly accommodates young people and the island is declared a recreation zone for minors under French law. During this time only the coastal strip below the flood limit ( littoral ) may be entered; Access to the rest of the island is prohibited by French law for adults who do not supervise the sailing courses. The island is not inhabited outside of the season.

In the northwest of the island, algae are grown a short distance from the shore . The lined up swimmers are clearly visible from the island .

The Île Verte in songs and proverbs

François-Marie Luzel wrote the song The Monks of the Ile Verte

The song Menec'h to Enez c'hlas ( bret. The monks of the Ile Verte) refers in the face of distribution and content clearly on the matters covered in this article island. The song consists of three stanzas: First, the narrator mourns the death of his little sister, who was murdered by "the monk of the damned monastery" and is now lying on stones and mud flats. According to the second stanza, the Archbishop of Dol said that the monastery on the rocks of the Île Verte was built by saints, but the monks there did not study the books, but committed terrible crimes; he curse her. According to the third stanza, the king's son had declared that if he were ruler of Brittany he would teach the black and white monks to leave his subjects in peace; he would raise an army to destroy the Île Verte. Another four verses circulated among the population near Beauport Abbey (about 8 km south of the Île Verte): a monk on the island said to a nun he wanted to kiss her; she answers as much as he wants.

The song can be found in several collections of folkloric traditions from the 19th and early 20th centuries and has therefore existed since at least 1856, according to the collections of Jean-Marie de Penguern ( fr ) and Pierz in the Trégor . The folklorist and poet François-Marie Luzel ( fr ) (1821–1895) questioned whether it is actually an old song from oral tradition ; he suspected that it was a recent work, possibly by the Breton poet and folklorist René Kerambrun ( fr ) (1813-1852), an employee of de Penguern.

The poet and writer Erwan Berthou (1861–1933) ( fr ) , who also collected Breton linguistic and song material, heard not only the aforementioned song The Monks of the Île Verte , but also two proverbs that also caused the bad reputation of the island's monks content: " Le moine rouge de l'Île Verte devient souris et rat " (French for: The red monk of the Île Verte becomes mouse and rat) and " Il n'y a moine à l'abbaye qui n ' ait femme à Kérity ”(French for: There is no monk in the abbey [probably: the Île Verte] who is not a woman in Kérity). Kérity is an ancient parish where the well-known Beauport Abbey is located. It is located about 8 km south of the Île Verte and is now part of Paimpol .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Enez C'hlas z. B. in the song Menec'h an Enez c'hlas ( The Monks of the Île Verte ; see also #Die Île Verte in songs and proverbs ) and in the work En Bro-Dreger a-dreuz parkoù (1910–1911, new edition 1985) of the poet and writer Erwan Berthou (1861–1933), who grew up in nearby Pleubian
  2. a b c Jean-Baptiste Ogée, A. Marteville & P. ​​Varin (1843: new, revised edition). Dictionnaire historique et geographique de la Provence de Bretagne, dédié à la nation bretonne (Volume 1). Rennes: Molliex.
  3. a b c d e f g François Marie G. Habasques (1832). Notions historiques, geographiques statistiques et agronomiques sur le littoral du département des Côtes-du-Nord (1st volume, pp. 120–124). Saint-Brieuc: Madame Veuve Guyon
  4. Christian Lassure (1994). A mythe encore à l'œuvre: Les "ermitages" celtiques du "temps des saints". éditorial de L'architecture vernaculaire , vol. 18; Reprinted on tal.univ-paris3.fr (French; accessed May 26, 2007)
  5. for example:
  6. ^ A b c François Gilles Pierre Barnabé Manet (1834). Histoire de la Petite-Bretagne ou Bretagne-Armorique, depuis ses premiers habitans connus (Volume 1). Saint-Malo: E. Caruel.
  7. Jean-Baptiste Ogee (1778). Dictionnaire historique et geographique de la Provence de Bretagne (Volume 2, p. 267). Nantes: Vatar.
  8. Jean-Baptiste Ogee (1778). Dictionnaire historique et geographique de la Provence de Bretagne (Volume 4, p. 445). Nantes: Vatar.
    Habasques already pointed out the contradiction between the two entries: François Marie G. Habasques (1832). Notions historiques, geographiques statistiques et agronomiques sur le littoral du département des Côtes-du-Nord (1st volume, p. 122/3). Saint-Brieuc: Madame Veuve Guyon
  9. The founding of the recollections is usually dated to the end of the 16th century: Tanja Hupfeld (2007) notes without further explanation in a footnote: "The order of the recollects was founded in Spain in 1480 by Jean de Puebla ." ( Tanja Hupfeld (2007). On the perception and representation of the foreign in selected French travel reports of the 16th until 18th century. Il les faut voir et visiter en leur pays (p. 255). Universitätsdrucke Göttingen: Universitätsverlag Göttingen ) Even then, it would have taken some time for the rules of the order to spread from Spain to northern Brittany.
  10. according to:
  11. a b Caractéristiques du chant, Référence: M-01426. Titre critique breton: Menec'h an Enez c'hlas. Titre critique français: Les moines de l'île Verte. Chansons de tradition orale en langue bretonne dans les livres, revues et manuscrits
  12. a b Anatole Le Braz (Nov. 1910 / Jan. 1911). “Le Journal de route de Luzel” (pp. 13-14). Annales de Bretagne , quoted in: Caractéristiques du chant, Référence: M-01426. Titre critique breton: Menec'h an Enez c'hlas. Titre critique français: Les moines de l'île Verte. Chansons de tradition orale en langue bretonne dans les livres, revues et manuscrits