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Why these exeptionnels coastal shelters in the Cap-Sizun?
History and geography.
The Cap-Sizun has an exceptional and original geographical context. This headland rises with more than 70 meters and dominates a coast shredded in North, the West and the South.
He faces this North Atlantic which brings back the winter of the sometimes apocalyptic storms. Let us add its maritime prolongation (Raz, island and chaussée of Sein) which was a long time the terror of the sailors and which, today, is still pilot multiple shipwrecks.
The inhabitants of the Cap-Sizun, since millenia, are impregnated by this maritime context: malicious blow of wind, sea air salted, crash of the waves on the rocks, bearing of the rollers under the effect of the swell, cry of the birds of sea…
This geography of peninsula forged a particular mentality. The capist who sees the sea on three sides, alive in this air salted broad, feels different from those of the interior of the grounds. He is sailor from his environment. This fascination of the “grand large” enabled him to use recesses of this coast however inhospitable in order to exploit this always close sea.
It was thus necessary to adapt to the medium. They was done since millenia while fishing initially to provide for the requirement in food (fish, shellfish, shells).
Then starting from the end of the Middle Ages to have an income source by the sale of the fish dried or salted/in a hurry which, preserving itself, could be marketed.
The sailors used initially the only site, true coastal natural shelter, accessible to the large ships: the mouth of the Goyen river.
Audierne became with 16th and a 17th important harbour of coastal traffic towards La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Spain, England and Holland. But fishing if it were exported from Audierne, was practiced in all the course starting from some coastal shelters.
The proximity of the fishing grounds made it possible to use small sloops or launches being able to reach, because of their modest size, with the small splits.
The sailors capists thus used these splits and created these famous coastal shelters arranged after a fashion then, starting from 1850, being the object of alteration work (staircase, dam, fix…) by the State then local government agencies.
We thus tell you, in short, the history of each one of these ports original and exceptional shelters by the beauty of the splits where they are. And let us admire the courage and the nautical competence of the sailors who created them.