From salt to sardine
Wine, salt and cereals used to transit through the medieval harbour of Blavet. The Spanish erected the first elements of the citadel in 1590. After Juan del Aguila’s men had left, Louis XIII completed the fortifications in 1637 and baptised the town Port-Louis. Chosen as the site of Compagnie des Indes, Port-Louis prospered thanks to the spice trade. When Compagnie des Indes moved to Lorient, the town converted to fishing and tourism.
Navigate in good company
A museum in the citadel traces the thrilling saga of Compagnie des Indes, founded in 1664 by Colbert. Models of boats, reconstitutions of counters, examples of fabrics, spices and porcelain will take you back to the African and Eastern routes in the 17th and 18th-centuries. For the crew, these trips were not cruises. The worrying instruments of the on-board doctors demonstrate this!
A castle from Spain
The citadel still has two Spanish-looking bastions. Go over a little bridge and cross the ravelin, a triangular-shaped fortification, to access it. On the parapet walk adorned with greenery, silent canons still point towards Ile de Groix. Today, however, the eyes are drawn more peacefully to Pointe de Gâvres. From the Pâtis, a former weapons assembly point, a gateway in the ramparts leads to the lovely Grands-Sables beach.
The ramparts turned golden by lichen shelter proud residences and cheerful houses. The traditional house (Rue des Dames and Rue Driasker) grew under Louis XIV and became decorated with cornices and pediments. In the 18th century, traders built “look-outs” on their roofs to watch their ships returning (Place Notre-Dame). The fishermen’s houses are all grouped in Loc-Malo port and Port de la Pointe.