Brittany Coastal Houses and Fishermans Cottages

Many traditional Breton houses can be found along the Breton coast in both rural and urban environments. Fishing and the marine economy have been a vital activity in the Brittany peninsula. Fishermen and other Bretons have been living in these coastal houses for centuries.

Brittany's Coastal Houses
  • Even in this wide category of dwelling, many different house styles co-exist. More prestigious homes can be found near Saint Malo and are known as “Malouinières”. These houses also boast their own distinct architectural style. They are predominantly found in what is called “pays bigouden”, the area South of Quimper, around Guilvinec, Pont-l’Abbé and Plogastel-Saint-Germain.
Le Pentis are Fishermans cottages or maison de pêcheur in French. They often form a group of small houses in a fishermen’s village. Their roofs boast dormer windows, with often two rooms downstairs and one room upstairs just under the roof in the attic space. These properties are also called Maisons à Chambre Haute ("houses with upper bedroom"), which refers to the concept of an additional room in the roof space.

La maison à avancée are traditional Breton properties with a gabled roof section of the property that comes off the main part of the property at 90 degrees creating an l shaped footprint for the property or in the case of those properties where there are 2 sections a u shaped footprint is formed .

Breton Malouinières houses
  • Malouinières first originated in the 17th and 18th century. They are similar to manor houses in the fact that they offer pretty luxury accommodation and were originally used as second homes. They boast high chimneys and slated roofs.
  • A slightly more substantial fishermans cottages are referred to as Capitans houases. They are smaller than Malouinières but offer a cellar or basement. It is said that these cellars were used to store the captains’ loots when they were at sea.
Malouinières have the following features:
  • High chimneys made of stones
  • Slated roofs - really few thatched ones existed
  • Granite walls, with windows of small dimensions (except Malouinieres that are more prestigious properties)

Next: information about Brittany Chaumieres and Primitive Houses.

Summary of Brittany Houses, homes and Architecture

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