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From the restored French heritage, well-known cliff of « La mIne d’Or », megaliths…

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History and patrimony

From pre-history to phenicians, the destiny of a town

Men lived in Pénestin since pre-history: many megalithic remains are here to testify. At the extremity of Scal, stands a “White Stone”; a big menhir composed of quartz. At its feet lays a destroyed dolmen which table was 4 m long. Other remains, nowadays invaded by vegetation, were searched a long time ago.

The merovigian period was marked during the first half of the 5th century by the Breton’s invasion of the Armorique, a people originated from Cornouaille and from Wales. This people set place in Brittany. The end of the first millennium had known bloody Normand raids, longships sailing up several times la Vilaine over Redon.

Pénestin would mean « tin’s extremity »

Pénestin was probably frequented by Phenicians. This people established a sea route of tin (essential for bronze alloy). We suppose a Phenician trading post was stocking tin cargo from English islands of Scilly – which could explain the town’s name.

Originally, Pénestin was the priory of St Gildas des Bois, then became a part of Assérac before being settled up as a parish on the 6th may of 1767. Revolution modified the administrative cut out, creating departments and towns. La Vilaine was to represent the border between le Morbihan and la Loire-Atlantique. But since l’Ile et Vilaine obtained Redon, le Morbihan received seven towns as compensation on the left bank of the river, including Pénestin.

The Cliff of la Mine d’Or, a classified site, unique in Europe

For a long time, agriculture was the dominant activity in Pénestin, alongside those of salt cultivator, miller and other rural professions. The exploitation of a gold mine provoked a big commotion at the end of the 19th century. The yield being very low, it stopped as soon as the First World War started. However the name stayed, attached to the largest beach of the town, whose cliff, while sunset, takes the color of the precious metal. It is the delight of national geologist.

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