My Finistère - Pointe Sainte Mathieu abbey and lighthouse

On Pointe Saint Mathieu, near Le Conquet, the hazy silhouetted shapes on the headland in the distance pulled me like a magnet.  Here on the westernmost tip of Finistère (and indeed mainland France), the Abbaye Saint Mathieu de Fine Terre and the Phare de Saint Mathieu, form a mesmerizing juxtaposition.  The monumental ruin of a Benedictine abbey and a lighthouse 56 metres tall stand shoulder to shoulder.  Built during the 11th and 15th Centuries, the abbey is a forceful Roman Gothic combo which can still be wandered through - abandoned but nonetheless awe inspiring.  After years of devastation by nature and man, it stands in remarkable symmetry with the soaring lighthouse next to it.  Since 1835, when the lighthouse replaced the ancient beacon of the abbey, its white light has steadfastly flashed across the Atlantic every 15 seconds.

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Paintings at Melanie McDonald Gallery

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