It's a totally different style of architecture which expresses itself in and around the Regional Natural Park of La Brière drawing on the natural resources and materials available in the marshlands. Over an extensive area of some 57000 hectares is the biggest ‘collection’ of thatched cottages in Europe
La Brière is home to 60 % of the thatched cottages in FranceToday more than 3 000 thatched roofs (houses and out-buildings) are to be found in the area of The Regional Natural Park of La Brière. This represents 60% of French thatched cottages. The conservation and up-keep of this rich heritage has been maintained thanks to the support and funding provided by the partnership of organisations including ‘Le Parc’, local, regional and county authorities. All of which have facilitated the restoration of a great many of the thatched cottages.
A thatcher’s trade - skill and know-howLong ago man realized that he could make good use of the reeds he found growing in La Brière. Tied neatly in compact bundles and fixed to a framework this plant rapidly became more that just ‘roofing material’ : it kept in the warmth, acted as insulation against the cold and was also very pleasing to the eye! It was thus that ‘Le Brièron’ took on the trade of thatcher. He could be seen perched high above the ground, meticulously covering, section by section, the roofs of his properties. He perfected his ‘art’ bring
He ventured abroad to study the methods of others such as in Holland – another country where water dominates the landscape – and brought back with him new skills to enhance his own.
An ever evolving traditionLittle by little the house is adorned with its new roof. The finishing touches brought by some very precise strokes of a scythe and the crowning of it all by the fashioning of a handcrafted ridge of earth and peat skillfully applied to a wire mesh framework. These thatchers continue this age old trade bringing to it new and more modern techniques. Their skill reflected in the unique architecture present in La Brière.
KerhinetThe most beautiful example of typical briere architecture is the village of Kerhinet, this completely restored village which gives us an insider view of life in a community at the heart of the marshlands.
18 thatched cottages are arranged along the main path, and you will find in particular the Tourist Office called "Maison du Parc".
Follow the guideIn Kerhinet, our guides explain everything you need to know about the thatch and the villages of Brière.
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