Plougastel-Daoulas in the department Finistère in Brittany is a commune which is famous for its strawberries, not only among gourmets.
Therefore it is not surprising that the only strawberry museum of the world is located here.
However, after our arrival the artistically arranged calvary from the 17th century in front of the church stabbed us into the eye. It was built after a plague epidemic.
During the war in 1944, an American soldier saved the 181 figures, made of Kersanton stone ( grey granite), in the presbytery before the bomb raids.
But the calvary and several figures were damaged. The army officer John D. Skilton was in Plougastel-Daoulas during the war. In civil life he was the curator of the Washington Museum and founded the Plougastel Calvary Restoration Fund Inc. With the money, the restoration started in 1949.
Right next to the church, we found the strawberry museum and were curious what there is to see.
In the 18th century, the Savoyard Amédée-François Frézier brought the strawberry from Chile to France.
The Bretons loved the fruit and cultivated it successfully in the marine climate. Already in the 19th century they started with the export.
A map shows the preferential cultivable areas in Finistère. The strawberry farmers plant the Gariguette strawberries.
Due to its top flavor, the strawberries have the reputation to be the best in the world. 85% of the harvest gets exported, predominant to the USA.
On presentation boards you see how the life of the strawberry farmers has evolved over the centuries. In addition, a lot of period furniture and costumes are exhibited.
Lace making course
In a side room of the museum we came across a round of local women. The friendly women waved us in and we were able to watch how they got instructed in making lace.
Lace making is a skill that probably had its origins in the 16th century in Italy. This skills are rarely found today.
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