It is still half-term in France, so at 8.30 this morning we leave for Batz-Sur-Mer, a lovely small town near Le Croisic in the Pays de la Loire. After just over an hour’s drive, we arrive in this small coastal village, and we are definitely ready for coffee and freshly baked pain au chocolat. After this very welcome breakfast, we are revived.
After breakfast, it’s on to the Grand Blockhaus, a German bunker. Built out of concrete into the granite coastline, the architecture is very dramatic. It is the only one of its type in France. The building, which is 25 meters long with a maximum height of 17 meters, has a surface area is 285 square meters. Being practically the only building on the plain, the bunker is disguised to look like a hotel. A false roof and a brick wall are built to hide the angular aspect of the façade. False windows are deceptively painted along the façade as well as false bricks and gables, in the style of a Normandy villa.
The bunker is manned by 21 men, including one officer.
Once inside the bunker, we see exactly how these 21 men would have lived. Space was at a premium, everything was extremely organized, and living conditions would have been cramped, cold, and damp.
We explored Le Grand Blockhaus for two hours and would recommend this trip to anyone staying in Southern Brittany.
We couldn’t leave without a walk along the Magnifique Côte Sauvage. This coastline is amazing, so much so that we ate our picnic on the granite rocks.