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Tristan island, La Fontenelle's sinister lair

The northern side of the island | Ipigott / CC0
Robbery Imprisonment Torture Island La Fontenelle Tristan island

The wolf’s lair

Men live here since Prehistoric times. In 1351, a garrison raised a fortress.

Then, Jacques de Guengat, a Protestant lord, took shelter on the island.

The famous Breton crook La Fontanelle also wanted to transform this island into his own headquarters!

He raised here a big stronghold, in 1595. The tide protected him from sieges. It was the perfect hideaway, really!

The island was also known as ″Guyon island″, from ″Guy″, La Fontenelle’s Christian name...

People died, in this jail

Famous French writer Gustave Flaubert wrote in his book Par les champs et par les grèves:

″La Fontenelle made here his terrible shims. When his jails were full, he threw 100 prisoners in the sea.
"Then, he forced those unfortunate ones to dance upon red-hot iron bars, or rot them in tons of water.
"Once, he killed two man: the first one by starvation, the second one with too much food…″

The current island

The island used to belong to family Richepin, but they gave it to the Conservatoire du littoral, who opened it to the public in 1997.

We can go round on foot and visit its nice park and have a lovely view on Douarnenez.

It’s about 450 metres long and 250 wide.

A little paradise made of cliffs, rocks, moors, meadows, and even a bamboo forest planted in the 20th century!

We can only reach the island at low tide.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!