Thursday, June 23, 2016

Abris du marin (Shelters of the Mariners)

The abris du marin (shelters of the mariners) are accommodations created by philanthropist Jacques de Thézac, early 20th century in the ports of Bretagne (Brittany).
Learning of the life of the Breton fishermen, including their alcohol problems, unemployment, low wages and overcrowded houses, Jacques de Thézac created the abris du marin. His goal was to build residential institutions for the fishermen.
Jacques de Thézac decided to offer local fishermen healthy, heated, comfortably furnished meeting rooms and education: the abris du marin, inspired by the sailor's homes in the UK. These houses, located on the harbour were (and are) painted in pink. From 1900 to 1933, eleven "sailor shelters" were located in the ports of Finistère and the Morbihan. Some others were built later. Fifteen shelters all were built between 1900 and 1952.
In addition to a reading room for lectures, refresher courses in navigation or screenings, the abris du marin included a library, a health center, rooms for passing sailors, workshops and a gym. Outside, swimming contests and singing events were organized.

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