Thanks to our before / after, discover what has become of the ports, streets, squares and emblematic places of Lorient which celebrates, this Tuesday, August 31, its 355 years.
For each photo, click on the white circle and drag left / right.
Today rising, the bridge from which this photo is taken, was once turning. As here, in 1970. This opened onto the current floating dock, then a commercial port. This one was then transferred to Kergroise. Before the sailing ships that we know today, it was the Vickings, between the 8th and 10th centuries, who called at the port, before going up the Blavet. In the 17th century, the harbor attracted the ships of King Louis XIV but especially the ships of the Compagnie des Indes. The port then becomes the stronghold of the world trade in spices. It then became the marina as we know it.
Avenue de la Perrière, in 1950. We can see the Glacière in the distance. On the road, work is underway in front of the Lorient Higher Art School. Opposite, to the right of the road, is the current Paihia Kitchen restaurant.
A major axis of Lorient, the Cours de la Bôve connects the Quai des Indes to the rue des Fontaines and the rue de Clairambault. He was not always called that. First place de la Potence, it became place d’Espréménil, place de la Réunion but also cours de la Réunion. In 1780, Lorient was one of the only three Breton towns (along with Nantes and Rennes) to build a theater, initially private and of which the town became the owner in 1889.
Let’s go back in time to 1930, to the early hours of the fishing port of Lorient, which was built between 1922 and 1927. In the photo, the company of the renowned businessman, Émile Marcesche: the trawling company in steamer, and, in the background, the Icebox. Thanks to trawling, Lorient, like La Rochelle and Saint-Malo, is experiencing an economic revival. In the aftermath of the First World War, France urgently needed three or four specialized fishing ports. Lorient’s many assets convinced the State to subsidize the City for the construction of a large port complex in 1927: the port of Keroman.
It is recognized very quickly thanks to the railway line, still present today. This photograph was taken at the end of the 1950s. What do we notice? Fewer cars and buses, more pedestrians and bicycles. But above all this railway line, of which the Nantes-Lorient line was inaugurated in 1862. In the background, you can see the Saint-Louis tower. This one remained standing after the bombings of the Second World War. It was destroyed in 1957 to be replaced by the Plein Ciel building, located rue Bodélio, on which we can also see a colored section, reminiscent of the former location of the Saint-Louis bell tower.
The four bars overlooking Jules-Ferry Park, immortalized in 1970, have not changed. Since 2020, a water mirror has been installed on Place Glotin, behind the Palais des congrès. A reminder of the old water jet basin which occupied this space for several years.
This photo, taken in 1939, at the top of the rue de la Patrie, seems quite empty compared to today. Currently, Galeries Lafayette is on the right. In the middle of the square, where a merry-go-round is now located, a bandstand, built in 1888, brought people to this emblematic place, which has also changed names on numerous occasions, following the course of the story. In 1805, it was called the Place Napoléon; in 1814, Place Royale. It was in 1871 that it took the name of Alsace-Lorraine, the year in which this territory was ceded by France to the German Empire.