The Kerguelen archipelago, closer to Antarctica than to any other inhabited land, is located in what was called the “Roaring Forties belt”. With this name the sailors at the time of sailing ships and geographical explorations called the ocean area which runs almost continuously around the globe between the latitudes of forty and fifty degrees of the southern hemisphere; the name gives a good idea of the navigation conditions of the waters. Also known as the Desolation Islands, the Kerguelen archipelago consists of 300 islands, islets, and reefs which lie between 48° to 50° South and 68° to 70° East, covering an area of 7,215 km² (2,786 mi²) .
The main Island is Grande Terre. Port aux Français located on the Grande Terre Island (675 km2 or 2,577 sq mi) is the main center and is the site of a scientific base (WAP FRA-Ø4) .
The most incredible building in “Port aux Français” is certainly the chapel of Notre Dame des Vents (Our Lady of the Winds), built in the 1950s: the southernmost French place of worship on the planet. A few tens of meters halfway between the chapel and the sea, there is a famous statue of the Our Lady and Child.
During the year, the chapel sometimes hosts an officiant who celebrates mass in the Catholic rite. A pleasant glimmer of spirituality in such a remote place, almost another planet, which has always been seen only as a piece of land to be exploited.
The statue of the Virgin and Child is located between the Chapel of Notre Dame des Vents (Our Lady of the Winds) and the Gulf of Morbihan