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Sightseeing in Brittany

Historic Site
“What can one say? Many ways to get there. Bus. Horse drawn carriage. By foot. Also guided walking tours across the bay to the Mont (prepare to get wet in the process). A unique experience. ”
272 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Fantastic view to St Malo baye, from this Middle Age castle, perfectly conserved with nice gardens and a walk along the coast during 30 min by feet to Cap Frehel”
53 locals recommend
Castle
“XIII century castle, great place to visit and/or to watch “son et lumière” show ”
52 locals recommend
Scenic Lookout
“A voir absolument, la troisième ville la plus vue en Bretagne. To see absolutely, the third most viewed city in French Brittany.”
57 locals recommend
Castle
“This medieval castle is enormous and fascinating. The audio commentary describes the history of Brittany as well as the castle. A great place to visit.”
14 locals recommend
Historic Site
“The moulin is ideally located central to many historical and other delights. Two abbeys worth visiting are l’abbaye de Hambye and l’abbaye de la Lucerne. L’Abbaye de Hambye A beautiful 12th C ruined Benedictine abbey set, like the moulin, in the valley floor of the Sienne. There are often activities, generally with a medieval theme. You will need to check at the boutique for what is on offer from week to week. There are also lots of walks around the immediate area for the more adventurous. Brief history of the abbey The Abbey of Notre Dame of Hambye was founded around 1145 by William Painel, Lord of Hambye, and Algare, bishop of Coutances. The monastery was established by Benedictine monks from Tiron (Perche region in south-east of Basse-Normandie). Fuelled by an ideal of rigor and austerity close to that of Cistercians, Benedictine monks built a sober and elegant abbey, typical of the early Gothic period. The construction took place in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. The religious community reached its apogee in the 13th century and then, after a long decline over the following centuries, disappeared in the 1780s. Like all French abbeys, it became national property at the beginning of the Revolution. Eventually, the abbey was sold in 1790. The new owners transformed or destroyed buildings and scattered the furnishings. Having belonged to the abbey for three centuries (16th-18th centuries), the altarpiece was also sold. The convent buildings became farm buildings. The abbey church was used as a quarry from 1810 and was gradually dismantled. Getting there L’Abbaye de la Lucerne (Abbaye Sainte-Trinité de La Lucerne) This Abbaye is about 25-30 mins away near La Lucerne-d'Outremer. It has some beautiful grounds with a 14th C moulin and an aqueduct. Church services are still held there. Reconstruction has been carried since 1959. Brief history of the abbey The abbey was founded in 1143 by Hasculf de Subligny, son of Othoerne, the tutor of William Adelin, both of whom perished in the White Ship disaster of 1120, and later had the support of the English crown. The new monastery was settled from Dommartin Abbey near Hesdin. The foundation stone of the permanent buildings was laid in 1164 by Achard of St. Victor, who was later buried here. Construction lasted from 1164 to 1178 and was in the Romanesque style, in the restrained and sober manner of Cistercian architecture, except that the complex was dominated by an Anglo-Norman Gothic tower. La Lucerne was the mother-house of four other Premonstratensian monasteries: Ardenne Abbey, Mondaye Abbey and Belle-Étoile Abbey (at Cerisy-Belle-Étoile) in Normandy, and Beauport Abbey in Brittany. Major structural renovations were carried out in the 15th and 17th centuries. During the French Revolution, in 1792, the abbey was suppressed. Its buildings were at first turned into a cotton mill and then used as a source of stone. Getting there Coutances Coutances sits on a 700 million years’ old volcano! Once called Cosedia, the capital of the Celtic Unelles was renamed Constantia in the 4th century AD, in homage to the Roman emperor Flavius Constantius Chlorus (father of Constantine the Great). Variations of the name appeared at various times: Constantia (~400), Constances (1210), Coustances (1283 and again in 1437), Constances (1497 and 1608), Coutances (1631). Roman name derivation is rare in France. Although a great many cities and towns were founded, named or re-named by the Romans when they occupied Gaul (France) for around 500 years from the time Julius Caesar finally defeated Vercingetorix at the Battle of Alesia in 52 BC , most lost their Roman titles after the Romans left. When the Romans left in 486 AD , most city names were often changed to reflect the names of the Gallic tribes that occupied that region. Some (such as our local town of Hambye) have Frankish names after the Franks took over Gaul in the power vacuum left after the Romans departed. Coutances, however, retained its Roman name, probably in deference to its Christian connotations . Christianity having taken hold in most of the empire. Coutances cathedral. Not destroyed during the revolution, and miraculously barely touched during the tumult of the Allied bombings and landings of 1944 - even though much else around it was destroyed! The cathedral’s roots date back to when a Roman temple occupied the spot. This temple was changed into a church in the 5th century, which was later destroyed by Vikings in 866 AD – as was the original Roman aqueduct. Two centuries later the church was rebuilt as a Romanesque cathedral and was consecrated in 1056 in the presence of William the Bastard (better known later, perhaps, as William the Conqueror!). in 1180 it was restored and altered and in the 13th century transformed into the Norman Gothic style, although aspects (such as the twin towers and the columns in the nave are from the original Romanesque period). It is possible that the columns (or sections of them) date to the original Roman temple/basilica. One of the 13th century stained glass windows depicts the life of Thomas Becket. Getting there 12th century Eglise de Notre-Dame in Savigny including 14th century frescoes of the Last Supper (with an interesting twist) and the fate of Saint Barbara together with 16th century sculptures of the Madonna and Child and Saint Barbara. All saved from the revolutionaries by a fast thinking parishioner with a bit of white wash and quick burial!! They were all re-discovered in the late 19th century. Getting there Getting there – combining the two Chateau Ducal de Gavray With roots in the 11th century, this ruin is well worth visiting. It has spectacular views over Gavray and beyond. Parking can be a problem, and it may be easier to walk up from Gavray itself. Gavray to the left and the chateau to the right. Only 20 mins from the coastal beaches! Day trips Avaranches Avaranches has numerous restaurants and smaller eateries with the Scriptorial of Mont-Saint-Michel a must-see. It is worth visiting BEFORE the Mont itself as it has the history of Mont-Saint-Michel well covered. Original parchments are also on display, and there is hands-on section to show how the manuscripts were made. The staff also speak numerous languages. You can also see the site of the cathedral where Henry II did penance for the murder of Thomas Becket. Unfortunately, the only remains of the cathedral are now below ground level as it was destroyed during the revolution. However, the site does have spectacular views of the Baie du Mont-Sant-Michel (and the Mont itself) and one can only wonder at the magnificence of the structure with its views. One of the sarcophagi uncovered during archaeological excavations at the site in the 1970s can be found in the Scriptorial. Mont-Saint-Michel. A must-see. If you are feeling adventurous, it is possible to walk across the bay (the long way) to the Mont with a guide. These have to be pre-booked and you need to be prepared for getting a little wet. Otherwise, you can walk to the Mont from the new carpark, or catch the free shuttle buses, or take a horse cart ride (not free). Bayeux Where the famous tapestry (actually an embroidery) can be seen. It is worthwhile getting there early to avoid the crowds. Bayeux itself is a beautiful town. Getting there Normandy Landing Beaches For those intrigued by WWII history, the beaches where the Allies landed in Normandy can be evocative. There are quite a large number of museums in the area which are also worth visiting. ”
147 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Vieilles maisons de pêcheurs restaurées, on y retrace la vie d'autrefois et des artisans exposent différents arts - le cadre est somptueux face à la mer”
10 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Le Morbihan dispose d'un patrimoine mégalithique très important, et considéré comme le plus ancien au monde. Menhirs, dolmens, cairns et tumulus habillent les paysages de Bretagne Sud de leur histoire. Si les alignements de Carnac et le grand menhir brisé de Locmariaquer figurent parmi les plus connus, on dénombre plus de 550 sites mégalithiques du nord au sud du Morbihan. https://www.morbihan.com ”
5 locals recommend
Historic Site
“L’ancien village sidérurgique des Forges des Salles témoigne du florissant passé industriel breton ”
7 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Le Centre de l’Imaginaire Arthurien propose toute l’année des visites contées sur les sites incontournables de la forêt de Brocéliande, des expositions thématiques (Merlin, Arthur, la Table Ronde…), des spectacles pour vivre les aventures de Brocéliande comme si vous y étiez, des conférences, pour expliquer et analyser la légende, depuis ses origines jusqu’aux réécritures, des ateliers pour inventer son blason, apprendre l’escrime ou créer une histoire ou une chimère, et enfin une librairie unique avec plus de 500 références pour comprendre, s’amuser et s’émerveiller. Horaires d’ouverture : Du 18 mars au 31 octobre 2018. Fermé les 5 et 6 mai. Hors vacances : 10h-17h30. Fermé les lundis et m”
5 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Site Remarquable : vues imprenable sur la pointe bretagne, la presqu'ile de Crozon, l'archipel de Molène, sentiers côtiers vers Le Conquet et vers Brest, Si ”
5 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Site ancien : abbaye à ciel ouvert, phare et vue imprenable sur les iles (Ouessant, Molène, Beniguet). un sentier au bord de la falaise, situé à mi-chemin entre Plougonvelin et Le port du Conquet. ”
2 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Venez y visiter les rues pavées de la vieille cité Corsaire. Faites le tour des remparts surplombants la mer ou installez vous à la table d'un des nombreux restaurants qui animent les rues.”
6 locals recommend
Historic Site
“L'abbaye Notre-Dame de Paimpont est une abbaye et un ancien monastère de styles gothique et baroque construite au XIII siècle. Pendant l’été, trois salles sont ouvertes à des expositions, et les concerts se succèdent à l’abbatiale.”
2 locals recommend