Archive for February 2nd, 2012

February 2, 2012

Josselin, a castle and a lot more in inland Morbihan

One more trip into inland Morbihan, last Sunday afternoon, and another great experience, I surely will be back here, and recommend to all my readers. Josselin is a castle of history and beauty, and a Canal of historic proportions, plus the quaint streets of a beautiful town.

First the general stuff, the town official tourist webpage http://www.josselin-communaute.fr/Tourisme-et-loisirs/Office-de-Tourisme-Contact

you have plenty of tourist info at the city of Josselin page, http://www.josselin.com/decouvrir.html.

You come here from Rennes on the road N24 or from the N166 direction Rennes, and at the train station in Rennes is link with Josselin by bus service. the best in public transport is the Brittany region site at http://www.breizhgo.com/index.php/bretagne/ For best parking by car do so in the Promenades high above the city and great views as you come down on foot about five minutes to the Basilique.

Things to see is the church, Basilique Notre Dame du Roncier, leyend has it that in 808 AD, a laborer find a statue in a field of rubus plants, he brings the statue to the bishop but somehow the statue comes back to the same spot that was discovered, a chapel is built there once the laborer who was blind regain his vision. It is the site of the pardon or forgiveness celebration of the virgen for 1200+ years!  every september 8th. You can climb the tower 138 steps at a height of 61 meters. Inside its richly decorated. The parish site is here http://www.notre-dame-du-roncier.fr/

Another must is the Canal de Nantes-Brest ,by 1923, the construction of the levy at Guerlédan and the railroads advancement to carry freight slow down the growth of waterways , before the canal was actually began construction in 1804, having 236 levies,  it was finally finished in 1842.  It leaves a beautiful waterway down the town nowdays nice for walks, eating, and sailing the canal, more info here in French, http://www.canaux-bretons.net/pages/presentation_nantes_brest.htm

There are many chapels or small churches around the city as typical of this region, all very nicely decorated, and with a great history behind, leave you to explore the Chapelle Sainte-Croix, chapelle de la Congrégation, chapelle Saint-Martin,and  chapelle Saint-Jacques. You can have wonderful promenades into another world, with woodend houses, old rails, and cobble stone streets, quaint nice shops, and places to eat and drink, from pl de la Resistance to pl Notre Dame,and from Pl d’Alzey to pl des Ramparts.

We then come to the castle, chateau de Josselin. webpage here http://www.chateaujosselin.fr/  . it is close the day I went but something that will definitively brings me back here. Its 8€ admission and the contact email for info is at  contact@chateaudejosselin.com.  Over 1000 years old, and to get to meet the Rohan family descendants still living there!! You need reservation as individuals to get in, or groups at different times of the year. A bit of history that I translates is by the year  1008AD , Guéthenoc, Vicomte de Porhoët, de Rohan and de Guémené, decides to built on a rocky hill looking over the valley of the Oust, a central village and a castle. Goscelinus, son of Guéthenoc, give his name to the castle which in turns becomes with the spelling of  Josselin. Inside, there is a dolls museums from 1984, done by castle owner Antoinette de Rohan , with the oldest doll dating from the 17C! This is the Musée de Poupées. There are ,also, gardens of course, A french garden, an English garden, and a rosary. The gardens admission is 7€, and guided visits are held. Actually the webpage can be turn into English ,just click on the UK flag.

It has a rich tradition of artisanat ,and artists from paintings to pottery abound. Great souvenir store in front of Basilique. We ate at Le Guethenoc, right looking at the Basilique, tel +33 (0) 2 97 70 69 57. Its a house from the 15C!! and webpage is here http://www.leguethenoc.fr/ We had 2 leffe 50Cl beers, pizza guethenoc,and la fontaine, one milkshake, one double coffee all for 39€ for two. The service was very warm,and friendly,and the ambiance very old and nice,the food splendid of course. Recommended.

And to round up the day, did not stay ,but it looks wonderful and the location is superb ,facing the castle and right by the Canal Nantes-Brest is the Hotel Restaurant du Chateau, webpage here http://www.hotel-chateau.com/ Also with a nice looking restaurant.

Hope you visit, I certainly will be back, a very enchanting town, what I dream of in France. Some photos next, and until next time on Paris1972!

 

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