Josselin, a medieval marvel and a magical castle.

This was the beginning of vacation time,and as last minute vacationers we decided to go back to wonderful Josselin in central Morbihan. I was here already with my twins see post of February 2 ,2012. That was winter and now it is summer,and the entire family join in. First ,let me give you the tourist office of Josselin,

The most wonderful way to see a city in my opinion is to walk. We can come to it on any means but once in the city do walk; I get ask for public transportation all the time including the metro/subway/tube but this is awful, underground you dont see nothing. Do walk in any city. Josselin is no different, its a wonderful medieval look city all around, with beautiful wooden house or maison en bois, old medieval,renaissance, flamboyant gothic, all over.

The streets of place Notre Dame, place Saint martin, rue olivier de Clisson, rue des trente, rue beaumanoir, rue Glatinier, are marvels to dwell on for hours. The wonderful Breton gift store on pl Notre Dame, and rue Olivier de Clisson Le Feu d’Or has wonderful items for the house and gift giving galores, just across from the basilica, see it here  its our must stop in town,now becoming our fav places in Brittany.

La Chapelle de la Congregation,  a weird destiny after been built in  1702 , the bishop refuse to consecrated, and it was later used as a cereal depot until 1805. Later, it held public hearings and meetings, then a classroom, and finally a place of expositions and works of arts exhibitions as today.

You have the old and wonderful church and parish of St Martin, it was dependant on a parish founded in 1105AD , and became parish church by 1400AD.  It was renovated in the 17C, the nave was destroyed in the 19C, a chapel was build in its place. It has an important breton roman architecture on the benedictine plan. Just outside there is a big camping car parking for free with all facilities.

We again had our lunch full of pizzas of different make, timedouc was mine, with italian hams, with leffe beers, coffees gourmand with desserts, for five 117€ great food, great service, beautiful servers! and all happy. Le Guéthenoc (old name for Josselin) at place Notre Dame;

You can see nice photos of the Canal Nantes Brest, from high above the Chateau de Josselin. Plenty of river boat and cruises activity in summer. I show you the contrast of the modern looking mayor’s office or mairie at Place Alain de Rohan. See the wonderful architecture of the cinéma Le Beau Manoir, Rue Douves du Lion d’Or, in a nice area not far from the basilica.

There is the magnificent Basilica Notre Dame de Roncier,  ; it was built in the 12C, and succeeded all the major events in Josselin of the family of chevalier Olivier de Clisson, and Marguerite de Rohan, therefore the story of the Rohan family in the castle. The tombs of the two are in a chapel in the basilica now; there will be the traditional pilgrimage here in honor of Notre Dame de Roncier on Sept 7-8 2012 starting with a mass from 19h to 20H30. A wonderful place to visit in a nice quaint district of town, near our favorite restaurant.

You come to the main event, the Chateau de Josselin, still in private hands of the family of Rohan-Chabot, who occupied the first floor, been the street level floor open to the public for 8€ for adults. There are wonderful gardens,and a nice puppet museum or Musée des Poupées on rue des Trente entrance. For me it is the castle, a wonderfully kept and maintained property which shows why the owners still live there.  There were actually 9 towers most destroyed because the original Rohan were protestants calvinists and when they lost to king Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu in return destroyed them. The remaining tower or tour isolée or isolated tower was once used as a prison and still remain detach from the castle.  You visit the castle by going right in from of the chapel at Place de la Congrégation, and then go thru a door that makes pass over the levy bridge of old into the castle property proper.

Impressive dining room or salle à manger that is still use by the family on some special occasions, it is  16 meters long by 9 meters wide and was last renovated in 1880.  You past into the antichamber or receiving room of today, where there is a bust of the leader of the calvinists Henri de Rohan, ,and then you go to the Grand Salon, beautifully decorated with portraits and last the bibliothéque or library with about  3000 books from the 17C to early 20C not sure if in use today. The castle was visited by Queen Elizabeth II of UK who had tea with the Rohan-Chabot here.  The branch of th Rohan Chabot is the only  remaining branch of the Rohan family in France. In order to keep the name Rohan and not Chabot upon marriage, the king Louis XIV ask them to convert to Catholism which they are today. A MUST TO VISIT!!! Here is the official webpage

You get here easily from Rennes or Lorient,Brest on the road N24 ,and from Nantes on the N165 then N24. From me on the N165 you can take the D768 direction Pontivy to the N24. about 50 minutes from my house by car. Hope you enjoy the new photos.


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