Christmas in Josselin and Loudéac!

Well, here I am in my tours of the towns nearby and with a  Christmas motif. Today was another gray, cold, foggy day with temps in the 5C or 41F thereabouts.  We first set out to get some plant medicine or homeopath at the town of Baud in Santé Nature, part of the La Vie Claire chain; very good folks and plenty of healthy good stuff there from plants to bio foods. It is right on the road D768 just not far from the town’s Church.  More here for general curiosity: http://www.lavieclaire.com/magasin-bio/baud.html

We have been to Josselin before three posts that  I can see last one in Sept 2016 and going back to 2012, we had time so we ,also,visited Loudéac ,last written in 2012! So we decided to give it another shot in our Christmas trail in the region.

Josselin is in the Morbihan dept 56 and Loudéac in the Côte d’Armor dept 22 of Brittany. The tourist office of Josselin in English is here: http://www.josselin-tourisme.com/en  ; loudéac less touristic is here http://www.centrebretagne.com/office-de-tourisme.html

As the site says, Josselin  has a thousand years of history and home of the noble family of the Rohan.  It is just about 45 kms from my house and easy to get there on the road D768.

We headed for Josselin, and found easy parking at the Place d’Alzey right by the hotel de ville or mayor’s office and behind the great Basilica. We were surprise of the lack of ambiance and very few visitors, and no Christmas events. For a city that claims 1000 years of history, not having a Marché de Noêl is sad ,even if they are not really popular in the west of France.

We did visited the usual wonderful buildings of the city such as the Basilica Notre Dame du Roncier, and the Castle of the Rohan, as well as the Chapelle de la Congrégation as it is more popular known today.  The Basilica is a must , a place of pilgrimage since 808AD with the pardon day of September 8th a major religious event. More in French at the city page here: http://www.josselin.com/vivre/culture-sport-patrimoine/josselin-et-son-patrimoine/

As you walked the wooden house laden streets of rue des Vierges, rue des Trente, Place Alain de Rohan, and Place Notre Dame you see beautiful architecture. The Rohan castle is a major one in the history of Brittany, The castle history begins in 1008AD, and you can read more in English here: http://www.chateaudejosselin.com/en/

The view of the castle from the river Oust  part of the Canal Nantes to Brest is sublime romantic and just plain beautiful.  More on the canal here: http://www.josselin-tourisme.com/en/discover/nantes-brest-canal

There is ,also, a Dolls museum inside created by the family Rohan themselves: more of it in the castle page here: http://www.chateaudejosselin.com/en/the-doll-museum

We did had time of course to eat and shop here always lovely. We re visit the Le Guethenoc restaurant ,11 Place Notre Dame, just facing the side of the Basilica Notre Dame du Roncier. It is our central place for eating here, and we had  pizza guethenoc, omelette jambon fromage, tagliatelles bolognaise, hamburger Rital ,omelette italienne, drinks for leffe beers of Christmas and expresso coffees all for 15,45€ per person, nice period decoration in a wooden house, very good nice service, and good local food. More here: http://www.restaurant-guethenoc.fr/

We, also, did some shopping as usual across from the restaurant and in front of the Basilica at the Le Feu d’Or souvenir store. Loaded with Breton motifs in celtic décor and this time my sons went for the rings with Celtic dragons motifs. 20€ silver. You will find almost…everything here to take home too. http://www.lefeudor.com/

As we finished too early to get back home, I decided to show my family one of my business haunts in Brittany, and we headed for Loudéac, along the D778, this is Gallo language territory not Breton.

Here we visited the nice Church of Saint Nicolas, and the Chapelle Notre Dame des Vertus.

Saint Nicolas goes back to 1748 and of Italian classic style, inside you see more of the renaissance style and you have statues in carrara marble of Saint Maurice de Carnoêt who lived in the city and Saint Nicolas dating from 1776. The belltower was done in 1741 with stones from the Castle de la Tréze. During the French revolution, the Church was turned into a military post and storage of goods. It was in the 19C-20C that it was restored as we see today.  On the above link of tourism in Loudéac you have less in French: http://www.centrebretagne.com/office-de-tourisme/decouvrir/patrimoine/un-chapelet-dedifices-religieux/eglise-st-nicolas-a-loudeac.html

The Chapelle Notre Dame des Vertus is not far in city center.  At the place there was a religious building dating from 1693 that was demolished due to bad conditions. In 1740, the cementary was done around the Chapel and finally closed out in 1804.  A new chapel is built in 1880 and open to the public in 1885. Many Sisters orders came here over the years, and a procession of the Virgin until 1954. It is a simple chapel full of calm and history. Other than the description on a plaque that I translated above not much is found now of it.

The main rue de Tréze is a nice artery with plenty of shops and restos, as well as a rather nice Hôtel de Ville or city/town hall with a bell on top. This is Loudéac, my business trips took me here and stayed at the very nice Hôtel des Voyageurs ,part of the local Brit chain of very good local classic hotels. This one is recommended and the restaurant is nice too as well as underground parking! It gives you a good central location to see inland Brittany very nicely; more here: http://www.hoteldesvoyageurs.fr/

And we came home zipping along the D700 then the D768 ,and now homey and comfy with goodies to eat and drink and thinking where to go next lol! Enjoy it, and Merry Christmas to all celebrating it. Cheers

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2 Comments to “Christmas in Josselin and Loudéac!”

  1. I loved Josselin and I bet it looks even pretier at Christmas. We went to a Christmas market in Baden-Baden, Germany, yesterday, but we are now in magical Obernai, Alsace: just perfect for this time of year. 🎄🎄🎄

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