Vannes, it’s fortified history of the Middle Ages!

So here I am finally at home, and looking at the news oh well glacial cold is coming up to -15C in some parts, and preparations underway to face it. We have our heating up earlier because its beginning to be felt. Snow is forecast for Thursday too! as the whole week is going to be very cold. That is for France too ,mind you.

Anyway just a tidbit of information. I was yesterday and this morning with the family again by our glorious little Capital city Vannes. It always amazed me the multitude of towers and rampart wall from the middle ages while looking at it , they seems to be done yesterday.

From the magnificent tour du Connetable or Constable tower and the surrounding garden of the Garenne, the famous lavoir or laundry, the ruins of the old castle, the walls and the sights of history are just phenomenal.

The ramparts of Vannes were built in the 3-7C to protect the city founded by the Romans in the end of the 1C under the rule of Auguste. This first protection was the only one for the city for more than 1000 years!  At the times of duke John IV (Jean IV) at the end of the 14C, the city has extended to the south to protect its new districts. The duke came to have his residence here and wanted to have a stronghold to protect him in case of conflict.  The town had grown to double its size and the new fortress of the Hermine was added.

The spurs of the Garenne was the last defensive work built here in 1630. From 1670, king Louis XIV sell piece by piece the ramparts in order to raise money for his campaigns of war; the most important of which was in 1697 when the ruins of the Castle of Hermine, was used the stones to built the port and other buildings. By the 19C, many sections were also destroyed in the north and west. It took the turn of the porte Prison or prison gate partially destroyed in 1886 and one of the oldest access tot he town to make the people react to save the ramparts  and create and association in 1911 to do so. The works continues today, making it the key to the local heritage seen by tourists and locals alike; making the ramparts one of the rare urban fortifications still existing today in all of Brittany.

From the bell tower of the old Chapel now part of the middle/high school Jules Simon; to the Port area Porte Saint Vincent , you walk into another world, one that has remained intact since the Middle Ages and wooden houses as far back as the 14C still remaining.  Most of it encircled by the beltway road boulevard de la Paix and rue Thiers.

You have the wonderful laundry or lavoir with their long roof, raised along the creek La Marie in early 19C, can’t missed it by the Garenne river out of the Porte Poterne where you can even drive a car thru still, just did !

You get great views from the gardens garenne to the Cathedral St Peter and over afar to the St Patern Church (the oldest in Vannes), as well as the fortification walls and the towers, just a magical ensemble.

Vannes Vannes Vannes VAnnes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

In French, the tourist office has a walk to guide you, if on short time. Here it is; http://www.tourisme-vannes.com/voir-faire/balades-et-randonnees/circuit-patrimoine/243972-balade-en-ville-les-fortifications

And if in town by June 2018, you can even do a running trail marathon around the ramparts too!  You need to sign up and have a medical certificate to run. More here in French http://www.trailvannes.fr/

And if you like gardening and the location of the Garenne garden with your back to the ramparts and towers , unique. See the event  Côté Jardin , on May 5-6 2018. More in French here: http://www.vannescotejardin.fr/

The city of Vannes has plenty on the remparts here in French, I believe you can translate with google. http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/histoire-et-patrimoine/qr-patrimoine/les-remparts-en-detail/

Tourist office general view on Vannes in English: http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/discover/vannes

Tourist office in general by the department 56 Morbihan in English: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/vannes

Tourist office in general of the Region of Brittany in English: http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/unmissable-sites/vannes

There you have it, another look at beautiful medieval small enough to hug and kiss Vannes. or GWENED in the Breton language ::) kenavo!

 

 

 

2 Comments to “Vannes, it’s fortified history of the Middle Ages!”

  1. Oh I cannot tell you how I just love your blogs…I so want to live in France some day. I am so naughty about practicing my French and my teacher is so kind! Probably shouldn’t be? But truthfully, even the snow coming to France charms me. You’ve seen how I love to sled! Have a wonderful, quiet day in la neige!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you for your kind comments. Yes we all want to live in France ! snow have a lot experience but not my favorite,we will bear down the Moscow glacier ::) Enjoy your Sunday.

      Like

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