Josselin, medieval marvel and a magical castle!

Again, another black and white writing updating and revising very old post from when I started the blog many moons ago. Hope you enjoy the nostalgia lane with me. Sit back and enjoy reading them. The pictures are in the individual posts on the things to see.

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

You can come here from Rennes on the road N24 or from the N166 direction Rennes. I do come on the D768 to connect with the N24 to Josselin. The train station in Rennes is link with Josselin by bus service in about 1h20. 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.

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 them, leave you to explore the Chapelle Sainte-Croix, ,and Chapelle Saint-Jacques. The 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 1105 , and became parish church by 1400.  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.

You can have wonderful promenades into another world, with woodend houses, old rails, and cobble stone streets, quant 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. The 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.

There is the magnificent Basilica Notre Dame de Roncier (see post) 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 A wonderful place to visit in a nice quaint district of town, near our favorite restaurant.(see below).

We ate lunch at Le Guethenoc, right looking at the Basilique. Its a house from the 15C!! . We had 2 leffe 50Cl beers, pizza Guethenoc,and la fontaine, one milkshake, one double coffee all for 20€ per person. The service was very warm,and friendly,and the ambiance very old and nice,the food splendid of course. Recommended.

You come to the main event, the Chateau de Josselin, (see post) still in private hands of the family of Rohan-Chabot, who occupied the first floor, been the street level floor open to the public here 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!!!

You can see 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.

The city of Josselin on its heritage in French:

The regional tourist office of Brocéliande on Josselin in French:

The tourist office of the Morbihan dept 56 on Josselin in English:

It’s a very nice old town with wonderful streets to dwell on for years near the forest of Brocéliande of Arthur and the Round Table leyend, you too can dream here. Visit beautiful Josselin and see my other posts on the town.

And remember,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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