The streets of Vannes!!!

And ok, many posts on this wonderful city of my beautiful Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne and my belle France! And I work just outside for a bit more before retirement rolls in soon ::) I love to come into towns/cities and walk them, it is superbe and we love it, going km after km sightseeing on foot. We by now know Vannes by heart but it never amazes me to see so much beauty in its architecture and history untouched by the times. Let me tell you another episode on the streets of Vannes! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Place Valencia square is located in the heart of the historic center of Vannes. It is inside the city’s first intramural wall, Place Valencia opens at the intersection of rue des Halles, rue Noé and rue des Orfèvres. It is name after the city of Valencia, Spain , the birthplace of Saint Vincent Ferrier, who came to preach in Vannes in 1418-19. The preacher would have lived in a house in the square. This beautiful half-timbered house on the ground floor in stones is located at n ° 17 of the square. According to tradition, it would have been inhabited by Saint Vincent Ferrier in 1418-1419. It was remodeled in 1574. Some of its relics are venerated at the Saint-Pierre Cathedral nearby, where he is the Patron Saint of Vannes , and of the Community of Valencia region in Spain. The other unique sight here is the Maison de Vannes et sa femme or house of Vannes and its women. This house on the corner of rue Noé is famous for its stone sculpture, probably from the 16C.

vannes pl de valencia two women wall jul17

The Place de la Liberation square forms a quadrilateral halfway between the historic center and the Madeleine district of Vannes. The Place de la Liberation occupies the site of the cemetery of the old Saint-Michel chapel, which already existed in the 13C. Damaged by a storm in 1706, the chapel was demolished in 1743 and the bones of the cemetery transferred to that of the Notre-Dame-des-Lices Chapel, on the place des Lices. In 1748, the nuns of the Visitation acquired the land thus liberated and turned it into an orchard. This was alienated during the French revolution and bought in 1822 by the city, which set up the cattle fair there. The new public square took the name of champ de foire or fairground. In 1850 the square was leveled, the earth cleared and a water reservoir built. Shortly after, it was decided to establish a gendarmerie there and to build a new prefecture. Only the first project was carried out, in 1859. It is the Guillaudot barracks. In 1964, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Liberation, the place champ de foire   was renamed Place de la Liberation.

vannes pl de la liberation bus depot sep19

The Place de la République square is home to several public buildings and the central Vannes public transport interchange. It is one of the largest public places in Vannes; crossed by rue Thiers, which leads from the city/town hall to the port. It is located on the edge of the historic center, covering an area of approximately 1.8 hectares, it is rectangular in shape. The square is partly used as a parking lot. Underground parking is also available under the square (one of our favorites) . The main public transport interchange in Vannes is located here. Place de la République was created in 1862 under the name of Place de la Halle-aux-Grains, in reference to the market hall which was built there at the same time. Initially square, the square takes a rectangular shape from its origin, when the construction of a courthouse is decided . It is also grew towards the historic center, when the space to the east of rue Thiers, corresponding to the ditches of the old ramparts, is added to it. In 1955, the grain hall, serving as a post office since 1912, was demolished. It was replaced by a new post in the 1970s. There now you have the main post office, Courthouse, Morbihan deparment 56 prefecture services (my father for his resident visitor card), Bank and real estate agencies.

vannes pl de la Republique bus terminal jun17

The Place Henri-IV is a square place located in the inner city on the heights of the Mené hill. It communicates with the Place Saint-Pierre and the cathedral (see below), to rue Saint-Salomon and to rue des Chanoines and rue Émile-Burgault. The square is surrounded by half-timbered houses from the 15-16C, from which they can therefore date the square. In the 18C, this square was called Mallièvre, a distortion of its original Breton name Men-Guevr, or stone with goats. After having been named Place du Département during the French revolution, it was finally renamed to its current name during the 19C. A bird market was held in this square in the 1860s: sellers, called Pilorgets, mainly brought linnets and goldfinches. Most of the houses in this square are listed as historic monuments. This is the case for houses located  at No 1 at the corner of Place Saint-Pierre, at no 2 corner of Place Saint-Pierre; note, on the Place Saint-Pierre side, the existence of a beam bearing the inscription “The sleeping cat is awake; at no 5 the corner of rue Saint-Salomon, at no 6 corner of rue des Chanoines. Although strictly speaking not present on the square, the house located at 32 rue des Chanoines is also protected as historical monuments.

Vannes pl henri IV jul16

The Place Saint Pierre square has a few old houses adjoining La Cohue (fine arts museum), opposite the St Peter’s Cathedral . La Cohue designating the old partly Romanesque halls, remains dating from the 16C. The ground floor was occupied by the stalls of merchants, mostly butchers and the first floor reserved for courts of law. The Parliament of Brittany sat there when it was exiled to Vannes. In the last century, a theater occupied the first floor which now houses the museum. At No. 9 Place Saint Pierre is one of the oldest houses in the city, recognizable by its many small windows, testimonies of civil architecture from the beginning of the 15C. The house at no 7 Place Saint Pierre, built on the edge of the Cohue from which it is separated by an alley. Its facade framework shows that it has retained a first floor from the 15C. This also shows the remains of the small crosses that once ran on the facade. It shows alterations by its wall of the second Renaissance in the basement and an elevation in the 19C. Of course, the must visit in town is that here you have the Cathédrale Saint Pierre or St Peter’s Cathedral built in the 13C-15-16C-19C.

vannes pl st pierre cat right jul14

The Rue du Port has several restaurant in wonderful historical houses such as the Le Comptoir du Port, Créperie du Port, and Don Camilo pizzeria as well as an excellent parking du Port underground. Also, at No 28 Rue du Port there is a house built at the end of the 16C or the beginning of the 17C, which testifies to the old state of the rue du port before the reconstructions of the 17-18-19C. Originally having a single corbelled floor level, it was raised by one floor in the 17C, then by a third in the 18C. The ground floor was advanced following the alignment of 1841 in 1870. Also, at No 10 rue du Port ,you can see the house whose main body on the street was rebuilt in 1747 on the site of a half-timbered house of which the gutter wall with corbel remains. The posterior body is contemporary with that on the street, but seems to be established on an older cellar remaining from the previous construction, open by day provided with a lug grille dating from the 17C. A well, appearing on the 1844 cadastre has disappeared. In the 19C,the house was occupied by a Masonic lodge; a decor from the first half of the 19C with a Masonic symbol is still preserved. Access is via a side hallway adjoining house at n ° 12. The limestone ashlar street façade has two bays, two square floors and an additional floor. The body overlooking rue du Drézen, in granite rubble, has a half-buried cellar, two square floors and an additional floor. Projecting on the alignment of the street , it is covered with a hipped roof. The staircase is in wood, with a single straight flight for each floor. The chimneys are established on the gutter walls.

vannes rue du port 14C houses feb15

You have the picturesque Rue Saint Guénhaël, where at No 17 Rue Saint Guénhaël you can see one of the oldest houses in Vannes. Almost six centuries old!! The house was built on a much older cellar probably remaining from an earlier building. This cellar is shared with house at No. 19 and could date back to the 12C or 13C. The first campaign concerns the ground floor and the first floor and possibly dates back to the second half of the 14C, as can be seen from the upstairs windows as well as the arcades on the ground floor. On the first floor, two blocked doors, as well as strong projecting consoles on the east wall seem to be the traces of an old corbelled raceway. Perhaps at the end of the 16C, the house was raised by one floor, eliminating the passage. The attic seems to have been built in the 19C. The staircase and most of the interior fittings disappeared in the 20C, with iron or wood reinforcements re-joining the structure. Another nice one at No 23 Rue Saint Guénhaël is on the ground floor or 1st floor the Crêperie Saint-Guenhaël. The house was built in the 15C according to its architectural characteristics and mentioned in the archives of 1455 as well as in the archives of the reformation of the estate in 1677. Its L-shaped plan does not seem original and it is likely that the house was made the object of a posterior and perpendicular extension including the previous house from the rear. The stone base has been modified as you can see on the ground floor that the original staircase has undergone modifications but still remain visible part of the original wooden screw and the rounded shape of the stairwell in the west wall which is indicated its place. The staircase on the ground floor only gives access to the basement. Access to the floors is today via another staircase contained in the side corridor. The rear part of the house includes in the wall a fireplace covered with a 17C woodwork which could hide an older granite fireplace. A fountain pierced in the south wall of the basement dates back to the 12C. The later enlargement of the house shows us that this fountain was first outside and that it could be accessed by the alley which led from the rue de la Bienfaisance to that of rue de la Monnaie.

vannes rue saint gunhael side of cat st pierre 14C jul14

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must me think are

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Vannes

The Morbihan dept 56 Tourist board on Vannes

The city of Vannes on history and heritage sights:

The Bretagne region tourist board on Vannes

There you go, now you are loaded just release your inner thoughts and transport yourselves to the 14 or 15 or centuries and come to Vannes, you will like it I know ::) And what better ways to feel it all than by walking the streets of Vannes!

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

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