An inland beauty Malestroit of Morbihan!

And here I am back in my inland Morbihan road warrior trips and more beauties of course! I had briefly written on this wonderful town of Malestroit, but will update the post literally all new and links; hope you enjoy it as I.

I was drawn to Malestroit,  inland Morbihan. It was a thrill to find more gems there. Actually, I came here first because my company sponsored a running race thru the woods starting in city center here and I was a happy spectator! And voilà, Malestroit came into my map! Things happens here in lovely Bretagne!

The best is by car from Vannes take the N166 direction Rennes and come off at exit D776 Malestroit, follow the signs for the city. Or a bit further or coming from Rennes closest is the exit D10 Serent/Maletroit. From Nantes you take the N165 to the N166 direction Rennes and follow above. There is a bus and no train station fyi.

Malestroit as many other towns in Brittany receives for its historical richness the title of « Petite cité de caractère » or small towns of character. All works around the Oust river , that connects here with the wonderful Canal Nantes-Brest. You have many things to see here and a day will be filled with goodies to enjoy,such as the place du Bouffay (houses from the 15C to 16C), L’île Notre-Dame (isle of Notre Dame between canal and river), Church of Saint-Gilles (12-16C), Chapelle de la Madeleine (where treaty of the Hundred years war was signed), Monastery of the Augustines, see and walk medieval streets such as rue du Général de Gaulle, rue Sainte-Anne ,and rue des Ponts (houses from the 15-16C), see the stone shales in purple, green,and blue, sand, tiles, stones, and granite in the architecture of the buildings and houses. See the windmill of flour,and the ecluses or levies on the river and canal, plenty of houses of wood front from many years old since 15C ; and see the house of water and fishing or maison de l’eau et de la pêche.

maletroit rue gen de gaulle apr12


The Church of St Gilles, very nice in a pedestrian section by the pl du Bouffray, really nice,the most impressive is the meridional  façade shown very high on the front. On each side of the south portal you have two doors sculpture from the 17C, you can see encrusted on the wall the sculptues that comes from the church of the 11C, great reliefs rounded, chapters and corbets, all representing a melee of attributes of the evangelists (lion of Saint-Marc landed by  Samson  that symbolises maybe the man of Saint-Mathieu,the deer of Saint-Luc resting on a socket decorated with the eagle of Saint-Jeanand ) ,a nice place to eat at Bar du Bouffray lights meals and drinks (which we did) , other heartier restos abound. The statue called Notre-Dame-de-Pitié dates from the 16C. It is carved in a wooden monolith. It was before the French revolution in the chapel of the Augustinian monastery  in the Notre Dame island, then thrown by the revolutionaries to be burned, it was exchanged by Pierre Evain, carpenter, against 5 ropes of wood. He hid it before installing it in the Church. From the Romanesque period, there remains the square of the transept and its south-extended cross-vaulted apsidal, which opens onto a southern façade with a rich iconography. At the 16C  Northern nave in flamboyant Gothic  was attached to the southern nave radiating Gothic. These two naves, separated outwardly by an octagonal turret and communicating inside by large arcades, confer to the ensemble a great originality. Then it was rebuilt and enlarged in the 17C following the fire caused by the Leaguers in 1592.

maletroit bar du bouffray apr12


Inside the Church of St Gilles , you have the stained glass of the tree of Jesse  15C, the large stained glass window, to the left of the high altar of 1900, which represents the life of Saint-Gilles , the Chair aux Sirens  17C and the reliquary hand of Saint-Gilles, 15C in silver bronze.  On both sides of the south gate, consisting of two doors carved from the 17C, one can see, embedded in the wall, sculptures that come from the Church of the 11-12C.


At 4 Faubourg Saint-Michel  ,you see the wonderful Monastery of the Augustines, and next door the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. There were Augustins on the isle of Notre Dame from 1633 to 1791, stop by the French revolution . In 1828, Jean-Marie de Lamennais. that came to found the Congrégation des Prêtres de St Méen, buys the building and creates the Novitiate. In 1866, well welcome by the locals, the new monastery under the support fo the Immaculate Conception came back to be. However, the laws of 1902 against the Congrégations teaching in France needs to close and the Sisters flee to England. In order to continue the Sisters need to have a nurse degree to care for the sick.  In April 1915, the group arrives back again to Malestroit, the room welcome the refugees from Belgium due to WWI,  Friday September 13 ,1918, all the community gets together for a geste that give birth to a house, the consecration of the Sacred Heart that still is celebrated on that date to this day. The official hospital next door to the monastery has a webpage in French:


In WWII ,they did heroic acts curing and guarding resistant’s fighters in their monastery and clinic at great risks, the Géneral Audibert, chief of the Résistance de l’Ouest, hid in the clinic, made prisoner and deported to Buchenwald, mentioned on his return « Elles ont agi avec joie, espérance et charité ». “they acted with joy, hope, and charity” BRAVO! This is the Augustinian Monastery webpage in French:


Other wonderful thing to walk ,see and admire is the magnificent Canal Nantes Brest that passes the town along the Oust river. A bit of info on it, the Canal link the two cities in the name from Nantes to Brest, taken the valleys of the rivers Erdre, Isac, Oust, Bravet, Doré, Hyéres, and Aulne; these rivers are link by three canals that joints flanking the lines of water. Its construction goes back to the first half of the 19C and it has 364 km long. The idea was to link by water as by road was more difficult the whole of the Duché de Bretagne, idea as far back as 1538. After many hesitations and the ravages of war, the project took fly in 1803, and was achieved in 1858 ,with the presence of emperor Napoleon III and the Imperatrice Eugene at the levy of Guilly Glaz.

Maletroit oust and canal on rue des ponts apr12

The region of Broceliande tourist board on Malestroit and its heritage

The Bretagne region tourist office on Maletroit:

The city of Maletroit on its heritage

There you go folks, some of the off the beaten path people asked me all the time well plenty in my belle France still to be discovered by many. Enjoy Malestroit in inland Morbihan of Bretagne!

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

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