The fortified town of Moncontour, and its church!!

Here is a find finally!! I have passed by its lower road the D768 many times and never came into the town of Moncontour, until now. With so much to see, figure it was time for me to take a look at it up close and personal. Therefore, after lunch we took off for a tour of the unknown yet familiar territory. Moncontour is nice worth the detour indeed.

Moncontour is located in the Côtes-d’Armor department 22 in my lovely Bretagne region. It is part of the Petites Cités de Caractère (small towns of character) and the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France association (the most beautiful villages of France). The town is located 25 km from Saint-Brieuc, and 85 km from my home.

The town of Moncontour was an important military place in the 12C, at that time Montcontour was a fortified town which allowed the lords to control the surroundings and to establish their authority , It was renowned for its church, dedicated to Saint Mathurin, which became the object of many pilgrimages from the 16C, In the 17-18C, a textile production of so-called “Brittany” fabrics developed in the Saint-Brieuc – Corlay – Pontivy – Moncontour quadrilateral; these paintings were exported to Spain and the Spanish colonies (they were called bretanas, quintines or pondivi) mainly via Cadiz, where French merchants were installed.

Moncontour pl de penthievre nov21

Things to see I like; will give the church on this post and will make up another for the rest of the town. The church was closed as it is often here for this road warrior will mean another trip when its open!

The Church Saint-Mathurin or the Church Notre-Dame and Saint-Mathurin (15-16C) was rebuilt in the 18C and restored between 1890 and 1902. It is located in the center of the city, place Penthièvre. Originally, the church was dedicated to Sainte-Anne. The cure of Notre-Dame was given in 1050 to the Saint-Sauveur abbey in Redon, then, later, to the Saint-Melaine abbey in Rennes. In the 15C, the church was a rectangular building with corner towers and a porch, which faced the market halls on Place Penthièvre. The current church of Moncontour bore, in 1408 and 1516, the title of Notre-Dame Church, but in 1546, it took that of Notre-Dame and Saint-Mathurin Church. The bell tower, located north of the choir, was rebuilt between 1584 and 1587.

Moncontour ch Saint Mathurin arriving nov21

The original nave was doubled by a south aisle around 1620. The belfry, covered with slates, surmounted by a dome, has pinnacles at the angles. Its lead cover dates from 1647. The vault of the choir was repaired in 1719 using stones taken from the Crouiche tower. The six windows were made between 1520 and 1540. The master window (1522-1531) is dedicated to the Childhood of Christ: it represents five episodes of Christ (the Visitation, the Nativity, the Flight into Egypt, the Massacre of the Innocents and the Presentation in the Temple). The stained-glass windows of Saint-Yves (1537), Sainte-Barbe (1538) and Saint-Jean-Baptiste (16C) occupy the windows of the north wall of the nave, those of Saint-Mathurin and the Tree of Jesse (16C) are located in the south aisle. The stained-glass window of Saint-Jean-Baptiste bears the arms of the Le Mintier (lords of the Granges), La Motte (lords of Vauclerc) and Milon families. All the stained glass windows were restored in 1588.

Moncontour ch Saint Mathurin belltower nov21

The organs and the tribune, date from 1580-1862. The pulpit dates from 1616. The portal dates from 1765. The side altarpieces of Saint-Mathurin and Sainte-Anne, restored in 1736, date from the 18C. The high altar, in polychrome marble, dates from 1768. The communion table, in wrought iron, dates from 1738. The pulpit from the 18C; the fonts and a font from the 16C; the wooden portal dated 1765, the silver bust of Saint Mathurin bought in 1805; finally some old statues of the Blessed Virgin (18C), Saint Anne, Saint Marguerite, Pieta (17C).

Moncontour ch Saint Mathurin front nov21

The local Cap d’erguy val andre tourist office on Moncontour

The city of Moncontour and the church

There you go folks, another dandy pretty place to see in my lovely Bretagne. The fortified town of Moncontour is worth the visit and easy accessable on the road D768! Hope you enjoy this jewel and do walks its hilly cobblestone streets for another look at our world.

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

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