The Historical Attractions of Brittany
Brittany is one of the most visited regions in France, and with delicious wine, glorious beaches and plenty of fantastic attractions on offer, this isn’t without good reason. It’s the region’s historic attractions which make it stand out though, and whether you’re interested in medieval towns, impressive forts or grandiose chateaux, we’ve compiled a list of some of Brittany’s top historical attractions.
Perched on the River Rance, the walled town of Dinan is renowned for its stunning medieval features. From the picturesque old town, walk up the steep cobbled hill of the Rue Jeruzal and you’ll find the port, where you can join a boat cruise and even hire your own small motorboat for the day.
Every other year, the town also plays host to the Fete de Remparts – a medieval festival where the town is handed over to street entertainers, musicians, and knights on horseback. The residents really get into the festive spirit too, dressing up in traditional costume.
If you can’t make the festival, you can still step back in time every Thursday and visit the country market. Here you can buy anything from bread and organic vegetables all the way through to live pigs and chickens. Continuing on the historical theme, the town’s Railway Museum is also well worth a visit.
Saint-Malo’s National Fort
The walled port city of Saint-Malo is well worth a visit in itself, but it’s the fort that really draws in the tourists. This impressive structure is easily admired from afar, but it’s definitely worth getting up close and paying a visit to the museum. The incredible view will be enough to keep the adults entertained, but if you’ve got the kids in tow they’ll love the free educational booklet which will teach them all they need to know about this historic landmark.
Châteaux and Manors
Until 1532, Brittany was a separate country, and as well as a unique food and drink culture and fascinating architecture, the region also saw many feudal struggles during the Middle Ages and was the site of many bloody battles between French and English invaders. The region is still home to more than 4000 châteaux, manors and stately homes from the Medieval, Renaissance and later periods, and a great deal of them are open to the public. Find out more about them on the official site for Brittany Tourism.
Explore On Foot
Brittany is home to more walking trails than any other region in France, so what better excuse do you need to let your feet guide you and experience some of its best historic attractions both on and off the beaten track? From coastal paths showcasing some of the area’s incredible natural history to some of the most beautiful towns and cities, there’s no better way to explore Brittany. After a busy day of exploring, retire to your own luxurious villa with a bottle of French wine. You can see a list here and pick a property that’s perfect for you.
Fort La Latte
You might recognise Fort La Latte from a number of films over the years, and with such an impressive setting it’s not surprising it’s often chosen as a film location. Built in the 13th century, this historic site is perfect for exploring and snapping some great holiday shots, but it’s probably best known as the site of the famous battle between Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas in the 1958 film, The Vikings.