La Guerche-de-Bretagne is a Small Town of Character founded in the Middle Ages, about twenty kilometers south of Vitré. With its strategic location between Angers and Nantes, the city developed strongly from the XNUMXth century thanks to trade. Today, it is good to stroll through its picturesque town center to admire the pretty half-timbered houses and the Notre-Dame-de-la-Guerche basilica. On Tuesday, don't miss its market, the oldest in Brittany!
The medieval past of La Guerche-de-Bretagne
In the 1173th century, the lords of La Guerche-de-Bretagne erected a stone castle on the site of a previous feudal mound and its keep. It will be burned down in XNUMX, like the city, by the troops of Henri II. Only a feudal mound still testifies to its existence today, on the edge of the old Matz pond, which is now dried up and converted into a pretty urban garden.
Around Place Charles-de-Gaulle hang out houses with porches and half-timbered houses : built between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, they bear witness to the commercial prosperity from the city. Agriculture, trade, tanning skins and hessian industry the Web were part, as in Vitré, of the main activities of the city.
Unusual : echoing the history of the city, a medieval vegetable garden was set up in 2021 in the town hall gardens.
The Notre-Dame-de-la-Guerche Basilica
Not far from there awaits you Notre-Dame-de-la-Guerche Basilica. This Gothic building is overlooked by a spire reaching 75 meters high. Erected in the XNUMXth century and modified many times until the XNUMXth century, it can boast of having four of the most beautiful stained-glass windows in Ille-et-Vilaine. Its interior mixes Renaissance decors in the choir (arabesques and grotesques) and medieval decorations (secular scenes).
La Guerche-de-Bretagne's market, a historic market
Every Tuesday morning, the town center of La Guerche-de-Bretagne comes alive with joy. And for good reason: the oldest market in Brittany is here!
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With more than a hundred merchants, this popular and friendly market is the second largest in Brittany, after the Lices market in Rennes. Today on the stalls, fish, meat, clothes, bread, local specialties or even hardware have replaced hemp cloth, salt and tanned hides which were mainly sold until 1840.
You can get free of charge the “Historical Route of La Guerche-de-Bretagne” (24 stages) at La Guerche Tourist Information Office.
As a family, explore the city thanks to geocaching by downloading the "Treasures of Upper Brittany" application, “La Guerche reveals its secrets” route.