Stroll through the alleys, let yourself be surprised by the architectural witnesses of past centuries and the secrets contained in the monuments and colored facades… This is the best way to discover Vitré.
Immediate boarding for a step-by-step tour through the historic center ...
La rue de la Baudrairie: one of the most beautiful streets in Vitré
This gently sloping cobblestone street offers a nice contrast between old and modern, since it is full of independent shops taking place in merchant houses dating from the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. Take a closer look at the colors of these houses: merchants who wanted to show off their wealth favored the green color which was the most expensive to produce. You will also come across many cats who will happily pose on your photos!
Did you know?
Vitré is one of the towns in France to have preserved the most half-timbered houses.
Place du Château: spotlight on the Château de Vitré
Le Vitré castle will surprise you with its size and majestic silhouette. Built in the XNUMXth century, enlarged in the XNUMXth century, the fortress acquired its current silhouette in the XNUMXth century. Originally, the Château de Vitré defends the Duchy of Brittany facing neighboring principalities. This defensive function faded during the XNUMXth century: the castle then became a very comfortable residence with fireplaces, latrines, apartments ... and even a sauna !
Notre-Dame Street: zoom on the wealth of Overseas Merchants
At number 26 of the Notre-Dame Street, you will notice a nice example of merchant house, the sculptures of the facade expressing the prosperity of the owner. On this house is also affixed the mark of the merchant. At the time when Vitré was a central place in the canvas trade, everyone had their mark. In particular, they made it possible for those who ensured the sorting and the transport and could neither read nor write, to quickly identify the owner of the goods.
Two steps away stands Notre-Dame Church, opposite the place of the same name. Notice the beauty and wealth of its facade: it was financed by Overseas Merchants who, here too, affixed their marks. Keep your eyes peeled to spot them!
Do not miss the three porch houses located at numbers 29, 31, 33 rue Notre-Dame. These rare buildings with covered galleries are the ancestors of the shopping arcades that we know today.
Before resuming your journey, make one final stop at number 27 rue Notre-Dame. Nestled behind a stone portal, a XNUMXth century mansion offers a superb Renaissance decor with shells, putty (cherubs) and original fireplaces.
Rue d'En Bas: charm and authenticity
It is one of the most charming in Vitré. Here and there, colorful half-timbered houses, slate roofs and signs give the street a unique atmosphere. Among the architectural gems to discover, Hotel du Bol d'Or, at number 10, is an old house with an unusual shape. The street leads to Place Saint-Yves. Of the door from below which made it possible to enter the walled city, the only remaining remains is the South tower, altered in the XNUMXth century. The adjoining schist wall is a remarkable witness to the XNUMXth century enclosure.
Enjoy the lively atmosphere of rue d'Embas by taking a seat on the terrace accompanied by a local beer or a Breton soda.
Possibility of individual guided tours in summer – Information from the Pays de Vitré Tourist Office on 02 99 75 04 46
Rue de la Poterie: architectural curiosity and merchant houses
A little further on, rue Duguesclin leads to the pottery street. First surprise: the Isle House and its particular shape (you can walk around it!).
On either side of this vitreous curiosity abound houses with porches, old residences and merchant shops. You will see the cellar vents in front of some of them.
Today, rue de la Poterie is full of local designer shops and gourmet addresses.