Discover all the facets of the thousand-year-old city of Vitré through our selection of guided tours, with our guide-lecturers.

Also find at the bottom of this page our thematic guided tours, to learn more about specific aspects of history.

Our thematic guided tours in Vitré

The guide-lecturers of the City of Art and History also offer you a whole range of thematic guided tours, in order to find out more about certain themes, subjects or aspects of the history of the city or his architecture.

Don’t hesitate to ask us when preparing your stay with us!

Visite, Au Fil de l'eau, Le long de la Vilaine à Vitré ©Vitré Communauté-ADT35_PORIEL Thibault

Guided tour " Glazed over the water »

At all times, water played a vital role, essential in human life. She is source of life, it purifies, it protects, separates and nourishes.

The villain, who crosses three departments, was the object of all attention. She was channeled thanks to the preparatory work of Leonardo da Vinci and received on its banks many mills to which have been added, throughout its history, abbeys and castles.

Vitré still retains traces of this equipment, whether on the river or in the city with the incoming gutters, roof cores, well, castle ovens, fountains and laundries which punctuate the city, Gargoyles of the Notre-Dame church and the baptismal font.

© Vitré Community – ADT35 – Thibault Poriel

Promenade du Val, Vitré ©Max Juillot

Thematic visit, « Glazed during the Revolution »

The guide-lecturer offers you discover Vitré during the revolutionary era et under the gaze of the Marquise des Nétumières.

Born in 1761, this woman has twenty-eight years old when the Revolution broke out. She then lived, with her husband, on Castle of the Rocks, former home of the Marquise of Sevigne.

Through her letters and those of her husband, visitors will be immersed in the disturbing atmosphere of Terror ; a way of visit the buildings differently which were the scene of revolutionary events in Vitre.

© Max Juillot

Thematic visit, “Vitré, a fortified city in the Marches de Brittany »

This visit will allow you to discover the art of living in the 15th centuryrd century.

You will thus evolve court of the barons of Vitré, between the need to protect your life and the still new desire to make it pleasant.

Construction of the Madeleine Tower to arrange his private apartments there, creation of ovens and latrines, installation ofimposing fireplaces and creation of a neat sculpted decor, Jeanne de Laval-Châtillon gradually transformed the Vitrean fortress in a comfortable residence, setting for a luxurious life, at the turn of the XIVrd and XVrd centuries.

©crtb/Noë C.Photography

Thematic visit, “The Notre-Dame church and its priory”

Built between 1420 and 1570, the Notre-Dame church formerly served the old walled town.
Of style flamboyant gothic, the south facade, completed in 1540, is characteristic of the multi-gabled churches popular in Upper Brittany.

The outdoor preaching pulpit and the interior decoration of the church, remodeled around 1850, are most remarkable.
To the North-East, the Notre-Dame priory, attested from the 12thrd century, was rebuilt around 1680 by the Maurist Benedictines. Let yourself be seduced by the happy marriage of styles, from therd in the nineteenthrd centuries.

© Thibault Poriel – ADT35 – Vitré Community

Thematic visit, « Vitré, cradle of the Renaissance in Brittany »

In 1501, Nicolas de Laval becomes Baron de Vitré, under the name of Guy XVI.

Close to Louis XII whom he accompanied during the Italian campaigns, then to Francis 1er, he is very early familiar with Renaissance art.
Husband in third marriage, of Antoinette de Daillon, Lady of Lude, it is also influenced by the latter which contributes to develop her husband's taste for the Renaissance style. It is moreover during this union, between 1526 and 1531 that Guy XVI had built, at the Château de Vitré, the apse of the Oratory who could be the first Renaissance building in Brittany.

At the court of Guy XVI, the nobility and bourgeoisie from the Pays de Vitré discover this new art came from Italy and put into practice this style imbued with humanism.

© Noë C. Photography – CRT Bretagne

Marque des Marchands d'OUtre-Mers, Église Notre-Dame à Vitré ©Vitré Communauté-ADT35_PORIEL Thibault
Thematic visit, “A trading city, that of Overseas Merchants”

From the XIVrd century, Vitré was transformed into a warehouse town where the large unbleached hemp canvasessay canevas, traditional production from the Pays de Vitré.

Used for boat sails and packaging of goods, these canvases are marketed internationally by the Vitrean merchants, united in 1473 into a powerful and rich Brotherhood of Overseas Merchants.

The Notre-Dame church, mansions made of wood or stone are the witnesses of a golden age that the guide-lecturer invites you to discover.

© Thibault Poriel – ADT35 – Vitré Community

Thematic visit, « 18th century residencesrd century, balconies and artistic ironwork »

Since last quarter of the 17th centuryrd century, the Vitrean city is experiencing a period of economic downturn linked to the fall in the canvas trade and the flight of rich Vitrean Protestants.
In this difficult situation, the families of the Vitrean bourgeoisie, whose fortunes however diminished, cannot build new homes. So they are constrained to adapt old half-timbered houses to the refinement of the architecture and way of life of the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI.

While old facades are decorated with balconies and railings with beautiful arabesques and while it is not uncommon for a delicate paneling decoration to be hidden behind the medieval silhouette of a house in the walled town, two large residences built in the purest classical style bear witness to the maintenance of aristocratic fortunes: the Hôtel des Nétumières and the Château de la Baratière.

Half-timbered house ©crtb_Noë C-Photography

Thematic visit, “ Barons and baronesses at the Château de Vitré »

Unveiling to you the genealogy of the barons of Vitré, the guide-lecturer presents the architectural evolution of the castle, fortress turned residence.

The visit is completed by the presentation of plans of the 18th century castlerd century and continues in the large Wedding Hall, inside the Town Hall where the guide-lecturer discusses the memory of the forty-two baronesses who succeeded one another in Vitré until 1789.

© Thibault Poriel – ADT35 – Vitré Community

Thematic visit, “ Vitré, from the cemetery to the Saint-Martin church »

In the center of the cemetery, a veritable book of Vitrean history, tower of Old Saint-Martin is the only vestige of the old church, erected in 1437, in a branch of Notre-Dame parish.

Discover this amazing site with the guide-lecturer who, through Faubourg Saint-Martin, will take you to the new and large church of the same name, whose project led by the architects Mellet, was the most ambitious in the diocese, 1868 to 1893.

© Photo Plus Maignan

Thematic visit, “ The city wall »

Between 1220 and 1240, at the same time as he expands and adapts his castle to the new defensive constraints, Andrew III of Vitré endows the seat of his barony with a fortified enclosure of Augustinian style.

Reinforced in the 15th centuryrd century, partly destroyed or masked by nnew constructions in the 19th centuryrd century, the vitreous enclosure counts among the best preserved in France.

Along the Val promenade in the North and East, it is remained unchanged, centuries-old witness to the military history of one of the most prestigious strongholds of Steps of Brittany.

© Matthieu Le Gall – Vitré Community