©Tréguier|Thibault Poriel
Small towns of character® and historic citiesin Trégor

Small Cities of Character and Historic Towns

Brittany’s identity is inscribed through each cobbled alley, on the polychrome facades of the pan-de-bois houses or in the stone lace of its cathedrals and chapels. Even today, in the heart of the lively alleys of Tréguier, La Roche-Derrien or Lannion, the stalls of art craftsmen or artists’ workshops open their doors to discover the ancestral know-how of the Petites Cités de Caractère and the Villes d’Art et d’Histoire.
Participating in the local activities, festivals, and exhibitions that punctuate the daily life of the inhabitants, or following guided tours, is to understand the history, through the monuments and artistic centers of these historical cities.


Historical capital and city of the spirit

It is at the confluence of the Jaudy and Guindy rivers that the majestic Saint-Tugdual cathedral stands proudly on the Place du Martray. Its elegant spire dominates the landscape. The cobbled streets with their steep slope will take you right in front of one of its three porches. Outside, a little to your right, a small staircase attracts your attention and allows you to enter the cloister, an architectural jewel of the flamboyant gothic style and a lapidary museum.
On the third Sunday of May, the square is a hive of activity: the great procession of the Pardon de Saint Yves attracts believers, the simply curious and of course many professions of justice and law. All around the central square, granite mansions and timber-framed houses compete in beauty, while shops, artists’ studios and art galleries arouse curiosity. The birthplace of the famous writer, philosopher and thinker Ernest Renan opens its doors to you. Born in 1823, he claimed the right of free expression for religious and historical criticism in the light of scientific study. Before leaving, take the time to go for a walk in the Poet’s Wood in which the suspension bridge tells you that there was a time when there were only ferries to cross the rivers.


La Roche-Derrien

A small city of character coiled between estuary and river

There was a time when La Roche-Derrien was a coveted stronghold, surrounded by small seigneuries each with its fortified manor and fertile land. Today, it is a charming “Petite Cité de Caractère” which tells you its history through an interpretation tour. It underwent many modifications, initially serving as a dungeon when the castle was dismantled. Near the large glass roof, relive in binaural sound the battle of 1347, and immerse yourself in the shrapnel of the cannonballs and the blows of the sword.
From the public garden, observe the remains of the old fortifications. From the public garden, observe the remains of the old fortifications. The steep alley leads you to the banks of the Jaudy where the ragpickers used to live and by the alley of the English, you will find the site of the disappeared castle.
At the bend of the calvary square, the magnificent red house in pan-de-bois displays an elegant façade. Go for a walk in the surrounding villages to discover the wealthy houses of Trégorroise, the flax mills and the old seaweed port. Take a deep breath of its woody scents and listen carefully: it is the chirping of many birds that frequent our rivers.



A few steps from the sea a case of beautiful old houses with varied looks

Choose a walk in downtown Lannion to go back in time. Eyes up, you’ll pass pan de bois houses, covered with slates, granite buildings where a profusion of curious attributes are offered to the eye: saucy sculptures, caryatids, oriels. The cobbled streets lead you to the urban manor houses with their stair towers and watchtowers.
Go down to the Stanco to climb the 142 steps that lead to the church of Brélévenez: the view is breathtaking and the sanctuary breathtaking. Back in the center, you can choose between a tour in the heart of the city and/or a historical itinerary on the banks of the Léguer. From the church of Saint-Jean du Baly, the covered market is only a few steps away and leads to a maze of small stores, art galleries and the Ursuline convent with its beautiful exhibitions. A covered passageway takes you to the Place du Marchallac’h where cattle used to have their market. The street goes down to the quays enlarged to develop commercial exchanges. Crossing the Viarmes Bridge, you will arrive at the Sainte-Anne Park, a bucolic haven in the heart of the city.


Cultivating the essential