Delightful old town: Vannes

Delightful old town: Vannes

Old town between ramparts and marina

The city on the Golfe de Morbihan has a delightful old town. Colorful half-timbered houses with upscale boutiques and gourmet restaurants line narrow cobblestone streets that run towards the semicircular Place Gambetta at the marina. The medieval town is surrounded by the ramparts, a fortress wall that today is partially integrated into parks. Worth seeing are also the Gothic cathedral, which is one of the largest in Brittany with a length of 110 meters, and the Château de l'Hermine, where the Institut culturel de Bretagne now resides.

Attractions Vannes

Menhirs of Carnac

Riddles about 7,000-year-old stones

More than 3,000 stone standing upright in loose rows at Carnac have been fascinating archaeologists for centuries. Some of the stones have already been set up 7,000 years ago, before the pyramids or stone buildings in India and China have been built. So the stones have not been erected by the Druids, as it was supposed in the 19th century. They are the masterpiece of an unknown, pre-Celtic, Western European Stone Age people, which left nothing but enormous stone settings. Menhirs are found everywhere on the west coast of Europe from Spain to Scotland, but nowhere as many as in Carnac. Legends and myths entwine around the stones. Christian missionaries took them for a devil's work and carved crosses in them. Healers and witches tried to cure infertility with their help. Even today you can see women who rub their bellies on the stones at full moon. Despite countless theories, nobody will be able to fathom the original meaning. Only Flaubert's sentence is certain: “The stones of Carnac are big stones.”

Rochefort en Terre

France's answer to Rothenburg

On a rugged rock surrounded by woods and heather lies one of the most beautiful villages in France. Geraniums and ivy grow on ancient stones. Cobbled streets are lined with cute timber houses. Imaginative signboards indicate that meanwhile many artists have settled in the car-free city centre, painting, drawing and selling their products. Most picturesque are the Place du Puits and the Rue Saint-Michel. The pen church and castle ruins are witnesses to a significant past. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle, you better visit the place early in the morning.

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