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Monday, September 16, 2013

In the heart of Cotes-d'Armor: Moncontour et Lamballe

One of the many beautiful streets of Montcontour in the heart of the Cotes-d'Armor .

Moncontour it's a wonderful Petites Cités de Caractère (litteraly translated as: Little town with charachter), a name created to celebrate the best little villages in the heart of Brittany.

Moncontour is also rightly member of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (the most beautiful villages in France).

Although very little, the narrow lanes, the beautiful medioeval stonebuildings and the ruins of the ramparts give to Moncontour a picturesque and romantic charachter.

Moncontour, like St Malo, is a fortified town, but Moncontour is inland, away from the sea and surrounded by the mountains. 

The name Moncontour is already very significative, litterally meaning "surrounded by the mountains".

You should absolutely visit Montcontour and you can also choose this pretty town as a base to explore the Cotes-d'Armor!

What to do in Montcourt?

Walk through the narrow lanes and admire the wonderful cottages decorated with hundreds of flowers.




Enjoy a coffe in the main square in front of the church.





And maybe imagine to assist at the Medioeval competition of Moncontour, when archers competed in the "Tir du papegault".

The best archers of the town compete in hitting a wooden parrot placed at the top of the church tower. 

The archer who hit the parrot first was entitled to earn an extra share of the village's revenues.

The game lasted sometime for more than ten days before an archer was able to hit the wooden parrot at the top of the church tower.  




Walk along the ruins of the old walls protecting the town, later destroyed (they say) by order of Cardinal Richelieu who felt the fortified town could represented a risk for the French kingdom.




And then, after having spent an enjoyable morning in Montcontour, move to Lamballe only 16km away.

Why Lamballe?

Lamballe is more than a village, it is a little town but it is very picturesque.




The name Lamballe is always associated to the life and the sad end of Maria Teresa Luisa di Savoia-Carignano, also countess of Lamballe. But Lamballe has much more to be remembered for.

And in these days Lamballe remain famous to host one of the Haras Nationaux, one of the bases for the National Equestrian School. 




You will enjoy the best views from the terrace in front of the Church called La Collegiale, where one time a huge castle was built protecting the heart of Lamballe.





The main square at the back of the church dedicated at Saint Martin is a perfect place to sit and enjoy the local patisserie.



And if you like art and you want to know a wonderful artist full of poetry and romantcism you can visit the Museum Mathurin-Méheut dedicated at the artist and situated in a wonderful medioeval building.






And finally after having enjoyed some rest in the square you will certainly enjoy the medioeval Herb Garden in front of the church of Saint Martin.




A special thanks goes to Solange and Julien Redon from Lamballe for their help.

Read more posts on our page Visit France.

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