Pontivy two towns in one! Start in the old cobbled streets of Pontivy of the Rohan’s then cross to the imperial town of Napoleon. Walk and discover, two free visit booklets are available to the public at the Pontivy Community Tourist Office. Guided tours of the town are available during the summer.
The old town: the Pontivy of the Rohans
Influential beyond Brittany, the territory of the Rohan family is large and impressive. Pontivy had the privilege of being the chief place of their viscounty from the 14th century and their duchy created in the 17th century to which the stones of the buildings still bear witness. From Pontivy castle to the basilica of Notre Dame de Joie, passing through the charming rue du Fil and rue du Pont, as you walk will discover timber-framed houses and large Renaissance period houses.
The reconstruction operation of the Castle of the Rohans . Following the collapse of part of the castle, the city appealed to the generosity of the inhabitants and lovers of Pontivy to finance the work of our beautiful castle.
To find out more, please visit the website : http://www.pontivy.fr/index.php/chateau-des-rohan-operation-reconstruction-2/ :
Napoleon 1st, seduced by the revolutionary identity of Pontivy, also recognised the strategic position of the town. The two rivers, the Blavet and the Oust, enabled routes for transporting men and goods to Nantes, Brest and Lorient. These were the foundations of our imperial history.
Napoleon and Pontivy, the story of a century
At the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon's plans for the Pontivy region were colossal. The order was given to canalise the waterways and in Pontivy to erect the military, judicial, administrative and religious buildings worthy of a large urban centre.
Work began, but when the empire collapsed, much remained to be done. The work was finished at the end of the century by Napoleon III, with the arrival of the train and the construction of the Church of Saint Joseph.
When Napoleon decided to mount the audacious project of uniting Nantes with Brest by the interior it met with enormous difficulties. However, when this great adventure was completed in 1842, the canal was a 360 km waterway punctuated by 237 locks.
The Pontivy region is crossed on both the east and west sides by the Nantes-Brest canal. West of Pontivy, the Blavet is canalised, interrupted by the dam and Lake Guerlédan. East of Pontivy, a junction had to be made between the Blavet and the Oust. This is the artificial part of the canal. It is fed by the Hilvern channel and the Bosméléac dam (Côtes-d'Armor).
There are two Napoleonic cities in France: Pontivy and La Roche Sur Yon! How about cycling from one to the other?