Lannion, located in Northern Brittany, small in size but large in importance thanks to the telecom revolution. Once dominated by its "rival" Tréguier, it has replaced it and become the capital of Tregor. If the city has developed well since the 60s, the Renaissance has left traces of its former influence. The city is quickly visited but leaves you with everlasting memories. At the edge of the Pink Granite Coast, you can make a base from which to discover inland Ploumanac'h, Perros-Guirec and the Sept-Îles, Trébeurden, Trégastel, ... And further away Tréguier, Paimpol and the Bréhat island. Lannion also has two beaches in the place called Beg Léguer.
The angle of Centre square and Chapeliers Street, slate roof-tops and wood-framed houses dating back to the seventeenth century, the golden age of Tregor. The old medieval city also presents quantities of carved decorations on facades, witnesses of the tastes and wealth of the inhabitants. The mansions and manors are embracing massive towers with spiral staircases to access the upper floors.
The pedestrianised Chapeliers Street also presents interesting facades, showcasing the wealth of the city during the Renaissance. Some almost resemble galleons with their curvatures. It is interesting to detail the wooden sculptures:
All are not necessarily tasteful
Thursday is market day, the largest of all in the county, especially in the summer season. It spans from the Centre square and continues to the quayside.
The central streets draw an incredible crowd. Traders come from far away. It is a sight for the eyes ... for the ears too. Celtic music certainly, but also jazz, rock, acrobats, street theatre etc.
Animation, there is even more during the “Tardives”, Thursday evenings summer festivals, on Centre square and the quaysides. Free concerts everywhere, street food and various activities (the area is rich in music groups, theatre groups, circus company) ... Giant nocturnal music festival called “festoù-noz” to which locals will introduce you spontaneously. Just slip between two people and follow the steps and arm movements. You can also just look at the good dancers and enjoy. All animations are obviously free.
For the philistines who do not want to look too stupid, an introduction to Breton and Celtic dances is given before the party, on the forecourt of the Carré Magique, beautiful hall scheduling quality entertainment.
Right next to the Carré Magique, another hall for modern performances reflects the Ursulines Convent, a name which somewhat reduces its function as, if the building was actually convent, it became a jail during the Revolution then a high school, then library ... It is currently made up of associative rooms and moderately priced flats in a luxury set-up ...
The best view to contemplate the city is Brélévenez (Mount Joy in Breton) on the front of the Trinity Church. You must first climb the 140 steps that separate this old suburb of the city centre.
The houses lining the stairway are small and adorably awkward (until the 60's, you had to climb the staircase with your bucket of water). However, they offer a wonderful view of the city.
These stairs attract the crowd during Santa Claus’ race. In the background, Saint-Jean du Baly Church.
The Brélévenez Church, at the top of the stairs, is probably of a Templar origin. Its south porch dates back to thirteenth century with its arrow slits which reminds us that churches also served as refuges in case of invasion. Its crypt, dated from the twelfth century, has a coloured tomb from the eighteenth century.
Close by, the Church of Loguivy-lès-Lannion, near the river Léguer, is a typical Tréguier Chapel, well-proportioned and artistically carved.
Behind the fountain of “enclos”, a yew tree is said to be 1000 years old. Yes, people exaggerate but it is true the tree is of a good size. There was one in each parish, as a symbol of eternity, but here specially to celebrate Ivy or Divy, a Saint which is often confused with Saint-Yves, very important in Britanny (half of the Bretons had a Yves, Yvon, Yffig ... in their name). It’s important to note that the parishes were always surrounded by a small wall. It was used to prevent pigs from entering; to prevent them dig up freshly buried bodies, on one hand, but also because the toxic yew needles would have been fatal for them.
If the Léguer is normally a quiet river, at high tide, it often spills on the quaysides.
Upstream, in contrast, a kayak and rafting course has been built, which, when in water ... is a real torrent. It is to be noted that World and Olympic champions are from Lannion: Philippe Quémerais, Yann Le Pennec or Sebastien Combot.