Set among rolling wooded countryside, lined with calm lakes, Vitré’s heritage offers a wealth of treasures.
Head to the Tertres Noirs park to contemplate and absorb the town of Vitré, a fortress built on a rocky outcrop. The medieval castle imposes its powerful military architecture. Built in the 11th century, it was reconstructed between the 13th and 15th century in its current layout. It was home to the French-Breton Laval-Montmorency family.
Despite inevitable periods of war, the town experienced several centuries of prosperity between the 14th and 17th centuries. Large canvases were exported throughout the world by a guild of overseas merchants. The town owes its beautiful porch-fronted and half-timbered houses, which stand carefully restored on the Rue de la Baudrairie, Rue d’En-Bas, Rue Poterie, Rue Notre-Dame and Place Saint-Yves, to this flourishing trade. The old walled town, which has retained its medieval feel, is an architectural gem of the 15th and 16th centuries, which can still be seen when looking at the flamboyant, Gothic-inspired Notre-Dame church. The railway station, which dates back to the neo-Gothic era, was built in 1857. A few years later, Saint-Martin church was constructed by Mellet, a child of the parish, in a neo-Romanesque style. The castle museum was created in 1876 by Arthur de la Borderie. In 1913 the town council was set up in the other half of the castle. In the Rachapt neighbourhood, the Saint-Nicolas chapel is now a sacred art museum specialising in French religious silverwork.
In addition to its old town centre, Vitré boasts attractive gardens and parks. The Jardin du Parc, the Jardin du Château des Rochers-Sévigné and the Pré des Lavandières, each with its own unique atmosphere, are areas that lend themselves to gentle strolls.
While Vitré is characterised by a prestigious architectural heritage, the 62 municipalities that surround the town offer quality wooded countryside. Head out across this tranquil, rolling landscape and discover the area’s prestigious past as you visit its museums, castles, manors and archaeological sites. Enjoy the gourmet restaurants and eateries where small pleasures provide the greatest joys. Those who love the fresh air and relaxing at the water’s edge will not be disappointed.
Information, practical advice, cottages, hotels, guest houses, restaurants, walk ideas, hiking routes, leisure activities, sports, events, and many more - Vitré’s tourist information centre is here to help you organise a successful stay.
Office du tourisme-syndicat d’initiatives. Place du Général-de-Gaulle 35500 Vitré. Tel. +33 (0)2 99 75 04 46 – Fax. +33 (0)2 99 74 02 01