Pays de Montfort
Earth : Europe : France : Great West : Brittany : Ille-et-Vilaine : Pays de Montfort
The district of Montfort is a French territory in Brittany and in Ille-et-Vilaine, at the edge of the forest of Brocéliande and at 20 Km from Rennes, capital of Brittany. The district of Montfort gathers 20.000 inhabitants.
The town of Montfort-sur-Meu, medieval and fortified town from the XIth century, was part of the second defense line of the Marches of Brittany. The medieval history also left traces in towns near Montfort-sur-Meu such as in Bédée (feudal moat called "moat Jubin"), and in Iffendic (medieval site of Boutavent). The proximity of the forest of Brocéliande didn't stop the spread of local legends, well established in the memories and attached to natural sites of the district of Montfort.
From Orly or Roissy, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, arrival in Rennes-St Jacques airport. The run then is 1h, 1h15. Trains and buses go to the district of Montfort.
The district of Montfort is accessible by train from Rennes. The run is about 15 minutes long.
From Rennes, the Illeno bus network serves the district of Montfort.
From Paris : A10, A11, A81 then N157. About 3h30. Otherwise, it is possible to go by the N12. It will last an hour more but it is an easy road with long stretches of four-lane road.
It is dedicated to Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort and is from the XIXth century.
In the beginning of the XVIIIth century, when Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort settled in Saint-Lazare, he restored the chapel.
The church which was built at the end of the XVth century has a porch and the wayside cross. This last is located in the churchyard adjoining the church Saint Hubert. The porch allowed the sick and the leprous to attend the service, hence its name "the leprous porch". The relics of the wayside cross are classified as a Historical Monument.
The Gothic style church Saint-Eloi has a stained glass window (1542). The porch (1607) is topped by a gallery used as an ossuary. The stained glass window and the gate are classified as Historical Monuments by the decree of the 11th of June 1926.
Built in 1152 by Guillaume I of Montfort, the church has been consecrated in 1156. From the abbey of Saint-Jacques de Montfort, rebuilt during the XIVth century, is only left the former abbey church with its gate from the XIVth century, classified as a Historical Monument. In 1976, a fire destroyed the higher part of the walls of the church but also the roof and the inside of the buildings from the XVIIth century.
Surrounded by its cemetary, it is dated from the XVIth and XVIIth century. On the front wall two characters face each other: a confessor and somebody confessing.
The nave and the southern side of the church were built during the XVIth century, the framework is dated with an inscription of 1503. The church has a porch provided with a carinated archway.
It is from the XIXth century but the cross next to it is from the XVIth century.
The actual church has been built between 1885 and 1888 by the architect Arthur Regnault.
Partly from the XVIth century, two granite lions keep the entrance. The actual building has, on the northern wall of the nave, a cut in the shape of fern leaves or a fishbone which would probably date from the Roman period of the XIth century.
This chapel belonging to Saint-Jacques de Montfort abbey is built in schist and in pudding stone.
Chapel known as "frairienne" (celebration of the patronal feast of the village) built in the XIXth century. The oratory is next to the chapel and is from 1864. The monumental cross is probably from the XVIIth century.
The chapel has been built in 1883 where was a former chapel built by the Lords of Montfort.
The actual chapel was built to replace the former parish church of Saint-Jean, destroyed in 1851.
This chapel seems to have been built during the XVIIth century, even though the sculpted pediment at the top of the eastern door seems to be from the XVth or XVIth century.
To protect the marches of Brittany, the Dukes led a politic of fortification of the big towns. In 1376, Raoul VII got an authorisation to transform the castle into a real defensive fortress. Around the castle, an important fortification was built with towers and 3 doors. The Tower of Papegaut, the Tower of Pas d'Âne, the Tower of Capitaine and parts of the former fortifications are still there today. These rampart vestiges are classified as Historical Monuments since the 15th of December 1926.
Papegaut Tower is from the XIVth century. Its name comes from a contest for archers and crossbowmen in which the target was a multicoloured bird. During the XIXth and the XXth century, the Tower became a prison. Since 1984, it houses the ecomuseum of the district of Montfort. The Tower is classified as a Historical Monument by the decree of the 5th of November 1926.
During the XVIIIth century, this imposant building was a hotel for the Juguet family, a family of notables who settled in 1777. In 1857, the subprefecture took its place until it was cut in 1926. During the XXth century, the hospital built an annexe. In 2002, it's Montfort Communauté who bought the building and restored it.
The castle of Treguil is at least from the XVIth century. It was the property of earls of Montfort and was also part of the defence of the town. The castle is a reconstruction from de beginning of the XIXth century, around 1820. The northwestern detached house is the oldest part of the castle. It houses a wooden spiral stairway and a fireplace from the XIVth or XVth century.
In 1914 starts the building of a municipal hall and finishes after the war. The building also housed the first cinema of the town which could gather 400 people. Nowadays, the building is a cultural centre.
Some houses in Montfort-sur-Meu were built between 1550 and 1650. They are in the oldest streets of the town. The native house of Louis-Marie Grignion is one of them.
An old mill from the year 1884 was equipped at the time of a footbridge called "planks", which was crossing the Meu river and was linking two streets.
The building is probably from the end of the XIXth century. In the lower part were cubicles for public baths and a place for boilers. The first floor, protected by wooden laths was used to dry clothes washed by washerwomen.
Today, the town hall is located in the former Ursuline convent, who settled in 1639.
In 1799, Montfort became the headquarters of a subprefecture and of a courthouse. It was built between 1832 and 1834.
Several shophouses in the town centre are traces from the medieval commercial activity.
The house of Le Vilou is from the XVIIIth century. It was considered at the time as a notable house. Indeed, back then, a subprefect of Montfort-sur-Meu lived there.
It was built around 1860-1863. It had a Neo-Renaissance style but it has been badly damaged with a fire during the night of the 27th and 28th of June 1903.
This residence was built during the XIXth century where a former manor was.
Sites and natural areas
This valley, near the land of Trémelin, has been dug by a subsidence due to rifts which appeared in the fold of the schist, and to the erosion caused by the river. It is also known as the "small canyon".
The land of Trémelin is a natural site stretching over more than 220 hectares. The site has a forest, moors, and places classified as natural areas of ecological, faunistic and floristic interest. It is the second most touristic place in the region.
The land of Careil gathers birds of many different species.
Near the land of Trémelin and the Chambre au loup, the land of Boutavent is the place where an old feudal castle was built by the Lords of Montfort (From the XIth to the XIVth century).
It covers a few hundred hectares.
Created in 2003, the arboretum allows to walk through the sculptures of local artists on the edge of the Meu river.
It stretches over more than 300 hectares. The trees are mostly oaks, beech and pines.
The pond of Le Blavon is a place for a walk near the town of Bédée.
The Vaunoise river crosses the North East of the district and is a steep-sided valley.
Adorned of rocky puddingstone blockfield, big cracks cut the rock. In one of them, an oak seems to be fixed to the side.
It is a place for contemporary art which opened its doors in May 2010.
Visits and walks are possible in Montfort-sur-Meu, Saint-Gonlay. Guided tours can be done in Montfort-sur-Meu.
This path enables to discover the nature in the region.
The former public school of Saint-Gonlay is used as a setting while speaking about school and childhood in the district of Montfort during the XXth century (memory of former schoolchildren, restoration of a class from the 50s, school games...).
In Papegaut Tower, the ecomuseum invits you to discover the culture of the district where history and legends are very close. Different permanent exhibitions are offered (the duck legend, the architecture of the district of Brocéliande, Montfort during the Middle Ages, the traditional suit from the XIXth and XXth century, games about nature).
Natural, historical and medieval site endowed with an archaeological value.
Many activities are offered: - Tree climbing circuits - Electrical boats, pedalo, canoeing. - Bungee trampoline, mini-golf, playgrounds. - Supervised swimming in summer. - Challenges, track games. - Hikes, horse-rides and ATV. - Paint-Ball.
- Equestrian centre of Trémelin - Equestrian school of Bédée/La Nouaye - Equestrian activities centre of Les Quatres Routes in Iffendic.
There are many local products in the district of Montfort:
Production of honey, chouchen, gingerbread, royal jelly, pollen, sweets.
Production of bottled cider according to traditional methods from a selection of apples of the district.
Apple juces and vegetables.
Fabrication on the scene.
Milk fed veal meat and bovine meat.
The livestock farming is labeled "race blonde d'Aquitaine". Registered laboratory.
Salted and sweet products, fresh and biological products, wines, alcohols and spirits. Local and Breton products, confectionery, Cluizel chocolate.
Carve of bovine meat, bovine from Normandy raised at the farm, chicken and veal.
French and worldwide wines, whiskey and spirits, biological wines, beer from Brittany.
Greedy grocery store offering fresh products, liquids, sweet grocery, salt grocery, gifts .
Brewed beers composed of biological barley from Brittany.
Old farm atmosphere.
Restaurant in the heart of Trémelin.
Speciality of "poule coucou de Rennes" (hens kept for their eggs and for their flesh) and grilled beef.
Restaurant, pizzeria, grill.
Asian cooking and Vietnamese specialities.
Crêperie La Golotte makes specialities of "galettes de blé noir au sarrazin breton" (kind of crepe made with buckwheat flour) and crepes.
Mexican or traditional specialities.
Traditional cooking with fresh ingredients.
Traditional cooking and house specialities.
Traditional cooking and grilled meat.
Diversified cooking and many homemade specialities.
Traditional cooking, couscous speciality.
In the heart of the stage village of Bédée.
Traditional cooking, home speciality: couscous, head of veal, paella.
Traditional restaurant, crêperie and grill.
11 place de l'église 35137 Bédée
22, rue Saint Nicolas Montfort-Sur-Meu
5 pl Eglise 35137 Bédée
15 pl Cohue 35160 Montfort-Sur-Meu
2 r Montfort 35160 Breteil
20 r Gare 35160 Montfort-Sur-Meu
2 r Rennes 35160 Breteil
In the town centre.
In the town centre, very near the railway station.
Hotel in the heart of the market town.
Hotel in the town centre, near the shops and the railway station.
Country castle with a chapel and a pigeon loft, recently renovated.
In the heart of a vast land planted with trees and a pond.
Guesthouse designed for big families.
2 independent guesthouses.
2 decorated caravans in the "bohemian" style.
Guesthouse adjoining to the owners' residence.
Guesthouse adjoining the owners' residence.
In the middle of the nature, near a pedestrian path, a pond and a farm doing biological agriculture.
Village of 20 guesthouses.
Independent stone house near the owner's property.
The guesthouse is near the Land of Trémelin.
Stone guesthouse near the valley of the Chambre au Loup and the land of Trémelin.
Guesthouses in the nature near a pedestrian path.
Located near the pond of Le Blavon, pedestrian paths and the equestrian centre.
Bed & Breakfast
In a valley and in the middle of a wood, Bed & Breakfast from the XVIIIth century.
Le château du pin, on a land of former Lords.
La Fontaine Garel Bed & Breakfast near the Land of Trémelin.
Bed & Breakfast at the 1st level of the owner's residence.
Near the pond of Le Blavon, pedestrian paths and the equestrian centre.
On a natural and wooded site of 220 hectares around a lake of 50 hectares.
Half-shadowed campsite in the heart of Montfort-sur-Meu.
Visit the surroundings
For more information, please visit the website of the Tourist Office of the district of Montfort.