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Montfort-sur-Meu is a commune in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine in Brittany. It is in the North West of France. It is at 20 Km from Rennes and is surrounded by Iffendic, Bédée, La Nouaye, Breteil, Pleumeleuc, Talensac, Saint-Gonlay.


It is noted as the birthplace of the Roman Catholic Saint Louis de Montfort, who is considered to be the pioneer of the field of Mariology. The saint's birthplace is at 15, Rue de la Saulnerie. It is now jointly owned by the three Montfortian congregations he formed: the Community of the Holy Spirit, the Daughters of Wisdom and the Brothers of Saint Gabriel. It is the site of frequent "Montfortian pilgrimages" to Montfort-sur-Meu.
The town is at the convergence of the Meu river and the Garun river, in a farmland region. It was in the past in the "Poutrecoët" (= the district in the woods), because it was covered by the forest of Brocéliande.
The town is an administrative town of a county.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Take the road RN24 (Rennes / Vannes-Lorient) and the exit Talensac-Montfort.

By plane[edit]

The closest airport is in Rennes.

By train[edit]

Railway station of Montfort-sur-Meu, direct lines from Rennes.

By bus[edit]

Illenoo Bus, line 2 : Breteil, Iffendic, La Nouaye, Montfort-sur-Meu, departing from the railway station of Rennes.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Church of Montfort-Sur-Meu

It is dedicated to Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort and is dated XIXth century.
It is of an Italian inspiration with its bell tower in the shape of a campanile, and houses the statue of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion, born in Montfort-sur-Meu (Possible to visit his native house).

  • Saint Lazare chapel

In the beginning of the XVIIIth century, when Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort settled in Saint-Lazare, he restored the chapel.

  • Saint Jacques abbey

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 dated 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 of the XVIIth century.

  • Saint Joseph chapel

The actual chapel was built to replace the former parish church of Saint-Jean, destroyed in 1851.

  • Surrounding wall of the medieval town

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 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 can still be found today. These rampart vestiges are classified as Historical Monuments since the 15th of December 1926.

  • Papegaut Tower

Papegaut Tower is dated XIVth century. It is the best preserved element from the medieval town of Montfort-Sur-Meu and the most representative. The Tower is known as "Papegaut" because of 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[7] by the decree of the 5th of November 1926.

  • Hôtel Montfort Communauté

During the XVIIIth century, this building was a hotel for the Juguet family, a family of notables who settled in 1777. In 1857, the subprefecture settled at this 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.

  • Cultural centre of "l'Avant-scène"

In 1914 started the building of a municipal hall which finished 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 which offers many shows during the year.

  • Old houses from the town centre

The former urban development of Montfort left traces in the building of houses. Today, we can find dozens of houses which were built between 1550 and 1650. They are located in the oldest streets of the town. The native house of Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort can also be found in one of these streets.

  • Mills and "planks" on the Meu river

An old mill from the year 1884 is in the street called "Rue du 11 juin 1977". At the time, it was also equipped with a footbridge called "planks", which was crossing the Meu river and was linking another street (Mills street).

  • Driers and public baths

The building is probably from the end of the XIXth century. In the lower part were cubicles for public baths and a place reserved for boilers. The first floor, protected by wooden laths was used to dry clothes washed by washerwomen.

  • Town hall

Today, the town hall is located in the former Ursuline convent, who settled in 1639.

  • Tribunal d'instance

In 1799, Montfort became the headquarters of a subprefecture and of a courthouse. It was built between 1832 and 1834. The difference between the old houses from the medieval town and the courthouse show the break between the middle-class elit and the former power of aristocrats.

  • Forest of Montfort

It stretches over a few hundred hectares. Several marked paths allow going across this wooden limestone, by foot, by horse and for some people, by bike.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Visit with the GPS guide

The visit with a GPS guide enables to visit Montfort-sur-Meu through an interactive walk. The tool allows to visit on one's own, in family or in a small group.
You will be able to discover the medieval town of Montfort-sur-Meu.

  • Legacy and botanic path

In the heart of the district of Montfort, it enables the crossing of diversified natural places (humid meadow, landscape parkland, shores, pond, sunken lanes, hedged farmlands, woods).

  • Historical path of Montfort

This path enables to understand the evolution and the development of the town from the Middle Ages to nowadays.

  • Discovery circuit of Montfort

The pedestrian circuit enables to discover the built heritage of Montfort-sur-Meu.

  • Pedestrian guided tour of Montfort

The medieval circuit allows to discover the remains of the fortifications and to understand how Montfort used to work during the Middle Ages.

  • Bike rally in the district of Montfort

The bike circuit allows to discover the countryside of the district of Montfort, crossing Montfort-sur-Meu, Iffendic and Saint-Gonlay. This itinerary offers panoramic views on the Meu river valley.

  • The ecomuseum of the district of Montfort

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).

Buy[edit][add listing]

The district offers many local products:

  • La Maison de La Galette.  edit
  • Perette, [1]. Delicatessen. Salted and sweet products, fresh and biologic products, wines, alcohols and spirits. Local and Breton products, confectionery, Cluizel chocolate.  edit
  • La cave de Brocéliande, [2]. French and worldwide wines, whiskey and spirits, biological wines, beer from Brittany.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • La Perles des Rizières. Asian cooking and Vietnamese specialities. Housed in a wood-sided house.  edit
  • Crêperie la Golotte, [3]. Specialized in "galettes de blé noir au sarrazin breton" (kind of crepe made with buckwheat flour) and crepes.  edit
  • La scala. Pizzeria grill.  edit
  • Chez Philippe. Traditional cooking with fresh ingredients.  edit
  • Restaurant de l'ouest, (inside hotel of same name), [4]. Homemade specialities.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Le Papegault, 22, rue Saint Nicolas.  edit
  • Le Galop'1, 15 pl Cohue.  edit
  • Bar de la Gare, 20 r Gare.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Le Relais de La Cane, [5]. In the town centre, very near the railway station.  edit
  • Hotel de l'ouest, [6]. Hotel in the town centre, near the shops and the railway station.  edit
  • Le pré du Thabor. Half-shadowed campsite, next to the municipal park. Near a river, shops and railway station at 800m.  edit

Get Out[edit]

The towns next to Montfort-sur-Meu are Iffendic, Bédée, La Nouaye, Breteil and Talensac, but you can also find Saint-Gonlay and Pleumeleuc nearby.

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