Pontivy is an atypical town with 2 districts from different historical periods, giving it a totally different architecture and environment just a few metres apart. Grab your map and set off to discover some of Pontivy's must-sees!
1 - The tourist office
The Tourist Office Pontivy Communauté's tourist office is unique - it's the only floating tourist office in France. Since 2010, it has been based on the barge Duchesse Anne, moored on the Blavet canal. Don't hesitate to come aboard, put on your best sailing gear and take a photo at the helm of this grand dame.
2 - Guided tours
Guided tours Pontivy Tourist Office has something for everyone, young and old alike! Whether you've got the whole afternoon to spare or just less than an hour, a visit to this charming Breton town is the perfect way to discover it. Enter the Château des Rohan, wander through the narrow streets of Pontivy's two districts, adorn the children in medieval or imperial costumes, wear medieval battle accessories... Our tours will teach you more about our heritage while having fun!
3 - The Château des Rohan
The Château des RohanThe Château de Rohan, a jewel of the late Middle Ages, owes its origins to the Rohan family, and more specifically to Viscount Jean II de Rohan. It has survived the centuries and is characterised by two historical periods, the late Middle Ages and the 18th century. The château has been closed for restoration since 2014, but it is possible to go through its red doors subject to certain conditions. During the summer months, cross the courtyard and enter its chapel, which houses a work for Art dans les Chapelles. During school holidays and the summer months, take a guided tour - historical, family, costumed or dramatised - offered by the Tourist Office.
4 - The medieval quarter
The medieval and renaissance quarter is home to narrow streets surrounded by old houses built of granite, schist and timber-framed stone. Some have undergone more extensive alterations than others, but the charm of these old lanes is still present in the streets of the town centre.
5 - The Napoleonic Quarter
The Napoleonic QuarterWe owe it to Napoleon I and Napoleon III. The heart of this district is the Place Aristide Briand, which looked quite different in the 19th century with its 10,000 soldiers. The square is at the centre of a military axis, with the Clisson district in particular, and a second axis, administrative and religious, with imposing buildings to the north and south. Here you will find the old court, the town hall, the sub-prefecture and the Imperial church. The latter bears the effigy of Napoleon III and his wife, Eugénie, who financed it in 1858.
The town of Pontivy has been called Napoléonville on 3 occasions. You are probably familiar with La Roche-sur-Yon, the second town named after the Emperor, formerly Napoléon-Vendée.
6 - The Nantes-Brest canal
The Nantes-Brest canal separates the town from Pontivy. This too was built under Napoleon I. The aim was to open up the Breton ports blocked by the British army in the early 19th century. To supply the French army, a means of transport had to be found inland from Brittany. Napoleon I launched the construction of the canal in 1806.
Just that, the canalised Blavet was not made navigable until 1832, and the Nantes-Brest canal ten years later, in 1842. The canal was inaugurated by Napoleon III in 1858 during his visit to Brest. Napoléonville and was used for trading. Nowadays, the Nantes-Brest canal is used exclusively for river tourism, and its towpaths make for peaceful walks and cycle rides in a relaxing green setting.