Pontivy is an atypical city thanks to its 2 districts from distinct historical periods, giving a completely different architecture and environment just a few meters from each other. Take your map and set off to discover the must-see elements of Pontivy!

1 – The tourist office

The Tourist Office de Pontivy Community is unique, it is the only floating tourist office in France. It has been on the Duchesse Anne barge since 2010, at the quayside on the canalized Blavet. Don't hesitate to come on board, adorn yourself with your finest navigation accessories and take a photo of yourself at the helm of this great lady. 

2 – Guided tours

Guided tours from the Pontivy Tourist Office are suitable for everyone, young and old alike, you will find what you are looking for there! Whether you have the afternoon to spend there or only less than an hour, a visit will allow you to discover this charming Breton town. Enter the Pontivy castle, wander the Pontivy streets of the two districts, dress the children in medieval or imperial costumes, wear combat accessories from the Middle Ages... Our visits will teach you more about our heritage while having fun!

3 – Pontivy Castle

Pontivy Castle, formerly owned by the Rohans, is a jewel from the end of the Middle Ages that we owe to the Rohan family, and more precisely, Viscount Jean II de Rohan. It has spanned the centuries and is characterized by two historical periods, the end of the Middle Ages and the 18e century. The castle has been closed for restoration since 2014, it is possible to pass through its red doors under certain conditions. During the summer, cross the courtyard and enter the chapel housing a work for Art in the Chapels. During school holidays and in the summer, take a guided tour; historical, family, costumed or dramatized offered by the Tourist Office. 

4 – The medieval district

Yohann Hamonic

The medieval and renaissance district is home to small narrow streets surrounded by old houses, made of granite stones, schist, and half-timbered timber. Some have undergone more significant transformations than others but the charm of these old streets remains present in these arteries of the city center.

Moreover, the old main axis, at this period, went from rue du Pont to rue du Fil, much less linear and wide than the current one, rue Nationale. At the heart of these old buildings, there were various trades, particularly linked to the canvas trade, very renowned in the region and having brought wealth to many Pontivy residents.

5 – The Napoleonic district

The Napoleonic district, we owe it to Napoleon Ier and Napoleon III. The heart of this district is Place Aristide Briand, which had a completely different look at 19e century with the 10 soldiers who were there. The square is at the center of a military axis with this Clisson district in particular and a second axis, administrative and religious, with imposing buildings to the north and south. There you will find the old court, the town hall, the sub-prefecture and the Imperial church. The latter bears the image of Napoleon III and his wife, Eugénie, who financed it in 000. 

The town of Pontivy was called Napoléonville 3 times. You probably know Roche-sur-Yon, the second town we owe to the Emperor, previously Napoleon-Vendée.

6 – The Nantes to Brest canal

The Nantes to Brest canal separates the town of Pontivy by its presence. This is also a construction under Napoleon Ier. The aim being to open up the Breton ports blocked by the British army at the beginning of the 19e century. To supply the French army, it was necessary to find a means of transport in the lands of Brittany. Napoleon Ier thus launched the construction of the canal in 1806.

Only, the channeled Blavet was only navigable in 1832 and the Nantes-Brest canal, ten years later, in 1842. It was inaugurated by Napoleon III, in 1858 during his visit to Napoleonville and allowed trade. From now on, the Nantes-Brest canal is only used for river tourism and its haulage allows walks, on foot or by bike, in complete serenity in a relaxing green setting.


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