Pontivy, a city with two faces, unique in France, both the medieval capital of the very powerful family of the Lords of Rohan, but also one of only two French cities rebuilt by Napoleon Ier.

According to legend, the city was founded in the 7e century by a religious from Great Britain. Here he built a bridge to cross the river Blavet, the Ivy Bridge: Pontivy. Much later, on the 12e century, the viscounts of Rohan, originally from Josselin and Rohan, were interested in the town of Pontivy because of its ideal strategic location, the surrounding resources and Blavet. Century after century, the town grew in size, so the lords of Rohan decided to make Pontivy their capital. Urban concentration, commercial wealth and military point with its ramparts and its castle, the village transformed into a major city.

With the Renaissance, the strategic interest of the city did not weaken, and the lords of Rohan, now dukes, confirmed Pontivy in its title of capital of the brand new duchy-prairie. An essential point of commerce in Central Brittany, the city began to flourish with half-timbered houses and other private mansions. Following the Edict of Nantes in 1598, Pontivy became one of the only Protestant security places in Brittany.

During the great revolutionary storm of 1789, Pontivy was first a republican stronghold in a royalist zone, before becoming, on the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte, an imperial city under the new name of “Napoleonville”. This, with the construction of a new town, one of only two in France with La Roche-sur-Yon (“Napoléon Vendée”). Goals ? Pacify the region against the royalists and counter the maritime blockade of the English Navy, by supplying the large Breton arsenals thanks to the canal from Nantes to Brest and the channeled Blavet.

As you walk the streets of Pontivy, 1 years of history open up to you! Do you want to learn the anecdotes of this city with two faces? We have a wide range of visits to the city: historical, dramatized, costumed, express. Up to you !

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