Pontivy, a town with two faces, unique in France, both the medieval capital of the very powerful family of the Lords of Rohan, and one of only two French towns rebuilt by Napoleon Ier.

According to legend, the town was founded in the 7th century.e century by a monk from Great Britain. Here, he built a bridge to cross the river BlavetIvy bridge: Pontivy. Much later, at 12e In the 19th century, the Viscounts of Rohan, originally from Josselin and Rohan, took an interest in the town of Pontivy due to its ideal strategic location, the surrounding resources and the river Blavet. Century after century, the town grew, and the Lords of Rohan decided to make Pontivy their capital. Urban concentration, commercial wealth and a military centre with its ramparts and castle, the town grew into a major city.

During the Renaissance, the town's strategic importance did not wane, and the Lords of Rohan, now Dukes, confirmed Pontivy as the capital of the newly created duchy-prairie. As a key trading point in Central Brittany, the town began to blossom with half-timbered houses and mansions. Following the Edict of Nantes in 1598, Pontivy became one of the only Protestant safe havens in Brittany.

During the great revolutionary upheaval of 1789, Pontivy was initially a Republican stronghold in a Royalist zone, before becoming, on the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte, an Imperial town under the new name of "Napoleonville. This will involve the construction of a new town, one of only two in France alongside La Roche-sur-Yon ("Napoléon Vendée"). The aims? To pacify the region in the face of the Royalists and counter the English naval blockade, by supplying the large Breton arsenals with the Nantes to Brest canal and the canalized Blavet.

Take a stroll through the streets of Pontivy and you'll discover 1,000 years of history! Would you like to learn more about this town with two faces? We have a wide range of tours of the town: historical, dramatised, costumed, express. The choice is yours!

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