The imperial quarter of Pontivy was built under Napoleon.

A point of history

In 1802, following almost ten years of civil war in the West between royalists and republicans, Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul of the Republic, ordered the creation of two new towns: Napoléonville (Pontivy) and Napoléon-Vendée (Roche-sur-Yon). Shortly afterwards, Napoleon IerNapoléonville, then Emperor, jointly launched the construction of the Breton canals to counter the British naval blockade. At the centre of this system, Napoleonville linked Lorient via the Blavet canalisedand being at the centre of the Nantes to Brest canalalso links the two.

Napoleonic architecture

That's why in Pontivy you'll find a succession of Napoleonic ensembles that have been completely preserved for almost two centuries:

The canal

Yohann Hamonic

Firstly, the canal towpaths. These will allow you to explore the city from one end to the other in complete peace and quiet. Reserved for pedestrians and cyclists, you can explore the historic town centre in complete safety, from the medieval-Renaissance quarter to the Napoleonic quarter.

Town planning

The streets in the Napoleonic Quarter are in stark contrast to the streets of the medieval-renaissance quarter. You'll feel like you're in a different city. Wide, straight streets, designed to improve traffic flow, organise the new town.

Yohann Hamonic

Stroll the streets of Napoleonville in the footsteps of the Emperors, Napoleon I and Napoleon III. Its architecture is sure to remind you of Baron Haussmann's Paris district.

Administrative buildings

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La place Aristide Briand (la Plaine), formerly the Place Napoléon, is the beating heart of Napoléonville. La Plaine, the symbol of Napoleonic power, is embraced by the town hall and sub-prefecture, the former court, the former cavalry barracks and the 19th-century town houses.e century.

Imperial Church

Behind the town hall and sub-prefecture, a green setting has appeared in the town centre: Square Langlier. The centrepiece of this park is the Imperial Church of St Joseph, a gift from Emperor Napoleon III following his visit to Napoleonville in August 1858. The foundation stone for the church was laid by Princess Elisa Napoleone Baciocchi, cousin of Napoleon III and niece of Napoleon


Last stage Napoléonville station. Built during Napoleon III's Second Empire, this station was the railway hub of Central Brittany, providing links between the north and south coasts of the Breton peninsula. Today's reception hall contains a treasure trove: the station's former exterior pediment, which still bears the inscription "Napoléonville".

Finally, the "rue Nationale", formerly the "rue Impériale", the backbone of the city of Pontivy, links the new town to the old town. This street is over 1 kilometre long!

Continue your tour of the Napoleonic Quarter by taking part in a guided tour. Whether you're young or old, pressed for time, there's something for everyone and every taste!

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