Monday, June 30, 2014

Old Castle of Léhon, Brittany

Wandering Around The Cottage - June Edition - 3

Is everybody wearing comfortable shoes as I had asked you? We're good to go, then!

Tout le monde a mis des chaussures confortables comme je vous l'ai demandé? Parfait, on y va, alors!

The first reason I asked you not to wear high heels is that I lost my way to find the remains of the castle. I had read that you had a nice view of the abbey, which you can visit here, from the castle. And, silly me, I imagined it was on the other bank of the river as I had noticed there a hill.

La première raison pour laquelle je vous ai demandé de laisser tomber les talons aiguilles, c'est que je me suis un peu perdue en cherchant les ruines du château. En lisant qu'elles surplombaient l'abbaye, je m'étais imaginé qu'elles étaient sur l'autre rive, je ne sais pas pourquoi. Du coup, j'ai traversé l'adorable pont et j'ai cherché en vain un chemin pour grimper sur la colline.

So I crossed that bridge but it soon became clear there was no castle, not even a wall on that side of the river... So I walked back to the village (which you can visit here) and asked two ladies who were sunbathing in their garden where the castle was. It turned out they didn't speak French, but I could understand their explanations in English!

Finalement, je suis retournée au village, j'ai demandé mon chemin à deux dames qui bronzaient dans leur jardin - et qui se sont avérées anglaises - et j'ai suivi leurs explications! 

They told me that by walking up the main street, I would find at some point a steep path going to the castle.

En remontant la rue principale, on tombe à un moment sur un calvaire (c'est la Bretagne!) qui indique le chemin.

The path was well guarded by a calvary, which is very, very common here.

Historians say that there's been a castle on that spot since 1034 at least. It was there to protect the river, the harbour and the abbey I showed you in previous posts. 

Les historiens disent qu'il y a un château à cet emplacement depuis au moins 1034. Il permettait de protéger la Rance, le port et l'abbaye que je vous ai montrés dans les articles précédents.

It was destroyed by King Henry Pantagenet aka Henry II of England in 1168, but his son had it rebuilt later.

Le premier château fut détruit par le roi Henry Plantagenêt en 1168, mais son fils le reconstruisit un peu plus tard.

The towers we can see today dates from the 13th century.

Les tours que l'on voit aujourd'hui datent du XIIIe siècle.

The castle was then the center of a tug-of-war between the French, the Britons (who weren't French then) and the English (I know it's supposed to be between two teams only, but you see what I mean, right?)

Ensuite le château n'a cessé de passer aux mains des Français, des Bretons (qui n'étaient pas encore français) et des Anglais, une histoire compliquée, mais assez classique en Bretagne.

By the 15th century, it was already considered to be a ruin, as it kept being destroyed.

Dès le XVe siècle, on considère qu'il est en ruine.

King Louis XIII finally gave it to the monks in the 17th century, so they can use the stones to build larger buildings for their abbey!

Finalement, au XVIIe siècle, le roi Louis XIII en fait don aux moines pour qu'ils puissent y prendre les matériaux nécessaires à l'agrandissement de l'abbaye!

Today, it's been made into a garden where families come to have picnics and painters come to paint the beautiful views we have from there.

Aujourd'hui c'est un jardin un peu magique, parfait pour les pique-niques et où les peintres viennent nombreux s'entraîner à reproduire les vues magnifiques que l'on a depuis les hauteurs.

I took a picture of the painting one of the artist had done (it was not from the lady above).

Voici ce que l'un des artistes présents ce jour-là avait peint.

And here's the view of the abbey that inspired her.

Et voilà la vue qui l'avait inspirée.

I hope you enjoyed that little tour. I'll be back with news from the Cottage in July. Thanks to everyone for being so patient and understanding.

J'espère que vous avez apprécié ce petit tour. Je reviendrai avec des nouvelles du Cottage au mois de juillet. Merci pour votre patience et votre compréhension... Juin a été compliqué!

See you soon,

A bientôt,

PS1: Thanks to all who sent me nice messages about my job-hunt. I'm fully employed by state schools: I know I'll have a job in September (or I would have redone the kitchen this year), but I can be asked to work in any school in Brittany and I'm trying to find something that's not too far from the Cottage...

PS2: I should be back partying as usual this week!

Discovering Seville, Travel Photo MondaysTravel Photo Discovery


  1. I enjoyed the walk and the visit to the castle! How fun to watch the artists painting the landscape. I'm sure you are excited that July is almost here so your summer can begin! I finished up my trainings and workshops last week so I am free until mid August! Have a lovely week and I will be looking forward to some cittage updates!

    Blessings, Vicky

  2. Tu habites vraiment un très beau coin avec beaucoup d'authenticité & de caractère. C'est magnifique.
    Bisous. Babette

  3. What a wonderful tour. How terrible that wars and greed could destroy such grand structures. Glad you are working and fingers crossed you are close to home!

  4. What lovely photos. I thought that intersection reminded me of the one in the movie Chocolat - I loved seeing the artist too!

  5. When we lived in France I was so surprised to learn that teachers could simply be moved around. It can't be easy.

  6. I really enjoyed this post! What beautiful pictures and words. Thank you for sharing

    1. I'm glad you had a nice time walking around the old castle!

  7. Dear Magali,

    what a nice place you live in! The Picture/photo is great and I should like to take that small path...I really love wandering around with you, but am looking forward to hear news from the cottage as well...
    Yours Sarah

  8. These photos are gorgeous! It's so beautiful! I really enjoyed this visit. I'm glad you have work, and I hope you can get the closet to your home. xoxo

  9. It really is beautiful. Thank you for sharing the artist and the painting by another. I am an artist so appreciated that little addition to your lovely post. xxo

  10. Ruined or not, this castle is still worth visiting, Imagining what it was like back then is just amazing, and that view??? Worth every step!

  11. Beautiful place. No wonder everyone wanted the land

  12. Thank you for taking us along to this beautiful place and the Abbey in the previous post. I can see why artists would be inspired by the lovely views. Your photos are wonderful - I really enjoyed seeing them all. Wishing you the best in your job situation. xo Karen

  13. I can't imagine living amongst such beauty Magali - just breathtaking really!
    Can't you become an artist? Then you could just wander around all of that and paint to your heart's content and sell them all for a million euros or so!
    Good luck with your job search

  14. The views are lovely, and whoever the artist was, they captured the view beautifully.
    Thank you for the tour, but I'm a little tired now, I'm not very good at climbing hills !

  15. I am so jealous of the history you live amongst. Just beautiful. My parents just got home from France and told me I am going to love it when I finally make it there. Sigh. Four years. Except le Louvre which apparently was too crowded with...tourists. I'm going to ask you for a list of all the amazing places I need to see.

  16. I can't think of anything more lovely than to picnic in that spot, especially if I got to watch artists at work. Beautiful!

  17. merci pour cette nouvelle belle balade

  18. That stone bridge is gorgeous! I love stone buildings, and these are stunning. Good luck with your job posting!

  19. Oh my goodness! You just keep showing us the most amazing places!!!


  20. Un château bien placé, dommage qu'il n'y ait plus grand chose de sa grandeur passé, juste une belle vue..
    Bon we.

  21. Thank you for taking us along on your walk today - I enjoyed seeing the stone bridge and the old buildings.
    Hope the job goes well.

  22. I had a wonderful time on the tour. This is such a charming village. Both the castle and village remind me of a book I read years ago, A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. It is a good read.
    I can't wait for the next tour.

    1. I'm beginning to make a list of places I want to go to during the summer so I can take you around all year!

  23. I am amazed !!! Very interesting read and soooooooooo beautiful breathtaking pictures ! Thank you so much.

  24. Lovely tour! No wonder it inspired artists - the landscape looks beautiful. Great photos!


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