Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Josselin, Brittany.

Josselin is dominated by its medieval château, still owned by the Rohan family who built it in the 14th century. 
Like many other towns in Brittany a large proportion of the houses are medieval and half-timbered. 
Before moving to France DiL's father taught Latin and French; however, whilst living in France he and his wife decided to open a book shop specialising in English books.
The Book Shop sits at the heart of Josselin midway between the church and the entrance gates to the château. 
Sadly, after running the shop and building the business up, they have decided that after almost 10 years it is time to close the shutters and sell.
View of the château from the apartment above the bookshop. 
A quick wander around the market before climbing  the church tower of Notre Dame due Roncier. The church is built on the spot where in the 9th century a peasant is said to have found a wooden statue of the Virgin under a bramble bush. The statue was burnt during the Revolution, but a charred fragment can be found in the church. The style of the church represents the flamboyant architecture of the 15th century, however, parts of the church date back to the 12th century.
The stone steps were very narrow and seemed to twist on up forever. There was nothing to hold on to and I hoped that we would not meet anyone coming down. Half way up it was too late to wonder about our own descent!!!
The view was worth the climb
Its lovely having a birds-eye view over all the rooftops seeing into back gardens, and the countryside beyond.
 
The Mairie with loudspeakers on the rooftop. The Mayor is very important in France, he has the final say on most matters in his community. 
Time for lunch
Below the château sits the river Oust which forms part of the Nantes to Brest canal system.

69 comments:

  1. It looks a gorgeous town. We were further west when we were in Brittany, and it was a long time ago. Perhaps time for a re-visit soon!

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    1. It is a town that is well worth visiting - there are lots of sites of interest apart from the château, you can walk along the side of the canal, and they have a good market on a Saturday morning.

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  2. Such a beautiful place and your photos are gorgeous !!! If only we could travel more often ...

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed seeing the photos Dani - Josselin is a very photogenic town.

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  3. Piękne miejsce. Wspaniały zamek o kościół. Są też domu z muru pruskiego, które zawsze podziwiam. Pozdrawiam.
    Beautiful place. The magnificent castle of the church. There are also half-timbered house, which always admire. Yours.

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    1. Dziękujemy za wizytę Giga - Josselin w pięknym miasteczku z dużo ładnych drewnianych domów - świetne zdjęcia

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  4. Hello Rosemary,
    I like the photos of the castle and flowers a lot. :)
    From: Bea Cupcake

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    1. Hi Bea - glad that you enjoyed seeing the photos from the small town of Josselin - I do believe that you have visited there yourself many years ago.

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  5. If I lived there I would beleived that it is a town from a fairytale !!
    Lovely photos as always Rosemary !Thank you for sharing these dreamy moments !
    Have a nice day !

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    1. Dear Olympia - the timber houses are beautifully painted in lovely colours. I would never have imagined that timbers painted blue could look so pretty.

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  6. Josslin is certainly a very attractive town, Rosemary, and your photos do it more than justice. The chateau is gorgeous with its French fairytale roofline, offset by lots of pink petunias. The medieval houses are beyond cute, with their timber detailing. What a lovely place to own a bookshop!

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    1. It is a very pretty town Patricia and glad you enjoyed the photos. There were so many timber framed houses that I decided a mosaic was the only way to show them off.

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  7. What a lovely place to visit and stay a while. Looks like you had good weather. Everything looks green and lush and flowers so pretty. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Betty - the good weather has followed us back home.

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  8. Hi,
    I probably need to go there again because it look so nice when there such good weather in the UK at the moment. :)
    From: Bea Cupcake

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    1. This is in France - perhaps you will visit when you are living there?

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  9. Fabulous images Rosemary. The wooden framed buildings collage should be marketed.....it is brilliant. A delightful post, thanks for taking us there. Jx

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    1. Are you still in France Janice? Glad you liked the collage of the timber framed houses, there were so many that this seemed to be the best solution.

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    2. Dear Rosemary, One thing I can always count on when reading your posts is beautiful photographs, that tell a story, and just enough history, but not too much, to complete an interesting reading experience. I'm always so pleased when you share with us a new posting because it is informative, interesting and punctuated with lovely and unique photos. ox, Gina

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    3. Dear Gina - such a very kind remark - a sincere thank you♥ I am always concerned that I do not overload with too many facts and figures. Josselin was photogenic so in a way I couldn't go wrong.

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  10. What an enchanting town. Your son must love living there. You've captured the buildings and the chateau so beautifully. I especially love your collage of the multi-coloured facades.

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    1. Dear Rosemary - not only do I confuse myself but I have managed to confuse you too. It is my daughter-in-law, married to my youngest son whose parents are living in France, my youngest son and his family live in the UK. However, my eldest son is moving from Norway at the end of the month to live in Paris with his family. You are probably even more confused now!!!
      Josselin is a charming little town and very photogenic too.

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  11. Hello, rosemary! Josselin is so beautiful. When I traveled around Germany and Austria, high towers of medieval churches dominated the landscape, which is one of the most remarkable differences from that of Japan. Thanks to your climbing, I enjoyed the birds-eye view.

    Yoko

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    1. It was worth the climb Yoko - although I don't know whether I would do it again. Coming down was the most difficult part until I saw that we were nearing the bottom through one of the tower windows - I gave a sigh of relief.

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  12. Dear Rosemar,

    Thanks for sharing this lovely town with us, It's a dream. Beautiful!

    Marina

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    1. It is a beautiful town Marina - I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing it.

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  13. Hi Rosemary, thank you so much for the tour through Josslin! What an incredible pretty French town! I really love all the half-timbered medieval houses. How awesome that you had a chance to climb the church tower, even though it sounds like quite a challenging adventure. The photos you took from up there are just stunning. Seeing your pictures makes me really wonder if we should plan a vacation to France for next year, hmm....
    Christina

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    1. Dear Christina - now you have been set a challenge UK or France - why not do both whilst you are over?

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  14. Nice castle and super collage of house facades.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. Thank you Filip and Kristel - the houses were very pretty

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  15. An absolutely super post, Rosemary. Your photos really are stunning! Josselin is such an lovely little town and the chateau looks like something out of a fairy-tale. It makes me realise just what our particular small area of Normandy lost when its little mediaeval market towns were so badly damaged in the war.

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    1. Josselin is a beautiful little town Perpetua, and I suspect looks similar to the way it has looked for the past few centuries.
      It is a great sadness that the little medieval market towns in Normandy should have suffered so much destruction during the war years. I am not too sure which part of Normandy you are in? - I think you mentioned the south.
      Glad that you enjoyed the photos.

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    2. We're in southern Manche, less than 20 miles north of the border with Brittany. This area saw a great deal of fighting in August 1944 when the Germans counter-attacked in an effort to drive a wedge between the US and British forces. Even our cottage was damaged by a tank shell and had to be repaired after the war.

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    3. Is that anywhere near Saint Lô? - we saw illustrated road signs along the road journey from Cherbourg indicating WWll activity in many of the towns.

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    4. We're about 40 miles south of Saint-Lo, between Avranches and Mortain. Much of Manche was very heavily fought-over after D-Day.

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    5. Got you now Perpetua - we must have almost been within waving distance again♥

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    6. We must stop almost meeting like this, Rosemary. :-)

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  16. Dear Rosemary,as i look your wonderful pictures of this French town,it's like i'm in a fairytale !!!What a beautiful place!!!What a nice castle !!!!I liked your collage photos!!!Thank you for sharing!!!!
    Dimi...

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    1. Dear Dimi - several people have remarked on how the town and château resemble a fairytale, but it is a very real living, working, historical town. Glad that you enjoyed seeing the photos which I in turn enjoyed taking.

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  17. Hi Rosemary, I knew you would produce wonderful pictures of Josselin and I wasn't disappointed. I did recognise many parts the chateau,walking down by the river and the shops. What a shame that your DiL's parents are shutting up their shop. It must have a wonderful place to have their bushiness. Such amazing views from the church tower. Thank you for a wonderful post.
    Sarah x

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    1. Dear Sarah - it was lovely to be able to take you back to Josselin and glad that you enjoyed the visit. The church tower was well worth the climb even if a little scary. I understand that the tower is open every day during July and August only so we were lucky to have the opportunity to climb it.

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  18. I haven't come across Josselin before, so this post has been a real education. It's somewhere I'd love to visit, although the church tower sounds a tad claustrophobic!
    Congratulations on your wedding anniversary too.. our 30th this week.

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    1. Thank you for your kind wishes, we had a lovely day with all of our family - hope that you have a happy day too for your 30th, which I do believe is a Pearl Wedding Anniversary.
      Hope that you have the chance to visit Josselin one day.

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  19. Dear Rosemary,

    The chateau does have a fairytale quality to it. One wonders how a family can fill such a place! The composite photo of all the half-timber structures is an exciting visual — I imagine it was fun to collect them all.

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    1. Dear Mark - we didn't go inside the château but did visit it several years ago. My recollection is that it has several very large rooms downstairs, and many stone stairways leading up to smaller rooms. It now has three large main towers but used to have eight.
      When I noticed the different colours used for the timber on the houses in Josselin I decided to collect as many as I could, and just hoped that I would have enough to make a collage.

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  20. What a lovely place. The petunias are colourful. The castle the houses and the town, looks clean. You did a great job to walk up the steps to get a view :)

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    1. The church tower gave a wonderful view - pleased that I did it just this once!!!

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  21. What a nice old town.
    The photo's are really beautiful.

    Have a nice day,
    Inge, my choice

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    1. Thank you Inge - glad you enjoyed the photos - hope the sun is shinning still with you.

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  22. The village is beautiful with those buildings. It would be fun to walk around and discover the area. Wonderful photos Rosemary.

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    1. You are right Pamela - it was a lovely town to stroll around and admire the architecture.

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  23. Such a lovely town! Those views are like from fairytales!

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    1. Dear Satu - it is those pretty pointed towers on the château that make it appear like something from a fairytale such as Sleeping Beauty. You could just imagine the Princess awaiting her Prince in one of the rooms within the château.

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  24. I loved discovering Josselin through your wonderful photos, Rosemary. It looks an enchanting place and the chateau is quite stunning. I can just imagine it's medieval inhabitants riding out through those walls! Interesting to note that the same family still own it. The church tower is impressive, too. And it is a shame about the closure of the bookshop.

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    1. Dear Wendy - it is certainly a place where those of us with a vivid imagination, myself included, could imagine the happenings that occurred in Josselin during the medieval period. They actually have a Festival of Medieval Josselin this coming weekend when they all dress up in costumes. If you are interested you can see it here:-
      http://vimeo.com/56516957

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  25. This is heavenly Rosemary! I can only imagine living in a town like this. I fell absolutely in love with the half-timbered houses('vakwerkhuizen' in Dutch)from the first time we went to Bretagne. I've never been in Josselin though. A reason to plan a trip to Brittany once more. Such a majestic castle! There are so many castles to discover in Brittany aren't there? Well preserved ones and also ruines which the kids loved as they could let their imagination run free then... and me running after them so I would not loose one of them in the different chambres and towers ;) I think you can see Brittany holds many lovely memories for us.
    Marian

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    1. A castle or a château will always fire up the imagination of young children - they love them, and as you mentioned especially when they are in ruins - I well remember my sons loving it when we visited castles in Wales and Scotland with so many places to hide, and stone stairs to explore. Perhaps you will visit Brittany again soon Marian - it would probably be a long car journey for you unlike us with a boat ferry trip across the Channel first.

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  26. What a stunning place, Rosemary, that chateau is just fairytale! And you can see the common heritage between Brittainy and Cornwall, can't you?

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    1. We had some great visits whilst we were in Brittany Kate. The Celtic link with Cornwall is interesting along with some of their shared music, dance, wrestling, bagpipes, language and even food.

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  27. What a lovely town. The castle is very fairytale like and those half timbered houses are beautiful.

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    1. Thank you for your visit Paula - I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing the photos of fairytale Josselin.

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  28. Oh, wow, what a beautiful place. The buildings are gorgeous and your photos captured them perfectly. I know you enjoyed your visit there.

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    1. It was a happy break with friends, and we saw some lovely sights. Glad you enjoyed seeing the photos of Josselin.

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  29. It looks gorgeous Rosemary. We're in Brittany now and loving it. Never been to Josselin though. I love medieval cities and all the history around them. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.
    Patricia x

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    1. Thanks Patricia - I shall look forward to seeing what you have been up to in Brittany too on your return home.

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  30. Dear Rosemary,
    Thank you for another beautiful tour! Josselin must be such a wonderful home for your "in-laws"-- I'm so sorry to hear about their book shop, though! With your photographic talent, you must have had a ball in this charming setting! As always, your photos and collages are wonderful. Thank you for taking us along.
    Warm regards,
    Erika

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    1. Dear Erika - it is a shame about the bookshop, but I am sure that someone will be happy to continue the good work. I should mention that they are not my 'in-laws' but my youngest sons. They are my daughter-in-laws parents, but we are fortunate that we all get along well.
      Thanks for your kind comment about the photos, so pleased that you enjoyed seeing them.

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  31. Wish I could buy the book shop - what a dream location and life!

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    1. I could see you fitting in there Nilly ♥

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