Visit Pontivy (Brittany, France)
For historical reasons the town is divided into two separate regions - the medieval section and the Napoleonic section - and each has places of interest that merit to be explored.
Because of this 'split personality' the name of the town has fluctuated between Pontivy and Napoleonville several times during the centuries. Hopefully it will stick with 'Pontivy' in the future - the name derived from 'pont' (bridge) and 'Ivy' (a monk who constructed a bridge over the Blavet river here in the 7th century).
The heart of 'historic' Pontivy is the old town, with the impressive 15th century Chateau des Rohan, a medieval moated castle in the centre of the town, and surrounded by streets lined with beautiful half-timbered houses.
The beautiful Chateau des Rohan reminds us of the wealth and importance of the Rohan dynasty, based here during the Middle Ages, and is certainly among the most impressive of the Brittany castles.
The old town is centred in the streets to the south of the castle. Continue exploring at Place du Martray, then follow Rue Guépin to reach Place Anne de Bretagne and continue north along Rue Souvestre to see the ornate entrance to the 16th century House of the Senechals. Back on the river banks you can see the 19th century hospital.
The 15th century Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Joie built in the gothic style is also in Pontivy old town. The more recent Church of Saint-Joseph was built in the 19th century and features some interesting stained glass windows.
The other part of the town, instigated by Napoleon (and once known as Napoleonville), follows a much more regimented design with straight roads of 18th century townhouses - Place Aristide-Briand is the heart of this part of Pontivy.
The Town Hall is among the most distinguished of the buildings from this period. (Note, although designed under Napoleon, it was mostly built later, under Napoleon III, in the 1850's).
Pontivy is on the Nantes-Brest canal and you might like to arrive on a river cruise through the Brittany region - a very tranquil way to enjoy the surrounding peaceful countryside - or take a boat trip through the region.
Photos taken within 10 km
Address: Pontivy, Morbihan, Brittany, 56300 || GPS: latitude 48.07, longitude -2.98
Map of Pontivy & places nearby
Highlights close by
Forges des Salles 18km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Pontivy, France
- Jardin du Botrain - remarkable garden (15km)
- Lac de Guerlédan - site of natural beauty (16km)
- Saint-Gilles-Vieux-Marche - ville fleurie 4* (19km)
- Jardin du Grand Launay - remarkable garden (35km)
- Jardins de Kerambar’h - remarkable garden (36km)
- Quintin - ville fleurie 4* (37km)
- Jardin du Colombier - remarkable garden (41km)
- Zoo de Pont-Scorff - zoo or wildlife park (43km)
- Parc Victor Chevassu - remarkable garden (45km)
- Elven - village d'etape (48km)
Market days in Pontivy: Regular market(s) are held in Pontivy each Monday all day. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Pontivy (Francais)