Guingamp, Cotes-d'Armor tourism & sightseeing
Visit Guingamp (Brittany, France)Photo Gallery
Guingamp is a town in the west of the Cotes d'Armor department of Brittany, about 30 kilometres south of the coast.
France This Way comment: Guingamp has a nice town centre wth several interesting monuments, so if you are staying on the Brittany coast and looking for somewhere different to visit away from the beaches, the town would make a pleasant excursion. All the principal attractions are quite close together so Guingamp is an easy town to explore.
Start your visit in the main square, called the Place du Centre! This square is quite large and surrounded by various styles of houses, some in stone and some more ancient that are half-timbered. The town have made an effort to ensure the squre is attractive, and there is a "plan d'eau" type water feature with small fountains and several cafes around the edges of the square.
At the top (south) end of the square you can see an impressive fountain, called the Fontaine de la Plomée (the word Plomée is derived from the Breton word for water-source). This ancient fountain was constructed in the 15th century and transferred to its current location in the 16th century. More than simply decorative, this fountain was the pricipal water source for the centre of Guingamp from the 16th century until early in the 20th century.
The fountain consists of three large water basins, then on the top of the fountain there is a statue of a woman, although it is not certain who this represents: suggestions include a celtic god called Anne or the Virgin.
The most important historic monument in Guingamp is the basilica Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, a short distance outside the square along the street to the south. With a history that dates from the 11th century, the church has been often renovated and modified over the centuries, and is now a very interesting basilica with numerous architectural highlights and several artworks of interest. See Guingamp basilica for visitor information.
The street with the basilica, called the Rue Notre-Dame, also has a good number of shops and cafes.
Another monument that you can see on the edge of the historic centre of Guingamp is the castle, called the Chateau de Pierre II. This ancient fortress was built in the 12th century, although it was largely demolished and rebuilt in the 14th century by Pierre II, Duke of Brittany, which explains the name of the castle. The chateau still retains a large amount of the ramparts and parts of several of the original towers.
You can also enter to walk around the recently excavated part of the heart of the castle: I understand that until quite recently this was the site of Guingamp primary school!
Between the parking and the ramparts you can see a modern sculpture called the Sculpteur de l'Arpenteur, which looks like a character from a superhero movie with a large cloud on his head. Not quite to my taste, but an interesting addition to the town...
Another imposing building on the edge of Guingamp is the 19th century town hall, and there is a large public garden just behind the town hall. I understand that the 18th century prison of Guingamp is also here and can be visited but is not open very often - it was closed when we visited the town recently.
When we last visited it was mid-August and there was a large festival of Breton music taking place. This was excellent with several very professional groups of local performers showing us the traditional dress and music of the region and the town very busy and lively. If you are in the region in mid-August check whether the festival is taking place during your visit!
About 25 kilometres south-west of Guingamp you can visit the Vallée des Saints, an area of park that has about 40 monumental statues in granite - all quite recent and in a variety of modern styles - and attractive views across the Armorique regional natural park.
A similar distance south of the town, a popular natural destination is the Chaos de Toul Goulic, where after a short walk through a forest you reach a small river hidden in a valley.
Most visitors will be in this part of the Cotes d'Armor to visit the coast near Paimpol and Perros-Guirec, including the Cote de Granit Rose and the Ile de Brehat among its highlights. Other towns that we enjoyed visiting in the area are Lannion and Treguier, both of them small towns with interesting historical centres.
Map of Guingamp and places nearby
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Address: Guingamp, Brittany, 22200, France || GPS: latitude 48.563333, longitude -3.15
Plan your visit to Guingamp, Cotes-d'Armor
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Menez Bré: site of natural beauty (12 km)
- Pontrieux: ville fleurie 4* (15 km)
- Jardin du château de la Roche-Jagu: remarkable garden (19 km)
- Zooparc de Trégomeur: zoo or wildlife park (20 km)
- Jardin du Grand Launay: remarkable garden (24 km)
- Beauport Abbey: grand site of france (25 km)
- Abbaye de Beauport: site of natural beauty (25 km)
- Quintin: ville fleurie 4* (25 km)
- Paimpol: recommended detour (25 km)
- Jardins de Kerdalo: remarkable garden (25 km)
- Treguier: secteur sauvegarde (25 km)
- Maison Ernest Renan: national monument (25 km)
Market days in Guingamp, France
Regular market(s) are held in Guingamp each Saturday all day & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Guingamp (Francais)