Brelevenez, Cotes-d'Armor visitors guide
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Brelevenez is a sector of the town of Lannion, only a kilomètre or two north of the main town centre and accessible on foot: you can see a sign indicating the direction from the road next to Lannion tourist office.
France This Way comment: the stairs that lead up the hill to the church of Brélévenez are often used in publicity for Lannion and have become popular with visitors who like posting pretty photos on social media!
Although it is a small area, Brelevenez includes two of the main highlights of your visit to Lannion - perhaps the two principal reasons to visit the town - so we recommend you allow time to explore Brelevenez while you are here.
As you approach the area you reach a small square called the Place des 142 Marches: this is at the bottom of the stairs that lead to the church, and as the name suggests there are 142 stairs to climb. In fact, the stairs are one of the two highlights in Brelevenez so we suggest you avoid the temptation to drive here!
The cross at the bottom of the steps is called the Mathurin ross and was erected in the 16th century, as a tribute to the monks that had freed some sailors who had been taken as slaves by pirates.
The ancient stone stairs have plants and flowers growing from cracks and spaces between the stones, adding to their prettiness. On one side of the stairs there are small traditional cottages, and on the other side you have views across Lannion, while ahead of you at the top of the stairs you can see Brelevenez church.
The church dates, in part at least, from the 12th century - it is thought that it was built by the Templars although this is not certain - and has several interesting characteristics. The apse and south porch are the oldest parts of the church, and you can see the original columns in the doorway of the porch, with the capital stones worn but still visible.
There are three tall stone columns above the porch, although I wasn’t sure what they were or why they are there! Most of the other parts of the outside, including the tower and spire, the porch on the west side of the church and the ossuary dates from the 14th and 15th centuries.
Inside, there are gothic style arches supported by stone columns separating the nave from the aisles: the side aisles have preserved their stone vaulted roofs: these were added in the 14th century, when the church was also fortified.
The altar is a later addition, in the baroque style add added in the 17th century. The most interesting furnishings in Brelevenez church include a 13th century statue of Christ and a sculpture also from the 13th century that you can see above the door to the vestry, as well as a Mise au Tombeau from the 18th century in the crypt.
After a look around the church you can go back down the staircase, another chance to enjoy the views, even if the hillside opposite is rather dominated by a large new housing development when you walk in this direction.
You will want to explore Lannion town while you are at Brelevenez - there are some pretty medieval houses and an attractive riverside walk in the town. See the Lannion guide for details.
Most visitors to this part of Brittany are here, of course, for the coast and beaches. The coast of granite rose near Lannion is one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in France and certainly merits exploration.
Map of Brelevenez and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Lannion: ville fleurie 4*
- Vallée des Traouïero: site of natural beauty (8 km)
- Île Milliau: site of natural beauty (11 km)
- Aquarium marin de Trégastel: aquarium (11 km)
- Molène (Côtes-d'Armor): site of natural beauty (12 km)
- Réserve naturelle nationale des Sept-Îles: site of natural beauty (17 km)
- Jardin du Kestellic: remarkable garden (17 km)
- Treguier: secteur sauvegarde (18 km)
- Maison Ernest Renan: national monument (18 km)
- Jardins de Kerdalo: remarkable garden (20 km)
- Menez Bré: site of natural beauty (21 km)
- Pontrieux: ville fleurie 4* (22 km)
The French version of this page is at Brelevenez (Francais)