Josselin is a “Petite Cite de Caractere”. One of 22 towns in Brittany selected for their historical architecture. Josselin boasts a glorious castle and many half-timbered buildings. In summer this town is packed with tourists and is a mecca for local, British ex-pats. The streets are lined with charming creperies and restaurants catering for visitors. On a dreary October afternoon it’s another story. Most of the eating places are closed and there are few people wandering the damp streets.
|Where is everyone?|
Josselin was founded in the 11th century and there has been castle towering above the river Oust ever since. There is history around every corner. The church, Notre Dame du Roncier, stands proudly in the centre of the town and for those active people (not me!) it’s possible to climb the 138 steps to the top of the bell tower to admire the view! I thought about it but it was a bit too dark and cramped for my liking. According to my Dad and fiance I’m a wimp.
|Can you see my other half? He’s a loooong way up!|
We parked down by the river under the imposing castle. From this angle the castle towers up into the sky. I don’t envy any past armies attempting invasion! It’s just a short walk uphill into the old town. The cobbled streets glistened in the wet and we enjoyed strolling around for a couple of hours. I couldn’t believe how quiet it was for a Saturday afternoon. I know it’s a touristy town and we were pretty much the only tourists there but I’d have thought that the locals would have been out and about. They must have been shopping at the out of town hypermarkets and the bigger towns. Josselin is very pretty but doesn’t really have any shops. The best thing about half empty towns is that taking pictures is easier! There’s no-one to get in the way. Unfortunately the grey autumn sky is overexposed in every photo I took!
Josselin is in Brittany in the department of Morbihan. It’s pretty easy to get to by car and there’s plenty of free parking. FYI – if the parking space is outlined in blue it’s not free. Nowhere in this part of France is particularly accessible by public transport so it’s essential to hire a car if you’re not coming to this area in your own vehicle. We were lucky in that my parents chauffeured us around for the time we were staying with them. There are one or two hotels in the vicinity and plenty of gites (aka cottages to rent). Renting a gite is a great budget option. You can self cater so don’t have to worry about the cost of eating out and the prices are often cheaper than hotels. For some accommodation options check out the Josselin tourist information page.
Josselin is a lovely little town. Check out some of my pictures below:
|Traditional Breton half-timbered house|
|Check out this little fella tucked in between two bigger houses|
|This is the oldest house in Josselin. It dates back to 1538.|
|The castle. It’s only open to the public in the summer months as it’s still a private home to the descendants of the Duke of Rohan who built it.|
|The imposing castle from the river|