Lamballe

A land of horses and history

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Lamballe is a home to the arts and one of Brittany’s historic towns, with its little streets and alleyways laid out across the slopes of Saint-Sauveur hill. In the heart of cattle-breeding territory, slightly inland from the PenthiĂšvre coast, its other claim to fame to its National Stud, set in the town centre. 

Down through the centuries 

There are reminders of the town’s rich trading history in the half-timbered houses in the historic town centre, and the 18th century private mansions. Set off from the impressive collegiate church of Notre-Dame and walk down towards Place du Martray, which is lined with half-timbered houses. You can see many different styles in their facades. One of the houses, the 15th century ‘Maison du Bourreau’ (Executioner’s House), is especially beautiful. This building, with its eye-catching ‘ox blood’ coloured timbers, is now home to the Mathurin MĂ©heut Museum.

Discover arts and crafts

Many historic buildings have been converted into exhibition spaces and craft workshops. Pottery and sculpture have a special niche, continuing a tradition that has thrived because of the clay subsoil in the surrounding moorlands. You can find out more about these craft skills as you continue on your way towards the stud. 

The Breton Postiers stud

The National Stud sits on a carefully-tended, flower-filled estate covering six hectares, and brings together equestrian tradition with the future of horse. This is the land of the sturdy Breton Postier, a breed that made a name for itself as a coach-horse. The stud was founded in 1825 and includes a series of superb buildings where nearly 400 stallions are stabled. During your visit you’ll be taken to see 12 stables, the blacksmith’s forge, the main tack-room and much more. There are live displays, carriage driving demonstrations and various exhibitions, all celebrating the world of the horse. 

Discover heritage and nature

As you’d expect, there’s a lot of emphasis on horse-riding around here. The Lamballe-TrĂ©gomar circuit is a favourite with riders. But these routes are also ideal for walkers and cyclists. They take you out across the valleys, to the manor houses and the ChĂąteau de La Touche with its gardens - including a rose garden and one filled with azaleas. The circuit then takes you around the lake at La Ville Gaudu and over the Lande des Potiers moors. Going along the river Gouessant, you come across several wash houses. On the Mont Bel-Air mountain pass, the paths climb to an altitude of 336 metres, high above Saint-Brieuc bay. It’s a real pleasure for anyone who loves nature and the great outdoors.

Did you know?

Who was this man?

You’ll be guided around Lamballe by plaques topped by a caricature of Frederick II of Prussia. His effigy was originally used as a roof finial. Nowadays he points out slices of history and takes you as far as the medieval garden of the church of Saint-Jean.

Useful link :

Lamballe tourist information centre (EN)

With TripAdvisor’s reviews from travellers

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