Weave your way to Quintin
In the heart of the Côtes d’Armor department, the characterful little town of Quintin is a well-preserved one-time centre of the weaving industry. Most visitors come to see its châteaux but there are also the watermills as well as some mysterious megaliths.
Quintin prospered from the 16th to 19th centuries due to the quality of the linen made in the town; more than 300 weavers worked here in its heyday and the linen was exported as far as South America. To find out more about the industry’s history head to the Musée-Atelier des Toiles, which is based in a former weaver’s house. The town’s heritage is celebrated each year with the Fête des Tisserands (weavers’ festival) at the beginning of August.
There are a number of impressive houses in and around Quintin thanks to the town’s prosperity in times gone by but none more so than the two châteaux in the centre of town. One, started in the 17th century, remains unfinished while the other, built in the 18th century, was owned by some of Brittany’s most illustrious families and is now open to the public. Take a guided tour to see the richly decorated lounge, dining room and bedrooms as well as the ornamental gardens. The château hosts a series of Christmas events and markets throughout December.
Running alongside Quintin is the River Gouët, which contributed to the town’s success via the energy from its water, which was used to power mills. There are the remains of several in the area and the Moulin de la Perche is put to use in summer to show visitors how grain was ground. Spend a couple of hours strolling along the riverbank or in the wood.
A short distance from the town centre is an impressive pointy megalith called La Roche Longue (the long rock). There are several megalithic sites in the area, notably the Menhir de Kerienquis and the Tumuli de Kernanouet in St Gildas; the latter are a good example of the type of tumuli found in this region: a stone wall surrounding the tomb topped with earth, which was originally in the shape of a cone.
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