In the bay of Brest, between the Léon and Cornouaille areas, and between the river and the sea, Landerneau has a remarkable architectural heritage. The jewel in its architectural crown is the famous Rohan bridge, the only bridge in Europe that still has people living on it. As you explore around it, you’ll pass a succession of beautiful residences dating from the 16th to 19th centuries.
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The superb Rohan bridge stands at the furthest point reached by the tide, with its six stone arches standing in salt water. Built in the 16th century, this monument spans the river Elorn, replacing a wooden structure that dated back to the 12th century. The buildings, which stand on granite piles, have been home to generations of wealthy artisans and linen merchants. To get a good view of the slate-covered corbels, it’s best to stand a little way off, a few strides up the right-hand bank. This exceptional place has lively shops, restaurants and cafés. And now, you can even sleep here! At “Nuits sur le Pont” studio apartments, you’ll be lulled by the sound of the river Elorn
A view of the Elorn from your window
On the quaysides, rich merchants built grand houses. These stand as evidence of the town’s lucrative port activities, linked to the export of linen and leather. The 17th and 18th century buildings are decorated with ornate skylights, turrets, half-timbering etc., and the moon-shaped coats-of-arms that have become the town’s emblem. The ochre-yellow Logonna stone adds warmth to your walk around Maison de la Sirène, Maison de la Sénéchaussée or Maison des 13 Lunes. In the Saint Thomas neighbourhood and in the pedestrian streets, enter the artists’ workshops – you’re bound to be surprised!
Riverbanks full of charm
After following the heritage trail through narrow streets steeped in history, you can continue your walk along the banks of the river Elorn – or along the towpath if you want to go further. On foot or bike (electric bike – Ti vélo – rental stations are all over the town), your escapades will combine the joys of the outdoors and the discovery of historic sites, such as the Briqueterie, a major industrial site upstream of the inhabited bridge. In summer, you can gently canoe down the Elorn.
Did you know
What does the expression ‘Faire du bruit dans Landerneau’ mean?
The annual ‘Fête du Bruit dans Landerneau’ is a music festival that takes its name from the saying “Cela va faire du bruit dans Landerneau” (“That’ll make some noise in Landerneau”). This expression originally referred to the racket made by residents of Landerneau to mock widows who remarried too soon (in the townsfolk’s opinion).
A town that buzzes with life
Landerneau, city of the moon’s days of prosperity left the town with a definite taste for markets, shopping and all kinds of trading. The town centre has lots of attractive and interesting shops. And this is where a certain Monsieur Leclerc established his first grocer’s shop in 1949 (Leclerc is now a major French hypermarket chain). This dynamism is also found in the Hélène et Edouard Leclerc Fund for Culture, which organises major contemporary art exhibitions. The same dynamism puts a buzz into the many festivals, exhibitions and other events. At the “Fête du Bruit” festival, contemporary music fills the summer air! In fact there’s always something going on in Landerneau!
The Pont de Rohan, 1510 (inhabited bridge with shops)
The churches of Saint-Thomas (17th century) and Saint-Houardon (17th-19th centuries) and associated neighbourhoods, the districts of Saint-Houardon (in Léon) and Saint-Thomas (in Cornouaille): 16th to 18th century houses, partly in Logonna stone
The Sénéchaussée town house, 1664
Le Jardin des Bénédictines
The city’s visiting facilities
Guided tour for individuals
Heritage interpretation circuit
Game booklets for children
“The Abgrall Mystery” treasure hunt (planned for June)
Photo rally by Les Archi’Kurieux
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