Legend says: « when the monks’ boat, loaded with the relics of Saint Magloire, reached the banks of the Rance in Léhon, the place became joyful and bloomed like paradise. Since then, pilgrims have come from all over western Gaul to see such wonders ». Today, the miracle is still at work: the houses, streets, monastery cloister and garden unveil a range of captivating charms.
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Léhon, a town with the « Little Town of Character » label, close to Dinan, was above all shaped by the monks who built their monastery here in a meander of the Rance. King Nominoe, founder of the Benedictine abbey in 850, and the successive lords richly endowed the monastic establishment. The relics of Saint Magloire guaranteed the spiritual influence of the religious centre until it closed during the French Revolution. As you walk along the Rance, you can admire the noble silhouette of this building, nestled in greenery.
A village protected by a fortress
In the 12th century, the lords of Dinan erected their fortress on the rocky outcrop to protect the monastery’s property and traffic on the Rance. The castle’s curtain walls, demolished in the 17th century, were recently restored. The Rance and the route from Dinan to Rennes were favourable for trade and exchanges. Arts and crafts prospered: sailcloth weaving, tanneries, shops. The houses demonstrated wealth with moulded cornices and sculpted lintels. They still impress visitors today, who have flocked here since the 19th century.
Did you know
In the abbey gardens, excavations brought to light a covered canal connecting the building to the Rance, which runs below.
A remarkable place to live
The viaduct that diverted traffic from Dinan to Rennes led to the decline of the trading town. Today, Léhon gracefully combines ancient architecture and modernity, and keeps the memory of its past alive while opening up to the present. There are green pathways all over the town, which is an award-winning town in bloom.