Ensconced between the Jaudy and Guindy rivers, Tréguier’s narrow streets and little squares climb in staggered rows all the way up the hillside from the harbour. Under the watchful eye of the cathedral’s guiding spire, half-timbered houses are a reminder of the sparkling intellectual and artistic past of this listed Petite Cité de Caractère®.
Click. Inspire. Go…
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Back in the 6th century, the Welsh monk Tudwal (Tugdual in French) moored anchor in the Trécor Valley. He founded a monastery there that gave rise to Tréguier, a town with ties to the land, the sea and to religion. Ordained as bishop, Tudwal became one of the seven founding saints of Brittany. Which makes Tréguier one of the seven stops along the ‘Tro Breiz’ (Tour of Brittany) pilgrimage. As early as the 14th century, craftsfolk and tradespeople drawn to the city sang its praises. A printing industry grew up alongside maritime trade. A history that has been etched in stone!
An inspiring lifestyle
A town permanently lulled by the estuary’s tides, Tréguier is home to a fascinating heritage. The half-timbered houses in this charming little town whisk you back to its heyday in the 15th and 16th centuries. On Place du Martray, in Rue Renan or Ruelle Saint-Yves, the timber panelling and corbelling draw your gaze up towards the conserved façades. The house where Ernest Renan was born is particularly eye-catching: now a museum, it has refurbished the study of this writer and philosopher as it would have looked back in his day.
An architectural gem bejewelled with stone filigree
The 63m-tall cathedral spire, graced with ornamental openwork, soars above the rooftops. Built at the turn of the 12th century in the Gothic style, Tréguier’s Cathedral (dedicated to Saint Tudwal) is one of the finest in all of Brittany. After taking in the exquisite finesse of its entrance porches, step inside to admire a pulpit covered with elaborate floral motifs, the surprising bestiary engraved in the choir stalls, and the tomb of Saint Yves (Ives or Ivo in English).
Did you know
A spire paid by ‘cards’
If you’re wondering why there seem to be motifs of decks of cards chiselled into the cathedral spire, it’s because it was financed by proceeds from the Paris lotteries.
From bishop to lawyer
Saint Yves has just as much to do with Tréguier’s spiritual fame as Saint Tudwal does. Born in 1253 in Minihy-Tréguier, Judge Yves Helory became the patron saint of Bretons and lawyers after demonstrating his sense of fairness and rectitude in his defence of the poor and the lowly. On the third Sunday in May, the Grand Pardon de Saint-Yves religious festival draws crowds of believers.