Bécherel officially became a Book Town in 1989 when the first Fête du Livre was held; it is now an annual event, which takes place at Easter and is complemented by a series of events throughout the year including a reading festival in October. The town has around 15 bookshops, some with cafés, which specialise in every subject under the sun and range from rare first editions to contemporary fiction. A book market takes place in the town on the first Sunday of every month.
A town built on textiles
Overlooking the Rance Valley, this former stronghold has been a ‘little town of character’ (Petite Cité de Caractère) since 1978. Bécherel grew up around a castle erected in the 12th century but the town didn’t come into its own until the 16th century when it was known for producing Brittany’s finest linen and hemp, much of which was used to make sails. Street names, such as Rue de la Chanvrerie and Rue de la Filanderie, remind us of its textile industry, as do the impressive merchants’ houses in La Place des Anciennes Halles.