Guingamp is a « Little Town of Character » with a very diverse religious, ducal and military heritage. Strolling through its streets will take you to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Classic period, all the way through to some very 21st century encounters!
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Guingamp, situated on the banks of the Trive, had to protect itself very early on. Odo, the brother of Duke Alan III, built the first castle mound. In the 11th century, an enclosure was built to protect tradesmen and artisans. You can go back to the origins of the town at the 15th-century fort and its towers, erected by Pierre de Penthièvre in the centre of the prosperous town. Near the castle, in the cobbled streets, delicate collections of half-timbered houses contrast with the robust ramparts. The half-timbered houses illustrate the know-how of the famous Guingamp school of master carpenters. In the 15th and 16th centuries, they were raised on three or four floors, so that you have to look upwards to see their beautiful façades. The journey through time continues with the granite residences that benefited from the growth of the textile industry.
A whole range of styles
Many buildings are from the 17th century: the Augustinian monastery (now the town hall), the Ursuline monastery, the Montbareil convent, the noble and bourgeois houses with sculpted doors. From Place du Centre, near La Plomée fountain, you can see is a superb panorama of the varied heritage of the town’s finest moments. Nearby, Notre-Dame de Bon Secours cathedral features three architectural styles.
An unusual prison tour
The journey through history leads to the former prison, built in 1841. Built according to an American design, which was revolutionary at the time, the cells are aligned along the external corridors. You can then leave via the banks of the Trieux, dotted with wash houses and footbridges.
Did you know
Guingamp means white camp. In the druid cosmogony, this signified a spiritual centre.
The vitality of Guingamp is omnipresent, in its alleyways and at friendly meet-ups. Soak up the atmosphere as you enjoy a food break, talk to local artisans and as you shop. How could you resist the infectious passion of the football fans? You can feel the vibe in the town or experience it live in the emblematic stadium of the En Avant team!