The Gulf as a backdrop
The Gallo-Roman town of Darioritum became Vannes (in Breton, Gwened, “the white one”) with the arrival of the Celts. Tucked away at the back of the Gulf of Morbihan, protected by its ramparts, it flourished. The port trade, its religious and political power are illustrated in the half-timbered houses and mansion houses. Today, this rich heritage makes for a happy living environment and a wonderful place for visitors to stroll.
Through the streets
The south-facing Place Gambetta, opposite the port, is like a seaside resort. Take advantage to enjoy a little break on a terrace before venturing into the old town through Saint-Vincent gateway. On the other side of the gateway, the street is lined with 17th-century buildings. Around Place des Lices, where tournaments were held in the Middle Ages, the mansion houses and half-timbered houses sit side-by-side. The brightly coloured façades in rows make a pretty sight. After the cathedral and the Cohue Fine Arts Museum, Rue Saint-Gwénaël abounds in architectural elements like lattice work and corbels as far as Porte Prison, which leads to the picturesque Saint-Patern district.
A décor specific to Vannes
From Porte Prison, you can reach Promenade de la Garenne which runs alongside the 13th-century ramparts. A harmonious succession of towers and gateways runs above the French-style gardens. Attached to the fortifications, wash houses covered with a long slate roof lean onto the Marle.
A relaxing and tasty walk
Venture outside the city walls of Vannes for a little escapade. Promenade de la Rabine follows the tree-lined alleys on the edge of the jetties. Feeling thirsty? Enjoy a beer made in Breizh in the Awen micro-brewery. Fancy a bit of jazz? Hop on board the unusual Piano Barge, a boat converted into a restaurant and jazz club! Continue the walk to the Conleau peninsula, where you will be rewarded with a superb view of the Gulf in a site where several generations of sailors meet.