An amazing 272 historic monuments are hiding within the walls in Vannes.
And these defences are something to write home about, as they fence off almost the entire old city with powerful gates and towers.
It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that you’ll be wondering what year it is when you idle along the cobbled streets and enter squares with timber houses from the 1400s and 1500s.
Then you can set sail for the Gulf of Morbihan where there’s an archipelago of 42 islands in smooth waters that are closed off from the Atlantic.
Lets explore the best things to do in Vannes:
1. Vannes Ramparts
The city was founded as Venetorum by the Romans in the 1st Century, but by the 3rd century the Roman Empire was vulnerable enough that this settlement required a walled castrum.
Over almost 1,500 years the walls were expanded and modified, and the way they look now dates from the 1630s, when the Garenne bastion was added.
After some demolition during the 1800s the walls became protected in 1911. They’re a vital ingredient in Vannes’ historic charm, being some of the only city fortifications remaining in Brittany.
The southern and western stretches are in the best condition, with towers, gates, bastions, curtain walls and fortified bridges that all have a tale to tell.