THE MEDIEVAL VILLAGE OF BAZOUGES-LA-PÉROUSE
Bazouges-la-Pérouse is one of five ‘Petites Cités de Caractère’ in Ille-et-Vilaine. It overlooks the Couesnon Valley between Combourg and Fougère, 40 km north of Rennes,. In the Middle Ages, Bazouges-la-Pérouse was a border town belonging to the Barons de Fougères. In the 16th century it boasted more than 5,000 inhabitants who made a living from trade and farming.
From ramparts to old houses
The village has preserved remains of the ramparts built in the Rue des Douves at the end of the 16th century during the Wars of Religion. It also has many ancient houses with fine granite facades.
Next to the Office de Tourisme in an old forge stands the impressive Manoir du Colombier with its entrance arch and many-sided turret. Apparently, this magnificent 16th century residence once belonged to the ancient lords of Bazouges.
The front of one of the houses on the Place du Monument features ten strange heads carved into the stone. These modillions, originally from the old church, gave the house its name of « Maison des pendus » (House of the Hanged). The same square also has the Maison du Procureur du Roi (House of the King’s Proctor) which is recognisable by its cornice and ornately decorated corner window dating from1604.
Don’t miss the Maison de Sandrine in the long Rue de l’Eglise. This merchant’s house-shop illustrates the commercial life of the village during the 16th century and still has its stone counter and original corbelled timber frame.
Church of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul
The proximity of Bazouges-la-Pérouse to Mont-Saint-Michel just twenty-seven kilometres away, gave rise to intense religious activity. The church of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul and its surprising architecture remains one of the most impressive buildings in the area.
In fact it consists of two churches built side by side in the 12th century : the taller church to the north and the lower one to the south. The former was reserved for use by monks of the Abbey de Rillé, Fougères and the latter for worship by local parishioners. The church was totally reshaped in the 19th century into a structure with three naves. It has a magnificent stained-glass window dating from 1574.
Pommé, THE Bazouges speciality
Gourmets and fans of regional products will love the original local speciality known as ‘pommé’, a sort of jam made from freshly-made cider and apples which tastes of caramel. Every autumn, fetes are held in Bazouges-la-Pérouse to make ‘pommé’ and celebrate the 19th century tradition.
THE VILLAGE OF POETS AND ARTISTS
The village where the poetess Angèle Vannier lived continues to inspire artists. Discover the creations of poets and artists in the shops converted into modern art galleries and workshops which nestle between granite houses.
Le Village, a centre for experimental art
A contemporary art centre comprises three galleries in the centre of Bazouges-la-Pérouse. Le Village is a venue for experimental art, producing and showing the public visual art works which range from painting and sculpture to video, photographs, drawings and immersive installations.
An open air contemporary art trail
Thanks to the « Artists’ Village » created in 1994, followed by «Le Village, experimental art site » in 2002, Bazouges-la-Pérouge boasts a public sculpture park. The collection is enhanced every year by the addition of permanent and temporary works and the open air contemporary art trail offers an unusual walk through the medieval village.
VISITING BAZOUGES-LA-PEROUSE WITH CHILDREN
There are several tourist trails to explore the village and discover its history while having fun.
In the footsteps of the alchemist (‘Sur les pas de l’artiste alchimiste’)
The trail « Sur les pas de l’artiste alchimiste » is a great way to explore the centre of Bazouges-la-Pérouse. The circular walk takes about 1½ hours and starts from the Place de la Mairie. Just follow the studs on the ground to the twenty different stop-offs with info boards.
In search of the Seigneur de Bazouges’ treasure…
The Office de Tourisme runs a fun treasure hunt for all the family to discover the character village. Armed with a bundle of objects, solve eight clues which take you to around the centre of the village in search of the Seigneur’s treasure (French only).
A geocaching trail
Discover the medieval village with children by following the « Bazouges-la-Pérouse, petite cité de caractère » (French only) geocaching trail, an easy circular walk of an hour with easy clues to solve which starts in front of the Office de Tourisme.
EXPLORING THE COUNTRYSIDE AROUND BAZOUGES-LA-PÉROUSE
Make the most of visiting Bazouges-la-Pérouge with a nature walk in the neighbouring parks and gardens or beneath the cool trees of Villecartier Forest.
Parc de Bellevue
Enjoy a walk in the grounds of Bellevue to the south of the village. This little château built in the 1830s housed a private « Gai-Savoir » school for struggling students from 1949 to 1977. Today the grounds are open to the public and contain contemporary art works.
Jardins de la Ballue
The Château de la Ballue and its wonderful gardens are just a few kilometres from the village. Specialised in the art of topiary, it offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a walk among sculpted vegetation including a green maze clipped from a grove of 1,500 yew trees which recalls the enchanting world of Alice in Wonderland.
Villecartier National Forest
This vast beech and oak forest of more than a thousand hectares with a large number of footpaths was once the source of wood for clog-making. At the heart of the forest there is a lake and Récrénature outdoor adventure park with a miniature port, treetop adventure trail, play park, picnic area and a restaurant.
PLAN YOUR STAY
Fougères, City of art and history
Fougères, a thousand-year-old town on the edge of Brittany, has a rich history with many twists and turns.