Lannion – Introduction
Lannion in Brittany is one of those places that you can take or leave. When you walk around the city, you do see some nice things but there is something missing. It’s probably what the French call “je ne sais quoi“, a soul to the place.
The city is well kept and clean, and the buildings have all been restored properly.
Don’t get me wrong, Lannion has some interesting buildings and architecture, but they are spread out. Even the city centre is not the place to be to see interesting architectures, but you will find a few.
For example, the above house (on the left) dates back to the 16th century. The ones next to it are younger by 100 years. Next to them are modern houses.
On most of the city centre streets you’ll encounter several older house, but they are dispersed. In between the older houses are recent houses built to look a bit like older ones, or just plain modern houses.
Most of the older houses are made the traditional way in Brittany (and Normandy), using stone, wood and clay/mud.
Or you will find some houses built in the style of the region; using stones and granite.
You can also discover hidden away some gems like this garden, part of the refectory of the Saint-Jean-du Baly church.
Lannion has a couple of pedestrian shopping streets. They are not long, but do the job of providing hassle-free shopping.
Most of these streets are on a slope. But the streets have been made with stones that are even and do not pose problems for wheelchairs.
The Leguer river (a river known for its fly fishing, including trout and even salmon) which transverses Lannion has an interesting feature on one side, involving concrete and suspended metal bars. After some asking, I was told they are for kayak and canoeing, a sort of obstacles course like you see in the Olympics.
On of the main churches in Lannion is the Saint-Jean-du Baly church.
The church tower dates back to the 14th century, while the rest of the church was remade in the 15th and 16th century.
In the Lannion city centre, like in most French cities, you’ll find a monument to French who have fallen during one of the many wars.
The names of the Lannion citizens fallen in these wars are displayed here.
Close by the monument you will find this immense Ursulines convent dating back to the 17th century. It is no longer used as convent and has been turned into a labour union house (left portion of the photo above) and an exhibition area (centre and right).
The Saint Jospeh-Bossuet school next to the convent is a merger of the Saint Joseph school of 1622 and the Bossuet Institute from 1836 (where they teach hotel management).
The Sainte-Anne monastery next to the Leguer river is the dominant building in Lannion. Initially a hospice, the location next to a river was the reason to eventually close it down and build a monastery in the 17th century (the humidity from the river was making it a difficult place to live for the poor, sick & dying).
Today the whole building structure has been changed to a media library, an expo centre and a senior citizens’ home, all including a vast park.
The Sainte-Anne chapel was replaced in 1894 by a more modern one.
As I said in the beginning, Lannion is a city that will leave you either warm or cold. It’s not beautiful, it doesn’t have magnanimous buildings or structures, but as a reasonably large city it does offer a lot to its citizens.
The few interesting buildings have been well maintained, and some are being transformed for us by its citizens. But does it serve the tourist trade??
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