Rostrenen is a traditional old market town that remains largely untouched by modern architecture and developments, and thus is thought to be one of Brittany’s prettiest towns. The houses are made of stone and slate, and the whole town is well supplied with all basic amenities including 3 supermarkets, several schools and several restaurants, creperies and pizzerias to suit all tastes. Rostrenen also caters for most sporting tastes, there are lakes for fishing and water sports, glorious countryside for walking, cycling and horse-riding, and golf and tennis clubs. Overall, there is a presiding sense of healthy tranquility.
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Rostrenen is found in north-western France, in the south-west of the Cotes-d’Armor department of Brittany, 10 miles east of Carhaix. Roscoff is the nearest ferryport and can be reached in 90mins, Dinard airport and St Malo ferryport can be reached in 2h.
The name “Rostrenen” means hill of thorns. It comes from the old Breton words “roz”, meaning hill, and “droenen” meaning thorns. And indeed, the town did develop around the castle build on the hill of Miniou by the Barons of Rostrenen. There are many legends concerning miracles which have taken place in Rostrenen, one of the most famous being the tale of the statue of the Blessed Virgin found under a rosebush with leaves and flowers, in December 1300, which is now celebrated every August with a traditional religious festival called a ‘pardon’ which involves the statue being carried outside by torchlight and every December with a festival called the ‘Bod Fair’ (meaning ‘’The Bush Fair’). Another festival for which the town is well known is the Fisel Festival, which is an extravaganza of traditional Breton music and dance.
During the Middle Ages, Rostrenen was an important administrative centre, an imposing building from this era is the C16th Manoir de Campostal, which during the Revolution was used as a prison for priests who refused to accept the authority of the revolutionary government. The castle was also used as a prison and gendarmerie, and then a hospital and a school.
Rostrenen is the birth city of the painter Olivier Perrin (1761-1832). Perrin studied in Rennes and Paris and came back to Brittany, teaching painting in Quimper and working for several Breton churches. His most famous work is a series of drawings depicting the life of a Breton farmer from birth to death. In 1820, he offered his painting “The Blessed Virgin’s Assumption” to the church of his birth city.
Market day is every Tuesday and products for sale include organic breads and vegetables, plants and cheeses. A disused railway track also runs through Rostrenen. This is now a designated cycle path which runs for 111km and is ideal for families. The fine sandy beaches of the Brittany coast and many traditional fishing villages are within a pleasant driving distance. Lac du Guerledan a short driving distance offers, water-sports, sailing, canoeing, water-skiing and boat trips while the lake at Glomel which is an easy cycle route provides some of these facilities with a small sandy beach and childrens play area. The Tourist information office is located in the village, where you can access information for the many traditional fetes and music venues in the area, also information on your nearest Golf courses. If you would like information on horse riding or cycle hire please contact us.
Food & Drink
Being a maritime race, seafood is a speciality and Creperies are a favourite meeting place, offering an imaginative range of sweet crepes or savoury buckwheat galettes, to be eaten with the popular local cider.
Les Anglais, Route de Pontivy Kerandouaron, tel: 02 96 29 16 45, menu 15€ for traditional food
Eventail des Saveurs, Rostrenen, tel: 02 96 29 10 71, menu 25-48€ for traditional seafood
Le Lion d’Or, 2 rue Rostrenen, tel: 02 97 34 84 28, menu 15-30€ for pizza and tapas
Restaurant du Centre, 2 Place Republique, tel: 02 96 29 30 01, menu 15-30€ for traditional food
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property for sale in Brittany. We have a large network of estate agents near Rostrenen. All of them are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Rostrenen matching your requirements.