Carhaix-Plouguer is a major town of Brittany filled with charming Roman architecture and famous for its rock festival. Market day is every Saturday morning.
Carhaix-Plouguer is the capital of the traditional district of Poher ( www.poher.com) in Brittany. Carhaix is located in the eastern part of the Finistère department, very close to the departments of Côtes d’Armor and Morbihan. St Brieuc airport can be reached in 1h, Brest airport in 1h15 and St Malo ferryport can be reached in 2h.
The name of Carhaix (known as Caer Ahes in 1082) comes from the Celtic words kaer (town) and ahes, the name of King of Cornouaille Gradlon’s daughter. According to tradition this King gave the town to his daughter and so it was named Karaez, literally meaning Ahès’ town.
The town was created by the Romans in 50 BC and originally called Vorgium. Several remains of this time have been found in Carhaix, including a 25-km long aqueduct. In the IVth century, Brest (then called Osismis), supplanted Vorgium as the main administrative center of western Brittany, and the decline of Vorgium started. For centuries, the town was besieged and trashed several times, during the Hundred Years’ War, the War of Succession of Brittany, and the long periods of anarchy characteristic of the Duchy of Brittany at that time.
Finally in the XVIth century, things improved with Carhaix becoming the seat of a Royal Court of Justice and a known place of trade, especially for cattle. Then in 1935, the invention of the railway network in Brittany placed Carhaix it the center of one of the most important radial networks in France, which in turn triggered trade in the city and in 1956, the municipality of Carhaix-Plouguer was formed, such was the success in Carhaix.
Carhaix is most famous for its rock festival: Les Vieilles Charrues ( www.vieillescharrues.asso.fr). Created in 1992 it last for three days every summer and attracts thousands of visitors. Some of the biggest bands in the world are combined with traditional Bretagne music and theatre productions on two main stages and there are numerous food stalls, circus acts and smaller stages. Carhaix also sponsors other cultural events such as a book fair in October, an amateur film theatre festival in May and Bagadans, a musich and dance festival every July that involves more than 2,000 musicians and dancers performing in the streets. La Tour d’Auvergne is also officially celebrated every year, on the Saturday before the 27 June (the date he died). La Tour d’Auvergne was a French soldier who fought on several battlefields all over Europe, always refusing promotion despite his considerable bravery and who wrote on the origins and grammar of Celtic. He is also known as Théophile-Malo Corret and Carhaix is his birth town.
Other sights to see in Carhaix include: the Chateau Rouge, a beautiful red-brick building which houses the library and music school, le pont de petit Carhaix, an C18th bridge leading to an area popular with artisans, la Maison du Sénéchal, a granite Renaissance building on rue Brisieux which houses the tourist office, la place de la Tour d’Auvergne, which has the heroe’s statue, le couvent des augustins, Ste Anne chapel and St Pierre church.
There is an 80000m2 golf course for sports enthusiasts, a karting, bowling, squash and sauna centre, a horse-riding centre, a language and culture centre with 600-seat cinema, called Glenmor and 2 lakes for fishing at the Vallée de l’Hyères.
Food & Drink
Crepes and Galettes are the most popular dishes in Carhaix, crepes for those with a sweet tooth and galettes for those preferring things savoury. Couchen is a popular alcoholic drink that tastes delicious with the pancakes.
- L’Origan, 12 rue Am Emeriau, tel: 02 98 93 21 94, menu 15-30€ for traditional food
- Le Carrick, 18 rue Brizeux, tel: 02 98 99 45 69, menu 20-38€ for seafood
- Ty Gwechall, 25 place des Halles, tel: 02 98 93 17 00, menu 15€ for crepes
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Carhaix. We have a large network of estate agents near Carhaix. 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 Brittany matching your requirements. Do not hesitate to contact us to find out more about our selection of properties for sale near Carhaix.