Le Petit Billot
5, place du Gal-Leclerc, Vitre, 35500, France
More about Vitré
Narrow street in Vitre
Vitre town house
The mighty Chateau de Vitre
Travel Tips for Vitré
Champeaux: Small Town with a Well and a Church
Champeaux is small (300 pop). At its center sits a very old well surrounded by old stone (granite) buildings and a 14-15 C church with an austere old graveyard. .The church was built by the Espinay family who were cousins of Francois I. Their chateau is only 2 km away but we did not visit it. The church has a fine ship-keel ceiling and interesting fittings. A stained glass window (16c) of the Calvary is behind the altar. The Tomb ogf Guy III d'Espinay is to the left. Behind the altar is a statuary setting of 1750 withthe two patron saints (Peter and Madelaine) and an allegory of Faith in the center.
Champeaux: See the Church Interior
The church has two mausolea of the Espinay family from the late 16C. Both show capable stone carving. There is wood carving of high quality in the choir stalls which extends to the Sacristy doorway and the choir canopies (about 1530).The Tomb of Claude d'Espinay shows an early use of a pyramid decorative form. The stained glass is mostly of the same period (about 1540) and is in various parts of the church.
"Chateau de Vitre"
The main reason that people stop by Vitre is to visit the enormous chateau. It is typically French with pepper pot turrets and curtain walling. There has been a castle here for over 1,000 years but the present version dates from the 13th century. It has served a number of functions over the years including that of a prison barracks. It is also one of the first castles in France to be designated a building of historic interest back in 1872.
The town is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Brittany and has an impressive array of old (and some) strange buildings. There is enough to keep the keen traveller occupied for a day here.
Vitrè - Medieval Town
On the way from Laval to St. Malo, we stopped In Vitrè, cos this shining Château of Vitrè had catch my eyes from highway, so here we are....
Vitré is a medieval town very beautiful with a rich cultural heritage. It's a very good exemple of the Middle Age cities with castles, churches, very old houses (15th century), historic monuments, parks and nature. The site of Vitré was occupied in Gallo-Roman times. The name Vitré comes from the Gallo-Roman name "Victor" or "Victrix", after the owner of a farm in the region. The year 1000 marked the formal birth of Vitré, when the duke of Brittany Geoffrey I bestowed feudal powers upon Riwallon Le Vicaire, who was charged with keeping this strategic area as a buffer zone of the "Marches of Brittany".
A Castle with an Intact "Murder Hole" & More
"How We Came to Vitre"
We stopped in Vitre (15K pop) enroute to Mont-St.-Michel. We had a 10 yr old grandson in tow on his first trip abroad, and thought a real castle would be better to visit than another cathedral and would prepare the way for the Mont. It was raining intensely on and off , making it hard to take pictures due to rain and darkness. It also compromised walking on ramparts and town streets. On crossing the drawbridge we entered the "murder-hole"under the gate towers, which he was prepared to recognize and the rest easily followed. The primitiveness of the "good-life" in a military castle began to sink in. We did not see much of the old town but took refuge from yet another deluge in the Church of Notre Dame
"A Visit to the Castle"
The Courtyard is large with a prominent supply well near its center. The castle museum is mostly in one of the towers designed for living quarters, all the way to the domed roof.
The Old Town should be visited. The T.O. provides a handy guide. We think that Vitre is as good a visit as Fougeres, even though we were limited by the rain.