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Europe 2017

Pontivy or Bridge of Ivy or Little Town in the Middle of Nowhere!

FRANCE | Sunday, 17 July 2016 | Views [271] | Comments [1]

Pontivy is situated on the Blavet River and there are a complex network of canals that crisscross it. These canals once insured that Napoleon's troops would always have access to much needed supplies. Even if the channel were blocked, his generals could receive material internally.

Today, the river and the canals offer many different trips for canoe users and flower baskets decorate the whole city. Pontivy also provides free parking for visitors to the town and the Tourist Board is happy to welcome guests and provide all sorts of helpful information.

Basically, the old town is divided into two completely different sections although they intersect on certain streets. Much remains from the Middle Ages. Most importantly is the castle, closed now because a wall collapsed and much of the whole castle is now being reconstructed. But, it dates back to the 1470's. There is also the Rue du Fil which has great examples of the half-timbered buildings that were popular in the Middle Ages.

Then there are the buildings constructed by Napoleon because Pontivy played such an important role during his reign. These structures are all in excellent condition and many are being used today as they were then. For example the Mairie or Town Hall is the same one used over 200 years ago.

Pontivy was selected because it is pretty much in the middle of Brittany and Napoleon felt that the canals could be extended and that they could be linked with other ones throughout the country. The plan worked and Pontivy flourished. As other forms of transportation became more popular, the city fell upon hard times. But, it has reinvented itself with lots of boating activities, opening a new university and other popular training schools.

And, indeed, there really isn't very much else around it other than very curvy roads and lovely hilly farmland growing corn and raising cows!

Castle

Castle

 

Comments

1

Interesting history lesson. thanks.

  irene Jul 18, 2016 4:09 AM

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