Waterside chateau with a fine courtyard facade
The best way to approach Josselin is from the south on the D4. As you cross the River Oust, there is a superb view of the Château de Josselin rising sheer from the water’s edge, its slate tiled conical towers glinting in the sun. Built by Jean II de Rohan in the 15thC, on a site dating back to 1,000 AD, the castle is a shadow of its former self, but the courtyard facade (now over-looking gardens) is a beauty, richly carved and ornamented with pinnacles, gables and balustrades. The de Rohan family still own the castle, which is open to the public together with a delightful doll collection, the Musée des Poupées.
The town itself is worth exploring for its fine old half-timbered and slate-roofed houses in the neighbourhood of the basilica. Founded in the 11thC, the Basilique de Notre-Darne-du–Roncier marks the spot where a 9thC peasant discovered a miraculous statue of the Virgin in the brambles (roncier). A famous annual pardon is celebrated here on September 8.