The Middle Ages and old stones

The mediaeval period left some rare and fascinating buildings around Saint-Malo. A visit to the abbey of Notre-Dame du Tronchet and its gardens, a stop at the Beaufort monastery or a stopover in Saint-Suliac will take you back a few centuries!

The Abbey of Notre-Dame du Tronchet

A hermit named Gaultier retired to the forest of Mesnil in the 12th century to pray in solitude and contemplate nature. The faith of man attracted many followers who settled in a religious community. It gave birth to a church which would later become the Abbey of Notre-Dame du Tronchet.

In the 17th century, the abbey was rebuilt a little further up the hill, away from the more marshy lowlands. The neo-classical facade from the first church of the 12th century still stands, with a large bay window and double mullions.

The abbey, built in the shape of a cross, has only one nave and ends with a straight apse. It is surmounted by a bell tower consisting of three small superimposed domes. Around the remains of the cloister are the gardens, where monks cultivated vegetables and medicinal herbs.

Convent of Notre-Dame de Beaufort

Nuns still live in the convent of Beaufort in the town of Le Plerguer. The Order of Preachers lives in an old manor, the Château de Beaufort, whose origins date back to the Middle Ages.

The Dominican nuns play a musical instrument called a Kora during their services. This is an African harp composed of half a calabash covered with a skin of parchmented cowhide. It is crossed by a long wooden handle with 21 strings.

The nuns make religious icons, jams and needlepoint creations. All their wares are on sale at the convent shop.

The parish enclosure of Saint-Suliac

Ranked among the Most Beautiful Villages of France®, the fishing village of Saint-Suliac, located on the banks of Rance is known for its 13th century Gothic style church which has existed since as early as the 11th century, part of which can still be seen in the gable of the west door, in the Romanesque style.

The church is surrounded by a parish enclosure with a cemetery. Parish enclosures are characteristic of rural religious architecture, but have become rare in this part of Brittany.

Inside the church many works dedicated to maritime heritage can be seen, as well as ex-voto offerings in the form of model boats.