Cradle of Romanticism
Expect to feel your heart beat a little faster. Maybe hear a few ghosts whispering their stories in your ear, because here, reason goes haywire. Combourg, as the Celtic origin of the name “Combe” and “Borne” meaning “border” and “valley” indicates, marked the boundary between Brittany and Normandy, and also between the dioceses of Dol-de-Bretagne, Saint-Malo and Rennes. This historical crossroads tugged at the local lords: to remain loyal to the Duke of Brittany or to turn to Normandy? This energy could only give birth to a precursor of Romanticism: François-René de Chateaubriand. This 19th century cultural movement is characterized by melancholy, boredom and the search for the expression of one’s feelings against the voice of reason. The writer grew up in the castle of Combourg, built in the 11th century to defend the episcopal stronghold of Dol-de-Bretagne. The vestiges of this past dot the Petite Cité de Caractère®. Stroll through the streets decorated with half-timbered houses and discover the Maison de la Lanterne, the Templars’ courtyard, the Relais des Princes… Stroll along the shores of the Lac Tranquille and wander through this city classified as a Green Resort, take the hiking or biking trails in the heart of this country labeled as a Bike Touring Territory. Everything here plunges you into the spirit of Romanticism.
François-René de Chateaubriand
Spirit are you here?
“It was in the woods of Combourg that I became what I am,” wrote Chateaubriand. A writer, diplomat and great traveler, his genius and unparalleled style continue to make the French spirit shine throughout the world.The writer was born in Saint-Malo, and spent much of his childhood at the Château de Combourg before continuing his schooling in Dol-de-Bretagne. During his last journey to Saint-Malo to reach his final resting place according to his wishes, facing the sea and the open sea, he will be watched over one night in Dol-de-Bretagne.
A Heart of Granite
Solid and wonderful
In Mesnil Roc’h, your eyes will certainly be drawn to the blue granite, enjoying a geographical indication. In many quarries, this treasure is extracted from the earth to travel around the world, enjoying a great reputation for its shades of blue. The quays of Saint-Malo are a testimony of its prestige as well as the Cité des Sciences de La Villette, the Bank of China in Hong-Kong, the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville in Paris and many other buildings. Granite is also the ancestral stone represented through 15 monumental sculptures made by artists from all over the world to be discovered at the Jardin de Granit. A treasure worth its weight in gold. Granite is magical, like the fairies who populate the Mesnil forest, whose legends are revealed at the Maison des Fées.