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Guerlesquin: fascinating rural town

Guerlesquin is the only remaining example of a town square with the three elements of urban power from the Old Regime: the market halls, a prison and a church. Around the square are three other squares and "two long ribbons of stone" that are in truth quaint buildings in this town of exceptional character.

A town emerging from granite

Located in the foothills of the Arrée Mountains and at the very edges of the National Park, Guerlesquin has all the typical characteristics of a Breton village. Over centuries, Guerlesquin has gathered its ancient dwellings and monuments, drawing on the wealth that came from its markets and fairs.

Original architecture

Since the 16th century, shaped granite became the building material of choice, lending a sense of conformity to the town, as the façades and rooftops reflected one another in style and quality.

The turreted homes of the gentry, the cornices and skylights from the 15th to 18th centuries sit harmoniously alongside more modest homes, separated only by ancient coaching gates and doorways.

In the centre itself come the most surprising and delightful discoveries: the ancient prison, still intact, is known as the Présidial; it dates from 1640 and is in the form of a square tower flanked with four turrets; you have St Ténénan church, the market halls that once were topped by the law courts; St Jean Chapel, the public gardens of Champ de Bataille, the medicinal herb garden around the church and so much more.

Events and World Championships at Guerlesquin

Guerlesquin is renowned for certain events: The Boulù Pok World Championships on Shrove Tuesday, The Antiques Fair at Easter, exhibitions in July and August plus other summer events such as the lively Monday markets, and of course the World Championship for Throwing the Standing Stone.

Guerlesquin also includes two additional visitor attractions: the museum of miniature agricultural machinery and the blackmith’s and wheelwright’s workshop.

Museum of miniature agricultural machinery

Roger Lirzin, an enthusiast of all things rural since his childhood, spent over twenty years working meticulously to produce these incredible replicas.
He also worked to revive the local heritage and around 100 of his models are on display above the Tourist Office: a 1900s harvester, tools, apple thresher, cider press and more, all witness to the modest and often arduous life of rural people at the turn of the century. Open in July and August, free access from the Tourist Office.

Forge and Wheelwright Workshops

See the tools of ancient crafts and artefacts from the 19th and 20th centuries. Demonstrations every Monday morning in summer, coinciding with the markets.
Free entry.
These two visits are also possible for groups all year round, by prior arrangement. Please call + 00 33 (0)2 98 72 81 79.

For further details about these visits, please contact Guerlesquin Townhall.
Tel. + 00 33 (0)2 98 72 81 79 or see www.guerlesquin.fr