As one of France’s most historic and picturesque regions, Brittany has more than its fair share of quaint towns and pretty villages. Nestled in the rolling French countryside, Brittany’s magical places offer an escape from the modern world; their ancient houses, winding streets, and imposing churches witness to centuries of fascinating history. Discover fairytale castles, holy wells, and curious natural rock formations and learn about some distinctive (and rather pungent!) local delicacies as we take a virtual tour around these enchanting corners of rural France.
This Context Conversation will feature some of Brittany’s finest villages, several of them designated as Petites Cités de Caractère (Small Towns of Character) due to their unique atmosphere and excellent state of preservation. With its medieval church covered with unusual carvings and its colorful half-timbered houses, the village of Malestroit recently celebrated its 1000th birthday. Not far away can be found Rochefort-en-Terre, which was voted ‘France’s Favourite Village’ in 2016 and is praised for its colorful flower displays and Christmas lights. Josselin is best known for the soaring towers of its striking castle, its interiors decorated in lavish style. To the north, on the famous ‘Pink Granite Coast,’ sits Ploumanac’h, its houses dwarfed by enormous pink boulders, while Guémené-Sur-Scorff is renowned for its tasty chitterling sausages known as Andouille.
Led by a historian who splits his time between London and Brittany, Alan Montgomery, this interactive seminar will explore a selection of the area’s prettiest villages, explaining their historical and architectural importance and highlighting their most interesting sights and monuments. Designed to inform curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with an insider’s view of the history and culture of some of France’s most characterful places.
Alan Montgomery was born and raised in Scotland but has spent most of his adult life in London. Having achieved an MA in Art History at Glasgow University, he worked for many years in the art world at both an international auction house and an antique dealer. In recent years he has returned to academia, achieving an MA in Classical Civilisation in 2011, and has recently completed a Ph.D. in which he analyzed eighteenth-century attitudes towards the ancient Roman world. In addition to his work for Context Travel, Alan also writes catalog essays on Contemporary Art for a leading auctioneer. Elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2017, his first book, entitled 'Classical Caledonia', was published by Edinburgh University Press in August 2020.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.