DISCOVER

The iron route and the historic paimpont forges

 

IRON, AN EPIC SAGA THAT NEVER LOSES ITS ATTRACTION

Water, earth rich in ore, fuel within the swing of an axe; that gives you everything you need to forge Brocéliande’s metalworking history. It all started with blast furnaces that were used 2,500 years ago, continued with the knights on their quest to find Excalibur, and lives on with the artisan blacksmiths of today.

TRACING THE IRON

For some 15 kilometres, the Iron Route (Route du Fer) traverses time and the elements. Starting at the Tourist Office in Brocéliande it leads to Saint-Malon sur Mel, along roads and paths that meander through the woods. Suitable for bikes and cars, it weaves its way through set tableaux and places where metalwork is practised by real live people. It passes close to the lakes, follows a path through a land that’s rich in iron ore, and brings you out near the Hindrés Oak, where you can stop to look round a reconstructed charcoal burners’ site. These woodsmen used to make charcoal from logs, burning them slowly beneath mounds of earth.

VISIT A WORKING FORGE

The illustrious past of these Lords of the Flames still burns bright in the displays and set pageants that break your journey at the  Brocéliande Tourist Office, the Brocéliande EcomuseumPaimpont and the Museum of Saint-Malon-sur-Mel. Legendary deeds ring out with each beat of the hammer. At St-Malon, the Forge Museum is a reconstruction of the smithy of Père Dugué (1904-1984). The fire, now back in use, heats up the blacksmith’s tools, with explanations and displays to shows the age-old working methods. Watching the demonstrations will make you appreciate the impressive powers of the men who  work magic with their raw materials. 

FORGING LINKS WITH HISTORY

In Paimpont, the forges have had a noticeable impact on the landscape. Right on the edge of the lake, the site is a remarkable testament to Brittany’s metal industry. On this very spot, from the 17th century until 1884, hundreds of workmen processed the ore that was extracted in the forest to make things like nails, ploughshares, cannon and rails, and the iron made in Paimpont rivalled that of Spain or Sweden. Guided tours and discovery trails take you from the rolling-mill to the workmen’s lowly cottages, from the blast furnaces to the Master’s house. And even today, blacksmiths sometimes make the walls echo again with the ring of hammer on iron, when giving demonstrations or taster sessions.

 

 

CONTACT

SITE HISTORIQUE DES FORGES DE PAIMPONT
Maison d'accueil des visiteurs
Les Forges de Paimpont
35380 Paimpont
02 99 61 85 48

MUSEE DE LA FORGE
Le Bourg
35750 SAINT-MALON-SUR-MEL
02 99 09 58 04
www.pays-stmeen-tourisme.fr



 

ECOMUSEE DE BROCELIANDE
35160 MONTFORT-SUR-MEU
02 99 09 31 81
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.ecomusee-broceliande.com






 

Texté rédigé par Annick André

 

 

 

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