La Roche-Derrien is a Côtes-d'Armor locality in Brittany, located 17 km east of Lannion and about ten kilometers from the coast of the Manche and Côte d'Ajoncs.
The geography of the site, a rocky promontory dominating the bottom of the estuary of Jaudy, where at the mercy of the tides the sea water mixes with the fresh water of the coastal river, explains the history of the territory. It became a Gallic Romanesque city before a castle was erected in the Middle Ages, defensive, to prevent any maritime invasion and protect the first trade. In 1347, however, during the war of succession to the duchy of Brittany, the troops of Jean de Monfort, allied to the English win in La Roche-Derrien a decisive battle over those of Charles de Blois, allied with the French. Later the famous Du Guesclin receives as a reward for services rendered to the king of France the seigniory of La Roche-Derrien and would have settled there. However, the castle is destroyed in 1394 and the fortifications razed in 1420.
However, the prosperity of the city remains, considered until the middle of the 20th century as one of the most active in the historic region of Trégor (shops, slate, flax work). Its historical and authentic heritage in the heart of a territory with preserved environment makes La Roche-Derrien, which has a thousand inhabitants and has been labeled "Small City of Character", a pleasant step.
A discovery of the locality goes through a walk in the medieval heart of the city. The names are evocative ("place of the pillory", "alley of the English"...) and one can still admire there many half-timbered houses of wood of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
At the top of the old feudal mound, a viewpoint on the Jaudy estuary and the loop of its upstream course is not to be missed.
Continue the visit of La Roche-Derrien by the church of St. Catherine of Alexandria, classified. In the Romanesque and Gothic style, its oldest parts date back to the 13th century. The important surface of the choir and the suite of chapels made it in its time an edifice in the measure of its lords. Inside, the stained-glass windows recount two episodes in the history of the city: the martyrdom of his patron Saint Catherine of Alexandria and the capture of Charles of Blois during the battle of 1347. The organs would come from the abbey From Westminster to London after passing through the cathedral of Saint-Brieuc. Restored from 1992 to 2002, they contain the oldest pipes of Brittany. Free visits between 10am and 6pm. Continue by La Maladrerie, a hospital founded in the 13th century by Geoffroy, Lord of Kersaliou, on his return from the crusade. A large high chapel on the second floor served as a courtroom for the seneschals and disappeared in the 19th century. Its remains are integrated in the building which now hosts the Tourist Office. The new facilities have preserved the medieval spirit of the place.
Also worth seeing is the Chapelle du Calvaire on the feudal mound, on the site of the old donjon, as well as the chapel Saint-Jean, erected in the 12th century by the Templars, and the Notre-Dame A pity that reminds passersby of the famous battle of 1347.
A trail of interpretation of the patrimony allows to apprehend the history of the city. Information: +33 2 96 91 59 40 from May to September and +33 2 96 92 22 33 from October to April.
As for nature, in the city itself, the Jaudy and its banks offer the walkers a change of scenery that makes it possible to discover the remains of the old port. As for the garden of the presbytery, it gathers the plants once grown in the Trégor (linen, rye, spelled, clover...) and has a traditional orchard. From this place, one enjoys an amazing view on the lower city.
For larger hiking trails, starting or including La Roche-Derrien and its surroundings, many trails and circuits have been designed for walkers or mountain bikers. Some are heading towards the coast, others are thematic. Brochures, maps and information at +33 2 96 91 59 40 from May to September and +33 2 96 92 22 33 from October to April.
It is also possible to contact the local association for group walks on +33 2 96 91 51 59.
Finally, there is another way to discover the natural environment and the landscape: canoeing. For leisure or more sporting walks, please call +33 2 96 91 51 48 and +33 6 88 65 09 97.
The fourth Saturday in April, flea Jaudy.
The 3rd Sunday of May, Fair of Fait Main at La Maladrerie.
The 4th Saturday of July, big flea market in the streets of the center.
The last Sunday of July, with the association Couleurs de Bretagne, contest and exhibition of paintings and drawings to promote the Breton heritage.
The second Monday of August, feast of the Faux Druide. A rendez-vous under the sign of humor where storytellers rub shoulders, hypnosis sessions, market of yesteryear, traditional songs.
The first weekend of September, Ker Roch en Fête is synonymous with festivities for the whole city. On the program, fairground attractions, concerts and fireworks on Saturday, street performances on Sunday.
Finally, all year round, a market is held on Friday morning, Place du Martray: the opportunity to discover the gourmet pleasures of the Breton land... and the sea.
In July, forgiveness day in Hengoat. Storytelling, church concert, mass and procession, Breton games and balls for all. Come and discover a moment of tradition and cultural exchange.