The Heritage Educational Department

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General town and museum guided tours

For an introduction to Vannes and its history

Lasting 1h30, these visits give a general idea of the town, its history and its heritage.

Depending on the teacher’s requirements, these guided tours can focus on a particular theme: the battlements, the Cathedral, timber-frame houses, etc.

Discovery tours

For a more detailed study of Vannes’ heritage.

Discovery tours emphasize interaction by the use of various educational methods.

Some theme tours:

The town gates in Vannes
This discovery tour follows in the footsteps of Estienne and Philippa, the young heroes of Mrs Brisou-Pellen’s novel ”Les Portes de Vannes”, and lets you discover the town at the end of the Middle Ages (Cathedral, Cohue, battlements, etc.).

We advise you to read the novel beforehand

Vannes in the 17th century
The town was transformed during the 17th century. Several convents are founded on the edge of the walled town. Stone replaces wood in the architecture.

This tour, on the theme of the architecture and the transformations in Vannes' townscape during the 17th century, also offers an insight into society at the time when the Brittany Parliament was exiled to Vannes. It is in the form of a treasure hunt, during which the pupils have to find document packs by following a trail, which then enable them to answer a questionnaire

The port of Vannes

From ancient times, Vannes was both a maritime and land trading centre. This discovery tour will reveal the substantial changes undergone over the centuries by the port, one of the town’s main centres of activity.

The pocket stained glass window

The stained glass window discovery tour is in two parts:

The tour develops the history of stained glass windows and their role through the centuries using the 49 windows in the Cathedral (fin 19th century – start of the 20th century). An analysis of some of the pictorial stained glass windows allows us to study graphic design and iconographic language, and to explain the different stages in the creation of a stained glass window.

Afterwards, the pupils try their hands at being “master glassworkers”. Using the equipment provided, they create their own stained glass window. This entertaining exercise requires them to develop their skill and use their imagination.

Sculpture, architectural decoration

Mermaids, lions, scowling faces, etc. The town’s houses and monuments are decorated with many sculptures, silent witnesses to its history. This discovery tour is for primary schoolchildren and proposes an entertaining way of getting to know Vannes’ rich and varied heritage. To keep the children interested, it uses a simple puzzle that will be solved as you progress around the steps in the tour.

The permanent collections in the Fine Art Museum

The Fine Art Museum is housed in the spacious rooms in the Cohue and exhibits a permanent collection of oil paintings in different styles dating from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The tour starts by a general description of the works of art. This is followed by detailed analysis of a few paintings in order to introduce the notions of composition, space, light and colour.

This tour can also be organised around a theme, including several relevant works of art, such as landscapes for example.

Portrait painting in the Fine Art Museum

The portrait discovery tour is in two parts:

Using the portraits on display in the Museum, the tour introduces the history of this painting genre, and the role of portraits through the centuries.

Then the children play the parts of artists and models. The first pupil, preferably dressed in period costume, has his portrait created by a classmate using pastels. Then the two swap roles, and the first pupil draws his classmate.

This tour is suitable for primary school children in the 5-8 year age range.

Eugène Delacroix’s  “Christ sur la croix”(Christ on the Cross) and the Romantic Movement

One of the Museum’s most precious and historically significant works of art, this painting by Delacroix is used as the opportunity to describe the artist’s career and his influence in the Romantic Movement. A slide show is used to introduce the pupils to the works of Géricault, Girodet-Trioson, Prud’hon, etc. Then, at the end of the tour, a literary text relating to the Museum’s paintings is chosen to serve as a basis for discussion.

Vannes Museum’s archaeological and historical collections

The History Museum (Château-Gaillard) keeps a remarkable prehistoric and ancient history collection, originating mainly from excavations of major megalithic monuments, Gallic and Gallo-Roman sites in Morbihan. It also houses Morbihan’s medieval collections (pottery, coins, sculptures, etc.)

Tours of the permanent archaeological exhibits can be arranged on several themes:

  • from the Palaeolithic to the Gallic epoch
  • discovery of the Neolithic civilisation
  • the Gallo-Roman world
  • daily life in the Middle Ages



Place Maurice Marchais

Tél. : 02 97 01 60 00



Monday to Friday from 8h to 12h15 and from 13h15 to 18h.Saturday morning from 9h to 12h.



7 rue Joseph Le Brix

Tél. : 02 97 01 60 00


Ouverture :


Monday to Friday from 8h15 to 12h15 and from 13h15 to 17h.


Permanence of the state civil service, Saturday 9am to 12pm.Are given priority: the declarations of birth and death as well as passport applications (by appointment).


Saturday morning, home phone from 9h to 12h.