From Brittany to Luxeuil

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It is said that Columbanus and his companions landed on the Plage du Guesclin, close to the village of Saint Coulomb. This memory has been kept alive in Brittany in the names of many churches and villages throughout the region. These sites are linked by a circular walking trail, the Tro Breizh.

The Columban Way heads east, bypassing Paris by the North, through the Marne valley and down to Luxeuil.


Leaving Brittany, the Columban Way heads east across Normandy, past Paris to the Marne Valley, in particular the town of Jouarre and the ‘Pays de Brie’. Here there is a significant Columban heritage in the form of monasteries that he, his followers or other Irish monks founded in the seventh century. These are described in more detail under ‘The Exile Route.’

The trail then heads southwards, past Troyes and Chaumont, across the foothills of the Vosges Mountains to Luxeuil-les-Bains, where Columbanus was to spend twenty years of his life, founding three monastic communities: in Luxeuil itself, in the woodland site of Fontaines and in rural Annegray. Luxeuil and its surroundings have a rich heritage of early Irish monasticism, including exceptional archaeological sites and monastic buildings that were still occupied in the 19th century.