"GENÊTS" Genêts by vibi68

Genêts Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 8 photos

Situated in the Manche, Genêts is a very old locality; it was mentioned as early as the 5th century "Gen-Itius" was already a port under the Roman empire. It's etymology, "Gen-Itius" corresponds to an estuary bottom ("gens") on a hill or cliff ("itius"). It would seem that Genêts was the Ingena's port, capital of Abrincates, under the Roman domination; Ingena which later became Avranches. Already during the 10th century, Genêts had it's own shipbuilding yard where four ships were build, by Ranulphe of the Mont-Saint-Michel. Up to the "Guerre de cent ans", Genêts was the only southern port of the Manche since Granville didn't exist yet. The history of Genêts is closely related to Mont-Saint-Michel's; according to the legend, Saint-Aubert, founder of Mont-Saint-Michel, would have been born in Genêts, thus, its history is irremediably related to that of the Mount-Saint-Michel. Genêts, because of its geographical situation, attracted many pilgrims, tradesmen and visitors and in 1164, Genêts a period of processions and splendid ceremonies for Henri II, king of England visited the town. This visit made it possible for Genêts to benefit from many advantages and privileges such as the foundation of the Hospital, the creation of a bakery, an annual fair and a weekly market. In 1400's, English built a fortress on the rock of Tombelaine and the pilgrimages towards the small island ceased during this period. In 1434, the English are attacked by the French and had to flee to take refuge on Tombelaine from where they will leave in 1450. After the departure of the English, Genêts is found very impoverished. Its trade does not exist practically any more, the houses, for the majority are destroyed, the port is ruined and the cultures abandonned. For many centuries Genêts stays a desolated land until it's faith is again tested, when in 1758 an exceptional tide rolled in, Sée and Sélune Genêts' two rivers, enlarged immensly and flooded all the district of Salmes, thus destroying the foundations. The district did not resist the floods. In 1863, the Main street and a part of the Jérémie street, Avant-garde and Mons Street, were devastated by a fire, their rebuilding modified the medieval aspect of the town. The 20th century brought a specialty to Genêt, one of tourism, for the crossing of the Bay by the tourists towards the Mont-Saint-Michel, was already extremely.

Today, Genêts counts a mear 438 dwellers, it is a particularly small town of the Manche, considering it once counted more than 3000 before all the different battles and desasters it underwent through time. It's size make it just the more charming and appealing, to visit with the welcoming, and down to earth people. Be carefull if you want to visit, not to drive to fast... you might go through it without noticing. You can still find a very nice B&B (see Genêts' "Where to stay") a couple of restaurants, a bar and a good bakery.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The town is very serene, people are simple and easy going
  • Cons:Hard to find information in or on such small towns
  • Last visit to Genêts: May 2001
  • Intro Updated May 27, 2005
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Reviews (3)

Comments (1)

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo
    Jun 11, 2005 at 8:43 PM

    You are so right, a wonderful place to stay and the family Daniel makes it all the more so. Their son Pascal has been since then to visit us here in Arad, Israel.

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