Situated on a bend of the Rance, Bécherel looks over the river slate. It was a military town during much of its history, and this has shaped his character. The trade in flax and hemp were the main source of income during the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries. Canada and the fishing villages beyond the Channel were its main trading partners. It has a well maintained architectural heritage. It is the first city of "Cité du Livre" (city of books) of the French Republic. It is a unique award. It is one of the places with the highest number of books to be found in France. France is a country where the reading level is of the largest in Europe, surpassed only by the Scandinavian countries.