Chateaux of Brittany

Château de Pontivy

According to legend, Pontivy was founded in 685 AD by an English monk called Ivy who built a wooden bridge across the Blavet, giving the town its name – Pont d’Ivy. The town really began to develop in the 12th century when Viscount Rohan settled there and in the 14th century it became the political and administrative capital of the viscounty. The main site in Pontivy is its château, which overlooks the ...
Founded: 1485 | Location: Pontivy, France

Château de la Briantais

The first manor on the site was built in 1666 by the Pointel family. Today the ruins of this original manor are still visible. The current Château de la Briantais was built by Eugene Sully-Brunet between 1850-1864. Today it is owned by the city of Saint-Malo and used for concerts and other events. The 27-hectares park is worth of seeing, including a chapel from 1778.
Founded: 1850-1864 | Location: Saint-Malo, France

Château de Tonquédec

The Château de Tonquédec is one of the most visited monuments in the département of the Côtes d'Armor. The castle ruins with its several towers and a closed curtain wall is one of the most impressive French medieval sites. From the height of a rocky cliff it dominates the valley of the Léguer. It is a genuine vestige of feudal Brittany. The present castle was built in the 15th century, on the site of an earlier 12th- ...
Founded: 1406 | Location: Tonquédec, France

Château de la Ballue

The current Château de la Ballue was built by Gilles de Ruellan in 1620 and renovated in 1705. In the 19th century there was a glass factory. The highlight of any stay at the castle will be tea and a guided tour of those magnificent gardens.
Founded: 1620 | Location: Bazouges-la-Pérouse, France

Château de Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier

The ruins of the castle of Saint-Aubin-of-Cormier point out a significant event of Breton history. Affected by the catch of Saint-Aubin, François II, Duke of Brittany, an army of 11000 men constitutes to take again the places. During the famous battle of July 28, 1488, the French troops embank their adversaries. This event announces the end of independence of Brittany which will concretize itself with the marriage ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier, France

Château de Ranrouët

Château de Ranrouët was built in the 13th century and extended until the 17th century. It was destroyed in 1593 and became a shelter of bandits. Louis XIII ordered to demolish it in 1639.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Herbignac, France

Château du Nessay

Château du Nessay was built on an emplacement of a castle originating form the 12th century. The original castle was destroyed in mid-1600s. During the French Revolution, it was used as a prison, to hold political prisoners. The current castle was built by Count Maurice de Villebresme in 1886.
Founded: 1886 | Location: Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, France

Château de la Roche-Maurice Ruins

According a legend, the original castle in Roche-Maurice was built by lord Élorn in the 5th century. However the first Château de la Roche-Maurice was built in the 11th century. It was demolished due the royal order in 1490.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Roche-Maurice, France

Château de Montmarin

Château de Montmarin was built in 1760 by Aaron Magon, Squire of the Château du Bosq. It is the only 'Malouiniè' (the typical 18th century summer résidence of rich ship-owners and merchants from Saint-Malo) to be located on th left bank of the Rance, with a magnificent panoramic view across the estuary. An Imposing classic gateway opens on to the Court of Honor ornemented by a splendid ...
Founded: 1760 | Location: Pleurtuit, France

Château de Bienassis

Château de Bienassis was built in the 15h and 17th centuries to the site of 13th century wooden house. The castle, first built in 1434, was partially destroyed in the Wars of Religion in 1590 and it was rebuilt by Gilles Visdelou from 1620.
Founded: 1434 | Location: Erquy, France

Château de Comper

The Château de Comper is medieval castle, which has been rebuilt as a château. The first owner of Comper is supposed have been Salomon, king of Brittany in the 9th century. However the castle has entered in recorded history with the baron Raoul de Gaël-Monfort, who was a companion of William of Normandy during the Battle of Hastings. During the 13th century, Comper was considered one of the strongest cas ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Concoret, France

Château de Châteaugiron

Châteaugiron developed around its château from the 13th century onwards, becoming more prosperous towards the end of the Middle Ages as the canvas sail industry expanded. The town’s unique historic town centre is very well-preserved and features significant remains of the medieval fortress, renovated between 1450 and 1470 by Jean de Derval. Of the six original towers, four are still standing: the 38 metr ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Châteaugiron, France

Château de Trécesson

The imposing reddish schist walls of Château de Trécesson are reflected in the waters of the lake which surrounds it. The front gate is reached by a bridge which spans the moat. The entry is guarded by an imposing gatehouse flanked by two narrow towers on corbelling, joined together by an old gallery with machicolations. On the right, a long almost windowless frontage, covered with a steep slate roof, ends in ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Trécesson, France

Château de la Bretesche

Château de la Bretesche was built in the 14th century and rebuilt a century later. It was besieged in the Wars of Religion and destroyed during the French Revolution. The castle was rebuilt again in the 19th century. Today it is a hotel and golf resort.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Missillac, France

Château de Châteaulin

Château de Châteaulin was built in the 10th century by Earl of Cornouaille. In 1373 it was burned down by English army. The castle was never built again and today only ruins remain.
Founded: 10th century | Location: Châteaulin, France

Château de Kérouzéré

The Château de Kérouzéré is a Breton manor castle built in granite in the first half of the 15th century for Jean and Yves de Kérouzéré, seneschal of Morlaix, and followers of the dukes of Brittany. Visible from the sea, Kérouzéré was dangerously exposed and was particularly vulnerable to English attacks. As such the duke permitted him to erect a single ...
Founded: 1425-1458 | Location: Sibiril, France

Château de Bonnefontaine

Château de Bonnefontaine was built at the end of the 15th century and modified over time. Today the fortress is inhabited but its owners let down their guard for visitors longing to explore the 25 ha of landscaped grounds and gardens. Designed and created by well-known landscape gardeners Denis Bülher and Édouard André, the grounds are a typical example of late 19th century English gardens. Stroll ...
Founded: 1488 | Location: Antrain, France

Château des Rochers-Sévigné

Les Rochers was the estate of the Mathefelon family from the 12th century, before being passed by marriage to the Sévigné family in 1410. The family rebuilt the château in the early 16th century. Between 1644 and 1690, Madame de Sévigné stayed here and refurnished the house. She gave names to the paths through the gardens and in 1689 her son commis-sioned the French Gardens from Le N&ocir ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Vitré, France

Château de Montafilan

Château de Montafilan was built in the 12-13th centuries. The history of castle origins is quite unknown. It was however demolished already in the 16th century and stones were used to other buildings. Montafilan was a mighty castle on a steep hill. There were eight tower, today two of them and some walls remain.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Corseul, France

Château du Taureau

The town of Morlaix, on the north coast of Brittany, was once an important trading centre in the late Middle Ages. This made its surrounding lands a tempting target for hostile neighbours like the English. In 1522 the English attacked and pillaged the town in revenge for an attack on Bristol by pirates from Morlaix. After this attack the local authorities decided that the town needed to be protected against attacks from t ...
Founded: 1542-1745 | Location: Plouezoc'h, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château de Chaumont

The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.

Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.

Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.

In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.

The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.