Chateaux of Brittany

Château de Montmuran

Château de Montmuran was built to the current appearance in the 14th century. It is a well-preserved castle with its two drawbridges which still work today. Steeped in history, Bertrand du Guesclin came to Château de Montmuran in 1354. He was dubbed knight in the chapel and it was here that he married Jeanne de Laval-Chatillon in 1374 after the death of his first wife Tiphaine Raguenel.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Les Iffs, 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 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 Largoët

The Château de Largoët, also known as the Tours d'Elven (Elven Towers), is mentioned for the first time in 1020, belonging to the baron of Elven, Derrien I. The present building was constructed between the 13th and 15th centuries. The manor became the property of the Malestroit family in the 13th century. The houses of Blois and Montfort fought for it during the Breton War of Succession, before it came to the Rieux fami ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Elven, France

Manoir de Kerazan

Manoir de Kerazan was built in the 16th and 18th centuries. All the rooms are exactly like they were in the 19th century: kitchen, bedrooms, reception room, billiard room, drawing room, library etc. This manor was Joseph Astor"s house when he was mayor of Quimper. It was bequeathed in 1928 to the Institut de France by its last owner, Joseph-Georges Astor. Visiting Kerazan, you will discover the art of living in Britt ...
Founded: 1766 | Location: Loctudy, France

Château de Coat-an-Noz

Château de Coat-an-Noz was built between 1880-1884 by Countess Sesmaisons. Since her it has been owned by several families and is still in private use (but not restored).
Founded: 1880-1884 | Location: Belle-Isle-en-Terre, France

Château de la Hunaudaye

The Château de la Hunaudaye was built by Olivier Tournemine around 1220. In that time, this castle protected the eastern border of the Penthièvre (Lamballe’s area), which was involved in a feud with the Poudouvre (Dinan’s area). The castle was destroyed in 1341, during the war of Brittany Succession, a civil war that ravaged the Brittany dukedom during two decades. At the end of the 14th century, ...
Founded: c. 1220 | Location: Plédéliac, France

Château de Joyeuse Garde

Château de Joyeuse Garde is the site of a castle associated with Arthurian legend. Its ruins in the town of La Forest-Landerneau in Brittany date to the sixth century AD, but the latest castle was built in the 12th century.
Founded: 12th century | Location: La Forest-Landerneau, France

Château de l'Oiselinière

The Oiselinière estate was, before the French Revolution a 'Seigniory'. It is mentioned as early as 1335 in the charter 'Les Actes'. It spreads over the districts of Gorges and Clisson, and under the feudal system depended on the Seigneurs of Clisson and Pallet. For 643 years, this Seigniory only changed families four times: Maurice le Meigen was the owner, then in 1460 one of this descendants t ...
Founded: 1335 | Location: Gorges, France

Château de Caradeuc

The Chateau de Caradeuc was built in 1722 by Anne-Raoul Caradeuc de la Chalotais. It is most famous by its gardens, built in the 19th century on the woodland hills of Bécherel in the formal French style. Gardens were designed in 1898 by Edouard André. Decorated with many statues the gardens offer a spectacular panorama over the high valley of the Rance. They are open on weekends and bank holidays in May, June and Septem ...
Founded: 1722 | Location: Ille-et-Vilaine, France

Château de Trémazan

Château de Trémazan was constructed on a rocky outcrop and had a square keep which, following a partial collapse during the winter of 1995, exposed the interior to reveal a habitable tower of four floors, each with one chamber. The history of Trémazan is intimately linked to that of the du Chastel (or Châtel) family. It was they who built it and made it their principal residence for several centuries. The origins of ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Landunvez, France

Manoir de Vaumadeuc

Manoir de Vaumadeuc has got its name from the Gué-Madeuc lords who possessed the property in the 13th century. According to the genealogy of Budes Guebriant by Ploughman, the first lord of Vaumadeuc would Madeuc Francis (second son of Roland VIII and great grand son of Roland V). He married Madeleine de la Croix, who brought a dowry of land in Pleven Parville where the mansion was rebuilt in the 15th century. Today ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Pléven, France

Château du Bois Orcan

Château du Bois Orcan dates from the 15th century. It has been returned to its original splendour following a full restoration. The rooms house an important collection of furniture and medieval objects that bear witness to the way of life in the era of Charles VIII and Anne of Bretagne. Close to the castle moat is the Jardin de la Fontaine de Vie: this is a garden of medieval proportions created by Alain Richert. Th ...
Founded: 1490 | Location: Noyal-sur-Vilaine, 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

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 du Plessis Josso

The Château du Plessis-Josso is a fortified 14th century manor house. It is open for tours during the summer, and offers its main hall for hosting events and marriages as well as a small country cottage outside the enclosing walls. Well-preserved and partially inhabited, the manor-house stands next to a large pond. This feudal Breton ensemble still has its fortified enceinte with towers and crenellated walls that p ...
Founded: c. 1330 | Location: Theix, 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 Kergos

Château de Kergos has been owned by Kernafflen and Kergos families since 1684. It was built in the 16th century and several parts have survived without alterations. The park with a pond and arboretum was built in the 18th century.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Clohars-Fouesnant, France

Château de Rosanbo

The Château de Rosanbo, overlooks the Bô river valley. The origin of its name stems from this fact, as in Breton it means 'rock on the Bô'. The château, which was in the past the stronghold of the Coskaër de Rosanbo family, then later of the Le Peletier de Rosanbo family, is square in shape and has been developed and re-fashioned throughout its history. In the 14th century, a fortifi ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Lanvellec, France

Château de Keroual

Château de Keroual is a partially ruined, Renaissance-style manor castle, built in the 16th century. It was burned down during the German occupation in 1944.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Guilers, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Barnenez Cairn

The Cairn of Barnenez is the largest Megalithic mausoleum in Europe. It dates from the early Neolithic Age is considered one of the earliest megalithic monuments in Europe. It is also remarkable for the presence of megalithic art. Radiocarbon dates indicate that the first phase of the monument was erected between 4850 and 4250 BC, and the second phase between 4450 and 4000 BC. Pottery found in and around the monument indicates that it underwent a period of reuse in the Bronze Age, in the 3rd millennium BC.

The cairn was first mapped in 1807, in the context of the Napoleonic cadaster. Its first scientific recognition took place in the context of an academic congress in Morlaix in 1850, when it was classified as a tumulus. Privately owned until the 1950s, the cairn was used as a quarry for paving stones. This activity, which threatened to destroy the monument, was only halted after the discovery of several of its chambers in the 1950s. The local community then took control of the site. The cairn was restored between 1954 and 1968. At the same time, vegetation was removed from the mound and systematic excavation took place in and around the monument.

Today, the Barnenez cairn is 72 m long, up to 25 m wide and over 8 m high. It is built of 13,000 to 14,000 tons of stone. It contains 11 chambers entered by separate passages. The mound has steep facades and a stepped profile. Several internal walls either represent earlier facades or served the stability of the structure. The cairn consists of relatively small blocks of stone, with only the chambers being truly megalithic in character. The monument overlooks the Bay of Morlaix, probably a fertile coastal plain at the time of its erection.

Engraved symbols occur in several of the chambers and passages. They depict bows, axes, wave symbols or snakes and a repeated U-shaped sign. One of the carved slabs is in secondary use was originally part of a different structure, an interesting parallel to the situation in several other such monuments, including Gavrinis. The symbols on the engraved blocks resemble those found in other megalithic monuments in Brittany; in broader terms they belong to the cultural phenomenon described as megalithic art. One of the recurring symbols is sometimes interpreted as an anthropomorphic depiction (the so-called \'Dolmen Goddess\').

An exhibition in the modern entrance building explains the results of scientific excavation and displays some objects from the site.