Chateaux of Brittany

Château de la Bourbansais

Château de la Bourbansais was built in in 1583 by Jean du Breil. At this time, the château was smaller than today. It was only composed of the façade and the two towers. The first modifications was made in the seventeenth century, with the construction of the west façade, in front of the french gardens. Then, in the 18th century, the family d’Armaillé, wanted to receive their guests ...
Founded: 1583 | Location: Pleugueneuc, France

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

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 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 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 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 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 de Kergroadès

Château de Kergroadès was built between 1602-1613 by a nobleman François de Kergroadès. The castle is a large square building, flanked by four towers in every corner. The facade is pierced by numerous large stone cross windows. The castle has a remarkable park.
Founded: 1602-1613 | Location: Brélès, 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

Château du Dourdy

Château du Dourdy was built in 1913 and is surrounded by 22-hectare grounds bordering the Pont l'Abbé river. Today it is a hotel and camping site.
Founded: 1913 | Location: Loctudy, France

Château du Crévy

Château du Crévy dates from the 12th century, but the current castle was built in the 14th century and again in 1697. There has been a Roman oppidium on the site.
Founded: 14th century | Location: La Chapelle-Caro, France

Château de Rustéphan

The Château de Rustéphan is a small, ruined 15th-16th century manor-house erected by Jean Du Faou, chamberlain of France and grand seneschal of Brittany, who built the domaine in 1420. According to tradition, the original manor was built by the son of a Duke of Brittany, named Étienne, Count of Penthièvre and seigneur of Nizon, who died in 1137.The current structure was built by Jean du Faou. Ac ...
Founded: 1420 | Location: Pont-Aven, France

Château de Boutavent Ruins

Château de Boutavent may have been built in the 11th century, but there is no written evidence of exact date. It has been confirmed that during the 13th and 14th century, the castle belonged to the Lords of Montfort. According a legend during the 7th century the castle was the residence of Judicaël, King of Domnonée, and that it had been the place where the King and saint Éloi met. This last was s ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Iffendic, France

Manoir du Plessis-Madeuc

The Manor House of Plessix-Madeuc was built in the 16th century and underwent significant changes up until the 17th century. The building has excellent proportions and the tower, which dominates the southwest side, was traditionally the main living quarters of the lord of the Manor. The main door of the mansion is crowned by a triangular pediment decorated with the arms of the family of the Gaudemont Monforière, ow ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Corseul, France

Château de la Motte-Jean

Château de la Motte-Jean, built originally in the 1100s, was owned for centuries by Du Guesclin family. It was probably built to the site of ancient Roman villa. The current château was completed in 1625. The old tower has been converted as a chapel.
Founded: 1625 | Location: Saint-Coulomb, France

Château de Careil

The Château de Careil is a fortified house constructed from the end of the 14th century and enlarged in the 15th and 16th centuries. The manor had originally a defensive function, as witnessed by the crenellated curtain wall which still exists. Under the Reformation, it served as a place of worship for the protestants established in the Guérande peninsula. For this reason, it was attacked and pillaged on 11 M ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Guérande, 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 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 Guilguiffin

A family named Guilguiffin appears in the annals of the area, but seems to die out in the 14th century. Guilllaume De Ty Varlen settled at Guilguiffin and had a significant fortified residence. Jean Louis Armand Fortuné De Plouec, born in 1694, replaced the ancient manorr with the current chateau between 1750 and 1760, using plans drawn up by the Quimper architect Nicolas Pochic. In 1797 the donjon, a lead-capped t ...
Founded: 1750-1760 | Location: Landudec, 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Goseck Circle

The Goseck circle is a Neolithic circle structure. It may be the oldest and best known of the Circular Enclosures associated with the Central European Neolithic. It also may be one of the oldest Solar observatories in the world. It consists of a set of concentric ditches 75 metres across and two palisade rings containing gates in places aligned with sunrise and sunset on the solstice days.

Its construction is dated to c. 4900 BC, and it seems to have remained in use until 4600 BC. This corresponds to the transitional phase between the Neolithic Linear Pottery and Stroke-ornamented ware cultures. It is one of a larger group of so-called Circular Enclosures in the Elbe and Danube region, most of which show similar alignments.

Excavators also found the remains of what may have been ritual fires, animal and human bones, and a headless skeleton near the southeastern gate, that could be interpreted as traces of human sacrifice or specific burial ritual. There is no sign of fire or of other destruction, so why the site was abandoned is unknown. Later villagers built a defensive moat following the ditches of the old enclosure.

The Goseck ring is one of the best preserved and extensively investigated of the many similar structures built at around the same time. Traces of the original configuration reveal that the Goseck ring consisted of four concentric circles, a mound, a ditch, and two wooden palisades. The palisades had three sets of gates facing southeast, southwest, and north. At the winter solstice, observers at the center would have seen the sun rise and set through the southeast and southwest gates.

Archaeologists generally agree that Goseck circle was used for observation of the course of the Sun in the course of the solar year. Together with calendar calculations, it allowed coordinating an easily judged lunar calendar with the more demanding measurements of a solar calendar.