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. The pla ...
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 protec ...
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 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 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Veste Coburg

The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.

In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.

Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.

20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.

Today

The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.