Chateaux of Brittany

Château de Chassay

There was a Gallo-Roman villa on the site of Château de Chassay already in the 6th century AD. The castle is mentioned in the 1096 in a bishop letter. The current château was built in the 16th century. King Henry IV visited there in 1598. The castle was abandoned from the French Revolution until 1827, when it was acquired by Countess de Bondy. Today it is owned by the municipality.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire, 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 Hac

Château de Hac is a large castle built in the first half of 15th century. It has a rectangular main building flanked of five turrets. The present castle has not been altered much. The Gothic furniture and interior date from the 15th and 16th centuries. At the beginning of 15th century, it was the residence of the constable Arthur de Richemont and was the prerogative of the families of Richemont, Hingant, Tournemine ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Le Quiou, 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 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 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

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 Guyomarais

Château de La Guyomarais was built in the 16th century, but it the estate was owned by Guyomarais family already in the 15th century. Today castle is a private property.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Saint-Denoual, 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 de Mézarnou

The Manoir de Mézarnou is a fortified 16th century manor-house built on the site of an old medieval building, property in 1091, of Pierre André de Parcevaux, husband of Sybille de Trogoff. In 1145, Ollivier de Parcevaux donated to the abbey of Relecq. In 1250, Pierre de Parcevaux accompanied sire de Chateaubriand to the Holy Land with King Louis and the Duke of Brittany during the Seventh Crusade. In 1297, P ...
Founded: 1571-1591 | Location: Plounéventer, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Königstein Fortress

Königstein Fortress is located on the left bank of the River Elbe. It is one of the largest hilltop fortifications in Europe. The 9.5 hectare rock plateau rises 240 metres above the Elbe and has over 50 buildings, some over 400 years old, that bear witness to the military and civilian life in the fortress. The rampart run of the fortress is 1,800 metres long with walls up to 42 metres high and steep sandstone faces. In the centre of the site is a 152.5 metre deep well, which is the deepest in Saxony and second deepest well in Europe.

The fortress, which for centuries was used as a state prison, is still intact and is now one of Saxony's foremost tourist attractions, with 700,000 visitors per year.

By far the oldest written record of a castle on the Königstein is found in a deed by King Wenceslas I of Bohemia dating to the year 1233. It is probable that there had been a stone castle on the Königstein as early as the 12th century. The oldest surviving structure today is the castle chapel built at the turn of the 13th century. In the years 1563 to 1569 the 152.5 metre deep well was bored into the rock within the castle - until that point the garrison of the Königstein had to obtain water from cisterns and by collecting rainwater.

Between 1589 and 1591/97 Prince-Elector Christian I of Saxony and his successor had the castle developed into the strongest fortification in Saxony. The hill was now surrounded with high walls. Buildings were erected, including the Gatehouse (Torhaus), the Streichwehr, the Old Barracks (Alte Kaserne), the Christiansburg (Friedrichsburg) and the Old Armoury (Altes Zeughaus). The second construction period followed from 1619 to 1681, during which the John George Bastion was built. The third construction period is seen as the time from 1694 to 1756, which included the expansion of the Old Barracks. From 1722 to 1725, at the behest of August the Strong, coopers under Böttger built the enormous Königstein Wine Barrel, the greatest wine barrel in the world, in the cellar of the Magdalenenburg which had a capacity of 249,838 litres. It cost 8,230 thalers, 18 groschen and 9 pfennigs. The butt, which was once completely filled with country wine from the Meißen vineyards, had to be removed again in 1818 due to its poor condition. Because of Böttger, Königstein Fortress is also the site where European porcelain started.

Even after the expansion during those periods of time there continued to be modifications and additions on the extensive plateau. The Treasury (Schatzhaus) was built from 1854 to 1855. After the fortress had been incorporated in 1871 into the fortification system of the new German Empire, battery ramparts were constructed from 1870 to 1895 with eight firing points, that were to have provided all-round defence for the fortress in case of an attack that, in the event, never came. This was at this time that the last major building work was done on the fortress.

Because Königstein Fortress was regarded as unconquerable, the Saxon monarchs retreated to it from Wittenberg and later Dresden during times of crisis and also deposited the state treasure and many works of art from the famous Zwinger here; it was also used as a country retreat due to its lovely surroundings.

The fortress played an important role in the History of Saxony, albeit less as a result of military action. The Saxon Dukes and Prince-Electors used the fortress primarily as a secure refuge during times of war, as a hunting lodge and maison de plaisance, but also as a dreaded state prison. Its actual military significance was rather marginal.

Since 1955 the fortress has been an open-air, military history museum of high touristic value.