Château de Brissac

Brissac-Quincé, France

The Château de Brissac is a noble mansion originally built as a castle by the Counts of Anjou in the 11th century. After the victory over the English by Philip II of France, he gave the property to Guillaume des Roches. In the 15th century, the structure was rebuilt by Pierre de Brézé, a wealthy chief minister to King Charles VII. During the reign (1515–47) of Francis I, the property was acquired by René de Cossé, who the king named as governor of Anjou and Maine.

During the French Wars of Religion, Château Brissac was made a possession in 1589 by the Protestant, Henry of Navarre. Severely damaged, the fortress was scheduled to be demolished. However, Charles II de Cossé sided with Henri of Navarre who soon was crowned King of France. In gratitude, King Henry gave him the property, the title Duc de Brissac and the money to rebuild the chateau in 1611. Its construction made it the highest château in France, its façade reflecting the influences of that century’s Baroque architecture. Through marriage, the Cossé-Brissac family also acquired the Château Montreuil-Bellay but later sold it.

In August 1620, Louis XIII and his mother, Marie de Medici, met to discuss their differences in the "neutral" territory of Château Brissac. A temporary truce between the two was reached but it did not last long and the Queen Mother was eventually banished.

The descendants of the Duc de Brissac maintained the château until 1792 when the property was ransacked during the Revolution. It lay in waste until a restoration program began in 1844 that was carried on during the 19th century by the Duke's descendants.

Today, the Château Brissac is still owned by a de Cossé family member. It has seven storeys altogether, making it the tallest chateau in the Loire Valley. The chateau is open to tours and its luxurious gilded theater hosts the annual Val de Loire festival. It was also used as a location for Brazilian celebrity magazine "Caras" until recently.

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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Beth P (9 months ago)
A very interesting castle, still habited by family but quite a lot to see.
Artem Kovalev (2 years ago)
Probably best Château in the Loire Valley, and probably the most undervalued one. Really appreciate what owners are doing - experience is magnificent, and staff attitude is exceptional as well. Saying this after visiting 12 other Château, including Chambord, Villandry, etc. Real thanks for Brissac family for your efforts and results.
Alan Ferguson (2 years ago)
You are assured a great day out at the Chateau Brissac. The Family have been here since 1502 and still occupy the upper levels. The period furniture fills every room and the cellars are used to store wine, which can be tasted before purchase. Amongst the features are stables, a mosoleum and a vineyard. Free parking is only 200m from the entrance gate. Adult tariff is €11
Bob Morris (2 years ago)
It was a very powerful overwhelming chateau inside with wood beamed ceilings throughout the chateau. The beamed ceilings have detailed mini-scenes on them with other painted and gold accents on them. The husband's bedroom was one that shouldn't be missed. It was quite impressive and more than most of the other chateaus I have visited. The wife's bedroom was very nicely done. The theme throughout was with animal antlers and animal heads on the walls. The kitchen was great to see, too! The grounds looking from the windows was pretty to see and photograph. There were very wonderful pieces of furniture with inlays and all. The tapestries were worth seeing. They even have a wine cellar where you can sample their wines for free and purchase bottles of you would like to. Many people were doing just that! Plus they have a room for staged performances to take place with theater seating and all! I definitely would recommend visiting this chateau. It has a lot to offer visitors to experience!
Tom Young (2 years ago)
Well worth the money, very interesting to look round and enjoyable both inside and outside. Staff are friendly and helpful, if you're taking a child they don't allow prams or buggies in the main house and there stairs leading up to it. Not sure if it has disabled access
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