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

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mel Bowler (8 months ago)
Very impressive château with plenty to see inside. The grounds are not formal, but are great for a country walk with fabulous views of the 7-floor château. The christmas market in mid-November is spectacular - festive shopping and a wander around the chateau in one visit!
Sarah Stephens (8 months ago)
We were initially told we had to stay with the tour, but 1.5 hours into the detailed tour, I noticed other ppl wandering around - visitors who were given the option of guided or not!! I wish I'd known that. Over one hour us too much for me, let alone my kids!! Great castle impeccably presented. Amazing gardens. Cosey basic salon de thé which was great for us. I still don't know how long the tour goes for!!
Margaret Baker (10 months ago)
Fantastic chateau and grounds, so peaceful to sit at the side of the canal after a long walk. Had a very tasty piece of cake and cup of tea in cafe . Don't think they do any other foods. Well worth the visit
David Anderson (10 months ago)
Spot on! Great place. In very good condition, considering it's age. Friendly guide, good wine shop and a cafe. Steeped in French history with lots of historical connections. Great!
John B Sidebottom (13 months ago)
I am disabled so was unable to access the Magnificent chateau because of steps which is fine. Clearly an historic building is difficult / impossible to change. I did see the stables, wine cellar and kitchen which were excellent. I toured the Jardins on my scooter and they are very well kept. The staff were very helpful and in particular a lady in the ground asked if i was OK. ( I guess she was the Lady of the Château. Very charming)
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