Château de Laval

Laval, France

The Laval Castle (Château de Laval) foundation in the 10th century allowed the birth of the city. Emblematic monument of Laval, it occupies a rocky promontory above the Mayenne River. It is composed of two distinct ensembles: the Old Castle (Vieux-Château), which corresponds to the medieval fortified castle, and the New Castle (Château-Neuf), a Renaissance gallery transformed into a courthouse in the 19th century.

The history of the Château de Laval is closely linked to that of the House of Laval, which began with Guy I, the founder of the castle. The monument bears witness to the multiple alliances contracted by this family, as well as to its power, which grew from the 11th century until its disappearance at the end of the Renaissance. The Old Castle is remarkable for its 11th century chapel as well as for its imposing main tower, topped by a 13th century wooden hoarding, an exceptional example of medieval military architecture. The richly worked bays of the medieval dwellings, built in the early 16th century, and the gallery of the Château-Neuf, dating from the 1540s, are striking elements of the Renaissance that show the evolution of architecture at that time.

Since the relocation of the judicial services in the 2000s, the Château-Neuf has been awaiting reconversion. The Old Castle, which served as a prison from the Revolution to 1911, has been open to the public since the 1920s. Initially devoted to archaeology, natural history and decorative arts, it has been home to the Musée d'Art naïf et d'Arts singuliers de Laval since 1967. This museum presents works by numerous artists representative of Naive art and Art Singulier.



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Founded: 10th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Frankish kingdoms (France)

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jesse R (7 months ago)
Nice visit, lots of interesting art, but didn’t have much information on the actual castle itself.
Phil Wilkinson (8 months ago)
An asset to Laval with Lovely Art on display and very friendly staff.
Sasha (21 months ago)
A very nice place, surrounded by nature, a bit of history but also a breath of fresh air. The castle also includes a very interesting exhibition inside. An interesting place to discover for both adults and children. It's nice that you can climb to the tower, from where the view is wonderful
Marjoline (2 years ago)
Castle in beautiful condition. Currently used for arts exhibitions. And entrance is free.
Cynthia de Wolf (2 years ago)
Beautiful place. You can take the stairs up, next to the tower, ending up in the courtyard.
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