Château de Tonquédec

Tonquédec, France

The Château de Tonquédec is one of the most visited monuments in the département of the Côtes d'Armor. The castle ruins with its several towers and a closed curtain wall is one of the most impressive French medieval sites. From the height of a rocky cliff it dominates the valley of the Léguer. It is a genuine vestige of feudal Brittany. The present castle was built in the 15th century, on the site of an earlier 12th-century castle (built by the Coëtmen-Penthièvre family). It was partially dismantled by order of Jean IV, Duke of Brittany, in 1395 because of a conflict between him and the Penthièvres. Indeed, Rolland II and Rolland III of Coëtmen, Viscounts of Tonquédec, had allied themselves to the rebellion of Olivier de Clisson.

Reconstruction began in 1406 by Rolland IV of Coëtmen. The castle subsequently changed owners several times, before becoming an artillery base in 1577. At this time, the owning family (Goyon de La Moussaye), being Protestant, was therefore in disagreement with the king, Henri IV. During the War of the League, the castle was a hiding place for Huguenots. It was finally dismantled around 1622 on the orders of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu.

The castle currently belongs to descendants of the original builders, House of Coëtmen-Penthièvre. The entrance gate leads to an outer fortified courtyard or basse-cour. Two towers, joined by a curtain wall, frame the entrance to the inner courtyard which is reached by a postern, once protected by a moat and drawbridge. The keep with walls 4m thick, stands detached from the curtain walls, at the rear of the ensemble. The ruins may be visited from April to October.

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Address

D113, Tonquédec, France
See all sites in Tonquédec

Details

Founded: 1406
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Eoin Kelly (2 years ago)
Great ruined chateau visit, complete with resident goats that can be seen wandering the highest points looking for the tastiest grass. Good guide pamphlet given at start. Kids loved climbing on the ruins and finding secret passageways. Well worth a visit.
Anne Botten (2 years ago)
A proper ruined castle in the heart of Brittany. It sits by a river in a wooded valley. We visited the creperie opposite which gives the chance for a unrushed lunch and a lovely calm view.
Gareth Roberts (2 years ago)
Brilliant but no ideal for young children
Bart Van den Bosch (2 years ago)
It's a ruin and not so well preserved but it's an interesting one since it has quite a complex architecture and layout. €5 entrance fee. You get a map with a plan and some comments and that's it. No markers or information boards on the buildings itself.
robin ward (2 years ago)
Sometimes it's nice to go to see a historic building without being ushered round like cattle . I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and look forward to returning to see the progress as it is slowly rebuilt . That doesn't happen in the UK now does it. Beautiful forest setting
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