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.References:
Gisselfeld, a former monastery, is Denmark's fifth-largest estate. The three-storeyed Renaissance-style building has stepped gables, loopholes and a projecting tower over the main gate. The grounds include a moat, a well-kept park, lake, waterfall, gardens, greenhouse, and a fountain. The estate measures 3,850 hectares, including Hesede, Edelesminde, Brødebæk and Gødstrupgård, of which 2,400 hectares is forest.
Gisselfeld is first mentioned at the end of the 14th century when the owner was Bo Falk. At that time, there was a small manor situated some 2 km northwest of the site of today's main building. It stood next to an older fort, possibly the now demolished Valgestrup. Today's estate was founded by Peder Oxe til Nielstrup who built the manor from 1547 to 1575. It originally consisted of four interconnected red-brick wings, three storeys high with thick outer walls, a number of loopholes and large stepped gables. A protruding gate tower stands at the centre of the left wing. The fourth wing, now demolished, housed a chapel.
After Peder Oxe's death, his widow Mette Rosenkrantz til Vallø became the owner of the estate. After her death in 1588, her niece Karen Banner inherited Gisselfeld. She married Henrik Lykke til Overgaard whose family ran the estate until Kai Lykke was executed and relieved of all his rights in 1661. After a short period of ownership by the Crown, in 1670 the property was presented to Count Hans Schack as a reward for the part he played in the Swedish wars. In 1688, his son Otto Diderik sold the estate to Adam Levin Knuth whose family maintained ownership until 1699 when Christian V's illegitimate son took it over. As a result of his will, on his death in 1703 the manor should have become a convent but this did not happen until the death of his widow Dorothea Krag in 1754. Since 1755, under the name of Danneskiold-Samsøe his descendants have run the estate as 'Gisselfeld Adelige Jomfrukloster I Sjælland' (Gisselfeld Convent in Zealand for Virgins of Noble Birth). The 11th in line, Hele Danneskiold-Samsøe, has run Gisselfeld since 2010.
Today Gisselfeld houses a hotel, restaurant and provides event services.