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
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Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Elizaveta Kiseleva (7 months ago)
Quiet ambiance of a medieval castle surrounding you from a very first minutes of a visit. A great spot to dive into history, to feel the nature, to disconnect from city rush. Make a walk around the ancient walls, listen the sound of a river, hide from a sun in one of the huge towers and wander under the shadow of old trees surrounding the castle. A true pleasure for the eyes and soul. Merci à la propriétaire, la courageuse gardienne du château et de son atmosphère magique!
Sarah Reed (7 months ago)
A beautiful place hidden away. Very friendly smiley staff and a wonderful insight into medieval castle life by the enactment this weekend.
James W Singer (7 months ago)
Architecture: 5/5 Excellent. I absolutely loved all the surviving Medieval architectural ruins. You can see some really evocative 14th and 15th century pieces such as the two surviving towers. Service: 5/5 Excellent. Victoire de Rougé, the new châtelaine of Tonquédec is kind, polite, and professional. You can tell she really takes an invested history of the château, its history, and its impact on visitors today. She even personally staffs the small snack kiosk inside the château grounds to ensure her visitors have something refreshing while exploring her family’s ancient grounds. A true gentlewoman. Ambience: 5/5 Excellent. Imagine fusing Medieval history with modern urban exploration (urbex) to create a sense of adventure. You are permitted to wander and discover hidden rooms, hallways, and views. You see a sudden perspective and gasp from the sheer beauty of it. A truly evocative location of a lost time. Cleanliness: 5/5 Excellent. No trash, no graffiti, and well maintained grounds. The toilettes were respectable and so were the picnic benches and eating area. Family-friendly. Value: 5/5 Excellent. At € 6.50 per adult, this place is such good value for money. I spent three hours here photographing all the different perspectives. A casual visitor can be expected to spend 60-90 minutes exploring the different areas. Overall: 5/5 Excellent. History, architecture and nature create a very dynamically interesting location.
Charles-Henry Her (8 months ago)
A little castle tucked in amongst the trees with beautiful views that can be observed from the inside and at the top of the towers.
Andrew Roberts (3 years ago)
It's a beautiful place and the people there take you back in history , with the reenactment of the way thing were done in the pass , thanks to all those men , women, boys and girls who give of there time to make it happen.
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