The Château de Kérouzéré is a Breton manor castle built in granite in the first half of the 15th century for Jean and Yves de Kérouzéré, seneschal of Morlaix, and followers of the dukes of Brittany. Visible from the sea, Kérouzéré was dangerously exposed and was particularly vulnerable to English attacks. As such the duke permitted him to erect a single tower of more than twenty-four feet in width with crenellations and ditches. This construction caused a major controversy with the neighboring seigneur of Kermorvan. As a result, from 1466 the building was always unfinished and, in 1468, François II had to grant a second authorization for its completion. The original tower is the part of the manor-house located to the west of the current entry (the window of the chapel sits above it).
It was besieged in 1590 during the French Wars of Religion and seriously damaged as the southeast tower was destroyed. It was rebuilt around 1600. There are four superimposed halls: the lowest hall is on the right of the entry and the upper-hall, arranged in the roof, gives access to the covered wall-walk. The kitchen, the common rooms and the private quarters, above, are directed towards the west. There were originally four corner towers; the moat, of which vestiges remained until the last century, has been filled in. The interior of the manor-house still has some 17th century wall paintings. The roof of the northwest tower was restored at the end of the 19th century.
Today visitors to the castle can still see the armoury, chapel, stairs, wall-walk and the watchman's tower with a view over the sea. There is also a 15th-century dovecote still standing on the grounds.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).