Château de Combourg

Combourg, France

The original castle on the site of current Château de Combourg was built around 1025 by Archbishop Guinguené, who gave it to his illegitimate brother Riwallon. Major alterations were made between the 15th and 19th centuries. The castle consists of four large, powerful buildings of dressed granite, with crenellations and machicolations, enclosing a rectangular courtyard. In each corner of this massive fortress is a round tower, also with crenellations and machicolations, with conical roofs. In 1761, the Chateaubriand family acquired the property and it was the childhood home of François-René de Chateaubriand (1768–1848).

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

D794 2-8, Combourg, France
See all sites in Combourg

Details

Founded: 1025
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

martin.d humpston (2 years ago)
Love the tour the down side we were handed a book which was 4 or 5 pages long to follow the tour while guide spoke in France didn't make since need to translate while going around.
Peter Chester (3 years ago)
Great park Interesting house. Good guide but only in French.
Grace Richards (3 years ago)
The grounds are lovely (we didn't get to explore much as it was raining) but I wouldn't recommend the tour unless a fluent French speaker! I thought we'd just be able to look around the Château by ourselves but you could only go in as part of the group which wasn't ideal!
Roger Scott (3 years ago)
An enjoyable afternoon but the castle can only be visited with a guide- and some are much better than others. Dont try and drag young children round the castle! Spacious gardens and Combourg is a very pleasant place to visit in any case!
Harvey Mains (3 years ago)
Grounds are beautiful. We were too late for a tour, so I just walked around and absorbed the wonderful ambience. The town is charming with a lake.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Abbey of Saint-Étienne

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).