Château de Fougères

Fougères, France

The Château de Fougères is an impressive castle with curtain wall and 13 towers. It had three different enclosures, first for defensive purposes, second for day to day usages in peacetime and for safety of the surrounding populations in times of siege, the last enclosure was where the keep was situated.

The first wooden fort was built by the House of Amboise in the 11th century. It was destroyed in 1166 after it was besieged and taken by King Henry II of England. It was immediately rebuilt by Raoul II Baron de Fougères. Fougères was not involved in the Hundred Years' War until 1449 when the castle was taken by surprise by an English mercenary. In 1488 the French troops won the castle back after a siege and the castle lost its military role.

In the late 18th century the castle was turned into a prison. The owner in this period was the Baron Pommereul. In the 19th century the outer ward became an immense landscaped garden. A museum was established in the Mélusine Tower. During the Industrial Revolution, a shoe factory set up shop in the castle grounds.

The City of Fougères took ownership of the Château in 1892. It had been a listed Historical Monument since 1862. A major campaign was launched to clean up the castle walls. While the castle had retained many of its original features, some of the curtain walls needed to be cleared and certain sections required major repairs. The changes made in the 18th century were "reversed," and the castle was finally open to visitors. The first campaign of archaeological excavations, conducted in 1925, unearthed the ruins of the manor house.

Since then, the Château de Fougères has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors every year. The castle's excellent state of conservation, and the historical interest of its architecture, make Fougères an invaluable window onto the Middle Ages. From great lords to simple builders, generations of inhabitants have left their mark on these walls.

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Details

Founded: c. 1167
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Aline Fqpeh (18 months ago)
Très bon restaurant, accueil chaleureux et repas délicieux ! Cerise sur le gâteau : cadre fort agréable avec vue sur le château !
Tanya Preston (2 years ago)
Arrived at 13:45 on a Friday and asked for drinks, we were told we could only order food, not just drinks. There were 3 other people being served, so they weren’t busy. I would’ve understood if they were busy and wanted to keep the tables for people who were going to eat. Surprised at the lack of service at a restaurant right next to the chateau which must be a popular tourist attraction.
Debbie Collins (2 years ago)
Wonderful food both a la carte and set menu. Avocet et crevette salade was delicious. Owner is very amiable.
Catalin Stoican (3 years ago)
The owner forced us to leave because we just wanted some drinks. Typical......... stay away.
BA LIMOUSINE (4 years ago)
Super
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