The Château de Comper is medieval castle, which has been rebuilt as a château. The first owner of Comper is supposed have been Salomon, king of Brittany in the 9th century. However the castle has entered in recorded history with the baron Raoul de Gaël-Monfort, who was a companion of William of Normandy during the Battle of Hastings.
During the 13th century, Comper was considered one of the strongest castles in Brittany. For this reason, it has been the object of many battles and sieges. It has also changed owner several times in its history. In 1370, it was devastated by Bertrand du Guesclin.
In the beginning of the 15th century, it became the vassal of the Dukes of Laval. In 1467, the Duke Guy XIV de Laval drew up the charte des usements et coutumes de Brécilien (charter of the uses and customs of Brécelien), which was used to divide the forest into parcels and to define the rights and duties of everyone regarding each parcel. During the 16th century, Comper went to the Rieux family, then to the Coligny family.
The famous episode in the history of Comper took place during the Wars of Religion, between the Catholic League and partisans of the king Henri IV. At the end of 1595, after a long resistance, the Duc de Mercœur's men failed to keep the castle. In reprisal, Henri IV dismantled of the castle three years later. After this, Comper went to the la Trémoille family.
During the Revolution, the revolutionary party burned half of the main building, on January 28, 1790. It was rebuilt during the 19th century by Armand de Charette, whose initials appear on numerous mantelpieces in the castle.The castle is listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
The castle was originally square, with towers at each of the four corners, linked by strong curtain walls. At the main door was a drawbridge. Now the moat is dry and the castle houses the exhibitions of the 'Centre de l’imaginaire arthurien', about the Arthurian legend.
The large pond is related to Viviane, the Lady of the Lake. In the legend, she lives in a crystal palace, built by Merlin, hidden under the waters of the lake.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.