The Château de Largoët, also known as the Tours d'Elven (Elven Towers), is mentioned for the first time in 1020, belonging to the baron of Elven, Derrien I. The present building was constructed between the 13th and 15th centuries. The manor became the property of the Malestroit family in the 13th century. The houses of Blois and Montfort fought for it during the Breton War of Succession, before it came to the Rieux family in the 15th century. It was during this period (between 1474 and 1476) that Jean IV, lord of Rieux, protected Henry Tudor, Duke of Richmond, future King Henry VII of England. In 1490, Charles VIII of France, dismantled the castle, but it was restored under the influence of Anne de Bretagne.
Nicolas Fouquet bought it in 1656 and, after his death, it was sold to Michel de Trémeurec and stayed in his family. In the 19th century, it was proposed to demolish Largoët, given its dilapidation, but it was saved thanks to Prosper Mérimée, who had it classed as a monument historique in 1862. Beginning in the 1970s, there has been a programme of restoration.
The ruins of Largoët maintain their imposing aspect, notably because of the 14th century octagonal keep. At 45 m, it is one of the highest in France. There are five floors and the walls are between 6 and 10 m thick. On the sixth or seventh floor is the room where Henry Tudor stayed.
As well as this colossal edifice, Largoët also boasts a 15th-century gatehouse and a round tower of three storeys, from the 15th century, with cannon openings on the first level, and covered with a hexagonal building. It was furnished in the 20th century as a hunting lodge. The remains of the enclosing walls, dried up moats and a lake also exists.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.