The Château du Plessis-Josso is a fortified 14th century manor house. It is open for tours during the summer, and offers its main hall for hosting events and marriages as well as a small country cottage outside the enclosing walls.
Well-preserved and partially inhabited, the manor-house stands next to a large pond. This feudal Breton ensemble still has its fortified enceinte with towers and crenellated walls that protected it from the armed gangs and pillagers who were operating in the region during the Hundred Years' War and later during the Wars of Religion of the 16th century.
Built around 1330 by Sylvestre Josso, squire of the Duke Jean III during the turbulent period of the Breton War of Succession in the 14th century, it passed next by a powerful alliance to the Rosmadec family and served as a residence for dignitaries such as a bishop, sénéchaux and the governors of various Breton towns. In the late 18th century it became the property of the Le Mintier de Léhélec family who still live there today.
Plessis-Josso, like all 15th century manors in Brittany, had especially an agricultural function as the head of a domaine of 1,500 hectares spread over several parishes and a with population of nearly 500 inhabitants. It had several mills, baker's ovens, a chapel and a small private port in the Gulf of Morbihan. Its role was therefore political, economic and administrative.
This medieval site is composed of several sections of varying architectural styles and eras: the main corps de logis dating from the 15th century with its Gothic dormer windows, a 16th-century Renaissance pavilion, Classical 17th century outbuildings, and a complete enclosing wall whose corner tower defended the access road that spans the causeway, between the lake and the mill.
The ground-floor hall has a very beautiful example of a crédence de justice (wall-cupboard built directly into the stone wall) that was used by the lord of the manor to place books and documents relating to the administration of the manor-court.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.