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You are here: Home > Chateaux in France > Chateaux in Mayenne > Chateau de Laval

Chateau de Laval

tourist information guide

Address: Vieux Château, Place de la Tremoille, 53000
Tel: +33 (0)2 43 53 39 89
Opening Times: Daily; not Sun am's, Mons & Bank Hols | Admission Charge

Chateau de Laval is situated in a large valley occupied by the strongly flowing waters of the Laval river.

The first records of Chateau de Laval date back to 1020 when the first foundations were laid.  Chateau de Laval was built for Guy I of Denere who became a vassal of the Count of Maine.  Due to its strategic position on the road into Brittany, Paris and Le Mans, the Lords of Laval decided to build a keep at the end of the 12th-century which still remains today.  The Lords (also governors of Brittany) spent a vast fortune on building a prestigious hall near the keep.

The old chateau was enlarged in the 16th-century.  The original roof was made from fine timberwork and then replaced by stone masonry.  The new section of Chateau de Laval (Renaissance in style) is separated from the 13th-century ramparts and keep by an 18th-century gateway.  Today it serves as the town's court house.

Chateau de Laval houses a museum of archaeology and 'art naif' with paintings by Laval's famous resident Rousseau.  There are also sculptures from the XIXth-century and temporary art exhibitions are held here twice a year.

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