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You are here: Home > Chateaux in France > Chateaux in Ille et Vilaine > Chateau de Vitre

Chateau de Vitre

tourist information guide

Address: Château de Vitre, Hotel de Ville, Vitre, 35500
Tel: +33 (0)2 99 75 04 54
Opening Times: daily. Closed Tues, Sat, Sun & Mon ams Oct-Mar | Admission Charge

Vitre has a magical, fairy-tale like quality to it with turreted towers and slate-grey roofs.  Its magnificent gate, dating from the 15th century symbolises the power and wealth of the Seigneurs of Vitre.  Much of the town's wealth and prominence in the Middle Ages was due to the presence of the castle and the development which grew up around it.

Much of the chateau that we see today was designed by Andre II and Andre III of Vitre at the beginning of the 13th-century.  On Andre III's death the castle passed into the hands of the prominent Laval family.  It was Guy de Laval who undertook a new phase of construction which included the Madeleine tower in 1420.  The Saint-Laurent tower, which is 46m high, also dates from this period and houses sculptures from the 15th-century, various tombs of local personalities and Flemish and Aubusson tapestries.

Some say that the chateau was designed according to a triangular plan.  You may get a glimpse of this from the walkable ramparts.  However, the best views of the town below are seen from the Montafilant tower.

Other features include a Roman arch on your right when you enter the courtyard, made from alternate stripes of red granite and black stone.  There is also an ornate triptyque dating from the 16th-century decorated in thirty two different types of Limoges porcelain.  The Argenterie tower also houses a small display of local historic artefacts including shells, birds and bugs.  A bit of everything really!

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