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Chateaux in Ille et Vilaine
Ille-et-Vilaine boasts an impressive number of fortress chateaux, most notably Fougeres and Vitre which were at the centre of much fighting during the Hundred Years War. Even lesser well known fortress chateaux like Chateau de Chateaugiron came to the fore after the wars between Jean de Montfort and Charles de Blois provoking renewed interest in military Breton architecture.
Some of the castles also have Roman origins dating back to 56 BC when Julius Caesar conquered the region. The 9th-century saw much fighting when Nominoe (Brittany's national hero) revolted against French rule, leading to an independent Vannes and Rennes. Fighting continued throughout the Middle Ages with the Kings of France and England fighting for control of the duchy of Brittany. This, of course, left its mark on many of the castles in the area. For example, Chateau de Fougeres was completely destroyed by Henri Plantagenet before being totally reconstructed at a later date.
Despite the role of many of these chateaux as military strongholds they also have a fairy-tale like quality about them with circular turrets made out of grey slate - most pleasing to the eye!