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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!          

Our Favourite Ille et Vilaine Chateaux

Chateau de Combourg
Combourg, 35270
an impressive, fortress-like château home to Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand

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Chateau de Fougeres
Fougeres, 35300
a sprawling military fortress that has seen many battles throughout the ages

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Chateau de Chateaugiron
Chateaugiron, 35410
an imposing medieval fortress which dominates the charming market village that stretches out below it

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Chateau de Vitre
Vitre, 35500
a picturesque, fairy-tale like château with turrets and 15th-16th century buildings

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