Bois-du-Loup Castle

Bois-du-Loup Castle, locally known as Château du Bois-du-Loup, lies north east of the village of Augan in the Morbihan department in the Brittany region in France.

Bois-du-Loup Castle is definitely not a real castle. It was built, in Renaissance style, between 1871 and 1874 by Count Roland des Clos de la Fonchais in the village of Bois du Loup. His father had bought the estate in 1805.

In 1880, 178 hectares of the Bois-du-Loup estate were expropriated for the creation of the artillery firing range of Coëtquidan. The southern boundary of the firing range became to be situated only 500 meters north of the castle. In 1898 the castle was gifted to Raymond de la Fonchais by his old mother with her keeping the usufruct.

In 1910 a ministerial decision ordered the sale of Bois-du-Loup castle, its chapel and outbuildings and the remainder of the estate for extension of the firing range. After tough negotiations Raymond agreed on a selling price of 900.000 francs. At first the family had to vacate the castle in November 1910 but managed to obtain the right to rent the castle until June 1911. The mother of Raymond died in December 1910. So in 1911 the State became owner of a 'new' castle of only 37 years old.

Subsequently the castle, hamlet and surrounding lands were incorporated into the military camp of Coëtquidan. The castle became used as a vantage point from which generals commanded divisions and their staff. From May till September 1939 a detachement of around 1000 Spanish Republicans, fleeing the Franco regime, were stationed at the military camp. During their stay they constructed barracks in the vicinity of the castle out of the stones of the former village houses. From September 1939 until June 1940 these barracks housed Polish refugees.

From June 1940 until June 1944 the military camp was occupied by the German army. They used the camp as a base for recuparation and training tank manoeuvres. The Germans abandoned the castle but although it now stood empty it was still in good shape. From January until June 1945 the Americans stayed at the camp. They destroyed the castle by massively using it for target practice by strafing the southern facade. Evidence of this strafing can still be seen on the south west round tower. Also the, now disappeared, south east round tower was intentionally bombed. It has remained a ruin ever since.

At present the castle is a very nice ruin. It can not be visited however, as it is still situated on military terrain with regulated access.


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Bois-du-Loup Castle

Bois-du-Loup Castle, locally known as Château du Bois-du-Loup, lies north east of the village of Augan in the Morbihan department in the Brittany region in France.

Bois-du-Loup Castle is definitely not a real castle. It was built, in Renaissance style, between 1871 and 1874 by Count Roland des Clos de la Fonchais in the village of Bois du Loup. His father had bought the estate in 1805.

In 1880, 178 hectares of the Bois-du-Loup estate were expropriated for the creation of the artillery firing range of Coëtquidan. The southern boundary of the firing range became to be situated only 500 meters north of the castle. In 1898 the castle was gifted to Raymond de la Fonchais by his old mother with her keeping the usufruct.

In 1910 a ministerial decision ordered the sale of Bois-du-Loup castle, its chapel and outbuildings and the remainder of the estate for extension of the firing range. After tough negotiations Raymond agreed on a selling price of 900.000 francs. At first the family had to vacate the castle in November 1910 but managed to obtain the right to rent the castle until June 1911. The mother of Raymond died in December 1910. So in 1911 the State became owner of a 'new' castle of only 37 years old.

Subsequently the castle, hamlet and surrounding lands were incorporated into the military camp of Coëtquidan. The castle became used as a vantage point from which generals commanded divisions and their staff. From May till September 1939 a detachement of around 1000 Spanish Republicans, fleeing the Franco regime, were stationed at the military camp. During their stay they constructed barracks in the vicinity of the castle out of the stones of the former village houses. From September 1939 until June 1940 these barracks housed Polish refugees.

From June 1940 until June 1944 the military camp was occupied by the German army. They used the camp as a base for recuparation and training tank manoeuvres. The Germans abandoned the castle but although it now stood empty it was still in good shape. From January until June 1945 the Americans stayed at the camp. They destroyed the castle by massively using it for target practice by strafing the southern facade. Evidence of this strafing can still be seen on the south west round tower. Also the, now disappeared, south east round tower was intentionally bombed. It has remained a ruin ever since.

At present the castle is a very nice ruin. It can not be visited however, as it is still situated on military terrain with regulated access.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://castles.nl/bois-loup-castle#sigFreeId53912d215d