Vitré Castle

Vitré Castle, locally known as Château de Vitré, lies in the center of the town of the same name, in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in France.

The present Vitré Castle, situated on a promontory dominating the Vilaine valley, was preceded by another stone castle dating back to the end of the 11th century. During the first half of the 13th century, baron André III, rebuilt that earlier castle into its present triangular form, following the contours of the rocks, surrounded with dry moats. After his death the castle fell to the Counts of Laval. By then the castle was part of a string of castles protecting the Duchy of Brittany, stretching from the Channel to the Atlantic, of which the castles of Fougères, St. Aubin-du-Cormier and Grand-Fougeray were also a part.

During the 15th century the castle was enlarged and its formidable defenses were completed. It was also rebuilt to make it a more comfortable residence. Guy XV de Laval, however, opened his gates when confronted with Royal troops during the Mad War in 1487. Later during the 15th and 16th century most attention during works on the castle went to comfort.

In 1564, 1582 and 1583 the castle was the seat of the Parlement of Brittany, who sheltered here while the Plague raged in Rennes. Even though the earlier works on the castle had centered on comfort, the fortress withstood a 5-month siege by Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercœur, in 1589.

In 1605 the last Count of Laval; Guy XX, died and the castle went to the La Trémoille family. They however abandoned Vitré Castle later that century and it slowly fell into dilapidation. This caused the partial collapse of a tower. And in 1795 it suffered damage from a fire.

At the beginning of the 19th century the castle served as the departemental prison and between 1867 and 1877 it was garrisoned by an infantry regiment. After that it was classified as a monument and a small museum was built inside its walls.

At present Vitré Castle houses the town hall and it can be visited. Sadly, as I visited out of season, it was closed. A great castle in a nice town.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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Vitré Castle

Vitré Castle, locally known as Château de Vitré, lies in the center of the town of the same name, in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in France.

The present Vitré Castle, situated on a promontory dominating the Vilaine valley, was preceded by another stone castle dating back to the end of the 11th century. During the first half of the 13th century, baron André III, rebuilt that earlier castle into its present triangular form, following the contours of the rocks, surrounded with dry moats. After his death the castle fell to the Counts of Laval. By then the castle was part of a string of castles protecting the Duchy of Brittany, stretching from the Channel to the Atlantic, of which the castles of Fougères, St. Aubin-du-Cormier and Grand-Fougeray were also a part.

During the 15th century the castle was enlarged and its formidable defenses were completed. It was also rebuilt to make it a more comfortable residence. Guy XV de Laval, however, opened his gates when confronted with Royal troops during the Mad War in 1487. Later during the 15th and 16th century most attention during works on the castle went to comfort.

In 1564, 1582 and 1583 the castle was the seat of the Parlement of Brittany, who sheltered here while the Plague raged in Rennes. Even though the earlier works on the castle had centered on comfort, the fortress withstood a 5-month siege by Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercœur, in 1589.

In 1605 the last Count of Laval; Guy XX, died and the castle went to the La Trémoille family. They however abandoned Vitré Castle later that century and it slowly fell into dilapidation. This caused the partial collapse of a tower. And in 1795 it suffered damage from a fire.

At the beginning of the 19th century the castle served as the departemental prison and between 1867 and 1877 it was garrisoned by an infantry regiment. After that it was classified as a monument and a small museum was built inside its walls.

At present Vitré Castle houses the town hall and it can be visited. Sadly, as I visited out of season, it was closed. A great castle in a nice town.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://castles.nl/vitre-castle#sigFreeIdb9e134bcfe