Château de Suscinio, Duchy of Brittany!

So I am back to my beloved Morbihan breton and the region of Brittany. If you have been reading, you know I live in this wonderful department 56. However, there is much wonderful things to see in my department alone, without going into the region or lets not even go to talk about France ;sometimes is overwhelming and hard to decide where!!!

As much as many have told me how I cover territory , there are many still unseen or hardly touch. This is an example of it. When my boys came here they did studies nearby and we came to see the area, even thinking for a while of  purchasing a home here. We always drove up and down and sideways but really never had invested time to see this marvel of Brittany.

I am talking of course about the Château de Suscinio, former home of the Dukes of Brittany and right near me in the Presqu’île de Rhuys (peninsula) . On this cool cloudy Sunday, I change all that taking my boys to see up close and personal, finally!

Sarzeau

Sarzeau

Sarzeau

I have written on blog post back in 2014!! on it , here it is for reference: My blog ,Suscinio is Sarzeau

The official page in French for the castle is here: Domaine de Suscinio

There are surrounded by water here, huge. First, you have the swamps or marshes of Suscinio. The Suscinio marshes are a complex composed of salt marshes and freshwater ponds. A full-fledged hydrographic entity consists of the Landrezac marshes located east of the Suscinio marshes. Near the Gulf of Morbihan, the marshes of Sucinio are located in the commune of Sarzeau.

Sarzeau

If these are not enough to keep you here for at least a day, then come in Summer for beach time at two beautiful beaches such as the Pointe de Penvins beach and the follow up the Landrezac beach. At Penvins you have the small beach and at Landrezac you have the big beach. Behind the castle there is the Suscinio beach and then at the end there is the Beg Lann beach , in all four beaches running one after the other, huge parking space, lifeguard station and camping park. My favorite is Landrezac with 5 km of white sandy beach! More here in Plage tv webpage: Plage tv the beaches of Sarzeau

Sarzeau

Landrezac

Landrezac

Ok ok, sorry, its a peninsula!!! the works is hereeee! you must come, ok so now a bit about the castle oops!

The Château of Suscinio, built at the end of the Middle Ages (13C   and to the second half of the 14C),was the residence of the Dukes of Brittany,and is located on the edge of Mor Braz (Atlantic Ocean) in the town of Sarzeau, Morbihan 56.

A bit of history I like

The first building was a manor house for hunting, and built for the Duke of Brittany, Pierre de Dreux, in 1218, between freshwater ponds in the north, marshes of Suscinio and Étiers in the south. In 1229, his son, Jean I   le Roux, continued the construction of the castle, and closed a large part of the forest of Rhuys which would become a hunting park. Duke Jean IV of Brittany puts the castle at the disposal of the English, his allies. The fortress, commanded since 1365 by an English captain, was reconquered for the crown of France by Bertrand du Guesclin in 1373. The constable has dismantled towers, curtains and sleeping buildings. The Dukes Jean IV and Jean V undertake work of consolidation, expansion and construction of the sleeping building after 1380 and of the west building towards 1430) as well as the construction of a new tower . Thereafter, the castle is gradually neglected, the Dukes of Brittany favoring their castle of Nantes. It becomes in 1520 property of the crown of France under king François I who entrusted it in usufruct with the surrounding lands to high figures of the Court, in particular one of his mistresses, who perceive the incomes of the estate.

In 1798, the castle ,already very degraded was sold as a national property to a fairground merchant in Lorient who exploited it as a quarry for stones for buildings and just junked the sculptures. Purchase in 1852 by Viscount Jules de Francheville, his family did everything possible to save the existing one until the takeover in 1965 by the Morbihan County Council, which began its restoration as of today.

In 1975, the Chapel of the priory, burned in 1370, which has a remarkable pavement of about 300 m2, is discovered nearby during excavations, which are ongoing today. This one is studied, restored and exposed in a room of the castle. At the beginning of the 21C, the castle, now open all year round to the visit, regained its medieval fortress form intact.

A bit of a description if I may say so …

The castle, girded with moats deep of 3 to 4 meters, affects the shape of an irregular quadrilateral and probably in the second half of the 13C; flanked by seven towers, including a quadrangular one defending the West walls. These towers as well as the towerettes are in their low level of condition, essentially vestiges of the 13C castle; The high body date from the 15C. The entrance is protected by two powerful towers of 12 meters in diameter, a drawbridge preceded by a stone-sleeping bridge and supervised by four lookout posts in the main body. The towers and curtains are crowned by the Breton machicolations, formed by consoles in decreasing pyramid. The enclosure is shouldered South by two artillery bastions built at the end of the 16C in the time of the Wars of the League

Separated by a large courtyard, two housings in granite , are connected by curtains. The northern courtship was mainly intended as a passageway connecting the East Logis (ducal residence, it includes a ceremonial hall, a wicket with a pass-through, the bedroom of the Duke close to the chamber to be adorned, the ovens, an oratory that overlooks the North tower) at the West building, and also shelter a less important North building in view of the four large mullions that have been pierced and two of which are walled.

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

Some of my personal observation as best can describe them are:

The Grand escalier à vis (big stair)  end of 15C  communicated to the rooms in 2nd and 3rd floors reserve to the ducal family and guard troops only.  Salle du capitaine (Captain’s room) was the principal entrance and the rooms of the ducal family created end of the 16C ; it is here that the defense of the castle is planned. From the middle of the 17C the captain and ducal guards no longer lived here.  The Grand Salle (big room) for protocol meetings of the dukes and guests.  Cabinet, a room for secretaries for writing of ducal acts etc.  The mounted horse statue of Olivier Clisson Constable of France in the 14C chief of the armies of the king, was done in 1892 . The city of Vannes put it here when the castle was a museum .Done by Emmanuel Fremiet in 1892, the same artist who did the arrow of St Michel on top of the Mont Saint Michel.  Room of  Facing of the duke, with three window bays for clarity typical of the 15C architecture. A place to rest and work given way to the grand stair and the working room. A small door allowed the duke to reach the room of the Duchess and their children.  The working room next to the closet -wardrobe of the duke and where the duke took his baths and cleaned himself with servants. The whole travel with the duke whenever he needed to be. Room of facing or parement working and resting room next to the closet or wardrobe of the duke. Ducal oratory to hold Mass in private and pray by the duke and family. It had a gothic style retable under the altar and stained glass of the evangelisation of Christ. It had the arms of the duchy of Brittany.  Wardrobe or Garde robe  of the Duchess, with several servants at her disposal. It had individual baths for her to be cleaned and dressed.  The logis or lodgings on the south were four levels with several windows , this is where the oratory was and the defense of the St Nicolas tower.  The west building from the 15C and the rooms of the dukes, link by an interior stair flank by the New tower or tour Neuve. They seems to be from the primitive castle and oldest parts.  The building on the east dates from the 13C and it is the oldest today only traces and archeological excavations are been held.  The castle is surrounded by a large moat deep of 3-4 meters! It has been renovated in 1970. After excavations it has been found that the moat this deep was not and water around the castle did not began than on around the 14-15C ; it had a clap that allow to release water to the swamps if it became too flooded in the moat.  The principal gate was protected by the moat and the passage was done by bridges , fixed on the exterior and levies on the interior. There was a guard corp in front of this exterior bridge .And this was the only entrance to the castle for wagons, persons etc. One door. Got it!!

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

IT is beautiful and you must see it at least once if stopping by here in my lovely Morbihan. Some webpages to help you plan your trip visit here are

Tourist office of Brittany on Suscinio and Rhuys

Gulf of Morbihan tourism on Suscinio

Tourist office of Morbihan on Rhuys peninsula

There you go ,history, architecture, traditions, and good food, the Morbihan is waiting for you, and will gladly help you enjoy it, I told you its beautiful!!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

2 Comments to “Château de Suscinio, Duchy of Brittany!”

  1. That is an impressive castle. I like the knight on his horse!

    Liked by 1 person

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