Château de la Bretesche at Missillac!

And again on new territories thanks to a long weekend and wants of exploring new places in my belle France and wonderful west along coastal and a bit inland territories. We had a long weekend so we headed out to see a memorable town of our family, and two new towns in my France’ map; one of them is Missillac,nice.

On a previous post I wrote a bit on the  church in town, now I like to tell you about my fav monuments to see anywhere, the castles. This area been Pays de la Loire has them in bunches and we love it! I came just entering Missillac on the road D2 you have the Château de la Bretesche!  This is in Loire Atlantique dept 44. I like to tell you about it at lenght!

The history of Missillac also is link to that of the Château de la Bretesche, residence of the barons of La Roche-Bernard in the middle ages. The Chatelaine de la Bretesche belongs in the year 1000 to Bernard de la Roche. The fortress of la Bretesche , 14C was rebuilt in the 15C, beset by Mercoeur in the 16C, destroyed in the French revolution and rebuilt again in the 19C.

Château de la Bretesche former residence of the family of Montaigu whose members exercised for 45 years in the 19-20C the function of Mayor of the town of Missillac. The castle was rebuilt in the 19C in place of a fortress of the 14-15C, destroyed during the French revolution. The Liburin Tower dates from the 19C c. 1876. The Manor hosted the Dukes of Brittany, Jean V, François I and François II who came to hunt in the beautiful forest. The castle is built on a crannied terrace, surrounded on three sides by moats, the fourth bathing directly in a large lake of 13 hectares.


The history I like is a bit long but nice!

Eudon III, Baron from 1347 to 1364 signed, on 7 July 1352, an edict which mentions, for the first time, his Château de la Bretesche where this document was written. Eudon III, son of Baron Péan died at the battle of Auray on 29 September 1364, with his lord Charles de Blois. Raoul VIII, son-in-law and successor of Eudon, will reign over the barony from 1364 to 1393 and make la Bretesche a formidable fortress. Raoul VIII succeeded by his son, Raoul IX, from 1393 to 1419 and, in 1404, he married his son, Jean de Montfort to Anne de Laval, widow of du Guesclin. He will lead the barony from 1419 to 1453 under the name of Guy XIV of Laval. It is the culmination of the barony of la Bretesche and the barony of La Roche-Bernard. Guy XIV will be the faithful companion of Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc), and was next to Joan of Arc, in the coronation of king Charles VII in Reims on July 17, 1429, and in 1435, he will marry the daughter of the Duke of Brittany, Jean V and Jeanne de France, mother of King Charles VII.

Converted to Calvinism, during his captivity in Milan, François de Coligny transformed in the 16C the fortified castle of the Bretesche, of which he owns, in Citadel of the Reformation. He transformed the Chapel of Notre-Dame de la Roche-Bernard (built around 1063 by Bernard II) into the first Protestant Temple of Brittany and, the Château de la Bretesche became the radiant home of the new religion, which would bring the Catholic armies to do the siege of the citadel in the spring of 1569. Badly defended, because the Baron d’Andelot fought at the time alongside his brother the Admiral and the Prince of Condé, in the region of La Rochelle and Jarnac, the Château de la Brestesche quickly surrendered.

In August 1591, thecastle/ fortress of Bretesche, despite its thirty light horses and its fifty archers placed under the command of Sir Le Pennec de Boisjollan, Lord of Trégrain , falls under the combined attacks of the Duke of Mercoeur and the Spaniards of Don Juan D’Aquila. On 19 April 1605, François d’Andelot, the grandson of the founder of the reformed church in the barony of la Bretesche, solemnly forswears the Protestantism of his mother and grandfather and converted to Catholicism. In 1636, he was the cousin of Cardinal Richelieu, Charles de Cambout, who became Baron of La Roche Bernard and took possession of the Château de la Bretesche. His grandson, Armand de Cambout, elevated to the dignity of Duke of Coislin, Baron de la Roche and Pontchâteau, succeeded him in 1663. Then it will be Pierre de Cambout, from 1702 to 1710, the eldest son of the Duke of Coislin, then his brother Henri Charles from 1710 to 1732, Bishop of Metz (he will never reside in the Bretesche). His successor and cousin, Louis Charles de Lorraine, will sell the barony and the Bretesche to the Chevalier Reignault-Gabriel de Boisgelin, Marquis de Cucé, in 1744. In 1774, his young son, Louis Bruno de Boisgelin (future Colonel of Musketeers, Field Marshal, Master of the Royal wardrobe and President of the Breton nobility) succeeded him, because his elder brother was deceased. On the denunciation of their servants, Louis Bruno de Boisgelin (the last Baron of the ancient barony of La Roche-Bernard) was brought to the scaffold with his wife on 7 July 1794.

The Château de la Bretesche is the former residence of the barons of La Roche-Bernard. It takes its name from Bretesche, an exterior work overlooking the main gate of a castle to defend its entrance. This castle was built between 1430 and 1470 by Jean de Laval, Baron de la Roche-Bernard. During the wars of religion, the castle was a high place of Protestantism and suffered in 1591, the siége of the Duke of Mercoeur. From 1636 to 1648, Charles de Cambout (cousin of Cardinal Richelieu), proceeded to repair and enlarge the Castle. On October 17, 1793, the Castle, which served as a rallying center for the Royalists, was burned down by the revolutionary General Avril. The house of the barons remained in ruins until 1813, when the Domaine de Bretesche was bought by a Mr Formont, later deputy under king Charles X. In 1840, the Bretesche castle was sold to Baron Jean Jacques Perron, former staff officer and former aide-de-camp to General Bugeaud. In November 1847, Jacques Perron sold the Bretesche to the Marquis Auguste de Montaigu, and the house remained the property of the Montaigu family until 1965. Auguste de Montaigu was elected Mayor of the town of Missillac in 1848 and remained until his death in 1904, except for the years of the Second Empire (1852-1871) where his monarchist convictions forced him to withdraw. The castle was restored by Pierre de Montaigu and his wife, Caroline de Wendel.


In 1965, the Château of la Bretesche was sold to a real estate company. Shortly thereafter it is divided into apartments sold separately to private individuals. Its dependencies are transformed into a hotel-restaurant, and a golf park. Domaine de la Bretesche includes a luxury hotel located in the outbuildings of the 15C castle, an 18-hole golf course that crosses a 200-acre park, a Michelin-starred restaurant and a spa. Wonderful would love to stay in it!!! I will be back!!!


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Missillac on the Castle

Tourist office of between the Brière and the Canal in Pays de Pont-Château on the castle in English

Official Domaine de Bretesche in French

Relais and Castles lodging site on the Domaine in French

There you go another gem to see is to dream and to stay should be sublime. Wonderful property , great history, architecture, and just beautiful sorroundings worth the stop and visit even better.  Only the garden areas are open to the public as it is a private property. Hope you enjoy the Château de la Bretesche in Missillac!

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


2 Comments to “Château de la Bretesche at Missillac!”

  1. Fabulous place to stay!

    Liked by 1 person

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