The Castle of Rochefort en Terre!

So welcome back to Rochefort en Terre as said one of our favorite towns in Bretagne and just near us in our dept 56 Morbihan. Needless to tell you more as we have been here many times and written several pieces in my blog. However, I notice not a single post dedicated to this wonderful Castle of Rochefort en Terre!! So , therefore, it is time to make up for the omission.

Rochefort en Terre

A first castle was built on the initiative of the lords of Rochefort on the rocky spur overlooking the Gueuzon stream in the 12C. It passed, by marriage, in 1374 to the powerful family of Rieux. It ends up partially leveled by order of the king of France Charles VIII in 1488 during the war of succession of Brittany. This second castle was looted for the first time during the Wars of the League in 1594 by the troops of the Duke of Merceur1 Partially rebuilt by the Larlan family at the beginning of the 17C, it was looted a second time in July 1793 after the battle in March, leaving it almost entirely destroyed. The only surviving building, the stable, from the 17C was transformed into a dwelling. The site is acquired by the Juhel family in 1843 and will remain the property until its sale in 1907 to the American painter Alfred Klots.(see more below).

Rochefort en Terre

Rochefort en Terre

The castle is built on an elongated pentagonal layout which has survived throughout the history of the site. In 1867 only five towers and a few sections of ramparts remained from the medieval castle. The current mansion, in neo-Gothic style, is built on the outbuildings of the 17C, a body of building at right angles. A first tower, joining the two wings was built before 1914. The skylights, Gothic and Renaissance styles were taken from the castle of Keralio (in Noyal-Muzillac) ; just like the chapel, reassembled in the park of the castle in 1917. The second, at the end of the south wing, was completed in January 1927.

Rochefort en Terre

From 1907, Alfred Klots, owner of the Castle, invites painters in the city and sets up tourist activities. He had the idea in 1911 to launch a competition throughout the city: that of the “flowered windows”, which became over time that of the “flower villages” or Village Fleuri de France today! YES! This American adopted by the local Rochefortais died in 1939.

Alfred Klots was born in France in 1875, from an American family of Baltimore, MD ,that practiced the silk trade. Very early reveals his artistic talent, this young painter will follow most of his training in New York before coming to live in Paris in 1901. It was then that he fell in love with Brittany. He buys the Castle or rather what’s left of it

It is in ruins and only the stables had been converted into a dwelling in the 19C. In successive stages, he will revive it and it will become his castle in Brittany. In 1918-1919 he opened his home to the American Red Cross , which makes it a convalescent center for soldiers , which would be worth to him to receive the Legion of Honor after the war.

Rochefort en Terre

His son Trafford Klots born in 1913, also devoted himself to painting. In 1940 when the war broke out he created the American Fund for relief to the Bretons, before engaging as an officer in the U S Army. In 1944, back in Rochefort en Terre, he finds intact the Castle and its collections saved thanks to the dedication of the gatekeeper. Trafford Klots will be made a Knight of the Legion of Honor by France. He died in 1976. Today, the Castle is a property of the town of Rochefort en Terre that makes it live another way for our greatest a cultural center. At the slate time of the Sundial, their present, allied to the past has become an invaluable gift. that of a love story between Brittany and America! Nice story indeed!!!

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must me think are

City of Rochefort en Terre on the castle

Tourist office of Rochefort en Terre on the castle and museum

Tourist office of dept 56 Morbihan on the castle of Rochefort en Terre

So there you go a wonderful town I told you so, and just gorgeous medieval and super during the Christmas holidays to New Year’s. Enjoy it with the whole family or a romantic getaway! The Castle museum of Rochefort en Terre

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

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