The castle of Auray!!

Well, here is another find that went thru the holes in my previous posts on Auray, which are many. One of the fun moments of updating older posts ,is to find these gems to tell all. I have visited, walked, sightseeing, you name it and darn do not know why not written a post on the Castle of Auray before; well is in ruins but you get the story and the views are awesome! Hope you enjoy it as I.

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The Château d’Auray is located in Auray , and in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne. It is in a very steeply area by the Loc’h river (see post) confluent of the Auray river that ends in the Atlantic Ocean, From its ruins above you get a wonderful view over the lower town or port Saint Goustan and even more romantic at night, The best for us is to walk from upper town place de la République down on a narrow street , rue du Belvédére at the end you arrive at the top of the castle ,Another walk is down rue du Château and turn right at the end to see the castle ! Great!

Auray st goustan old castle ruins mai12

The first castle of Auray whose presence is mentioned in 1096 protects a ford on the Loc’h river, and the port of Saint-Goustan. The latter is rebuilt from 1201 for Duke Arthur I of Brittany. The most important event here and in Brittany and France for that matter happened during the War of Succession of Brittany, At this time the castle was taken successively by the English and French parties. On September 29, 1364, with the Battle of Auray, Jean IV de Montfort (for Bretagne) besieged the castle and put an end to the claims to the Duchy of Brittany of his rival Charles de Blois (for France) who was killed; the place of his death, Kerblois in the town of Brec’h, is marked by a Calvary. (see post).

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According to medieval chronicles, between 1,800 and 2,900 English soldiers(sided with Brittany) face 3,500 or even 4,000 French combatants. Extremely violent, the struggle turned to the advantage of the former, thanks to the ingenious use of the rear guard. During the pass of arms, the Count of Blois lost his life. His challenger, Jean de Montfort becomes Duke of Brittany. While it settled the question of succession, the Battle of Auray did not mark the end of the conflict between the French and the Bretons. The castle will change owners twice more, until 1487 and a final victorious siege of the king’s men.

auray st goustan old castle ruins along auray river aug19

The castle of Auray was then the place of stay of several dukes of Brittany. François I of Brittany married Isabelle of Scotland there on October 30, 1442. It is in the same place that Guillaume de Blois or de Bretagne was detained in 1448, as a hostage of the submission of the Counts of Penthièvre. The treaty of reconciliation between the duke and his adversaries then gave him back a freedom that he had been waiting for, for 28 years, in successive prisons. In 1477, the secret correspondence between the duke François II and the king of England having been delivered to the king of France Louis XI, the duke had the traitor arrested, who confessed his crime; he was tried in Nantes, then locked up in the castle of Auray, sewn into a bag and drowned at night in the moat!

Subsequently, the castle of Auray was no longer maintained and falls into ruin. Its moat was auctioned after 1546, following the decision of King François I to cede all the vacant lands of the Duchy of Brittany, and the demolition of the ruins was decided by King Henry II, but the king’s prosecutor imposed that the wall on the river side is preserved, and it still exists. Its stones were given in 1558 by the king to the monks of the Sainte-Croix Abbey of Quimperlé, owner of the island of Belle-Île, to build the fort Palais in order to ensure its protection against the English pirates, the rest of the materials were auctioned in 1559.

A rue Neuve or new street was created on September 6, 1560 on the northern moat. A few years later, the street is completely lined with houses and was called as today , the rue du Château or castle street. In addition to a few half-timbered houses, the street is lined with beautiful residences adopting limestone, a noble material in vogue in the 17C and 18C.  In 1633, the Sisters of Saint-François de Nantes settled in Auray to run a girls’ school. A few years later, the construction of their vast convent , known as des Cordelières , and the Chapel of the Eternal Father (see post) ended up transforming the castle. Today, there are some remains of the castle on the right bank of the Loc’h river, such as a round tower known as the “Talus tower” and three buttresses which supported the main building of the castle, as well as two ramps leading down to the Port Saint Goustan.Nice

The city of Auray on its heritagehttps://www.auray.fr/Ma-ville/Patrimoine/Les-monuments-historiques

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on Saint Goustan district of Aurayhttps://www.morbihan.com/accueil/decouvrir/le-morbihan/les-incontournables/saint-goustan-port-d-auray

This is a nice sight to see in a wonderful must see area of Auray, Saint Goustan, If not for the romantic ruins of the castle , the views over the river basin are gorgeous and recommended , especially at night, Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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