Château de Brézé, part II

On my road warrior campaigns in the Loire Valley i have to see many many castles of beauty beyond description even if I try, I heard about this castle and decided to give it a run; very impressive. This is a new text and older pictures but new in my blog ; see my previous post on the castle. This one is in the region of Pays de la Loire and the department 49 of Maine et Loire! I will be telling you a bit more about the Château de Brézé!

First, Brézé  became on January 1, 2019 a town delegate of new town of Bellevigne-les-Châteaux. A recurring phenomenon in my France. The Château of Brézé is a monument of which a vast underground gallery was discovered, a castle under the castle. It also has the deepest dry moat in Europe with their 18 meters. Worth the detour me think. The old town of Bréze is only 10 km from Saumur.

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The first lords of Brézé made many donations to the Abbaye de Fontevraud,(see post) located nearby. Among the most famous lords, Louis de Brézé, who married Diane de Poitiers, (see post Anet) named Diane de Saint Vallier.

At the time of king Louis XVI, Henri Evrard de Dreux-Brézé, Grand Master of Ceremonies, took the decision to launch very substantial works. First of all, in order to enlarge the Renaissance part, subsequently his son and his grandson each in turn continued the work to transform the Château de Brézé into a neo-Gothic style castle. Within the castle, it is possible to visit the largest underground bakehouse in France, equipped with an impressive fireplace. The castle of a neo-Gothic style can be seen best by the Grand Gallery, the Square Tower and a rotunda at the base of the Clock Tower.

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The largest troglodyte bakery in France is a monumental fireplace with three ovens in which bread and sweets were baked. This strange labyrinth leads to the room of the presses and that of the casks where the wine was once made. It also reveals a walkway, old stables and an astonishing cavity called Image Cathedrals. It is here, on the walls of the old seigneurial cellars, that Brézé is told in images projected over more than 4,000 m².

We thus enter the largest underground fortress in Europe, sculpted over kilometers of a network of cavities and tunnels. This troglodyte village has preserved its stables, its bakery, a 17C silkworm factory and the presses in which the most appreciated wine was made on the royal tables of the 15C. Even today, Château de Brézé cultivates its 28 hectares of vines and produces different cuvées that you will have plenty of time to taste. From the 16C, the cuvées from his vineyard were praised by King René of Anjou, then by the great poet Joachim du Bellay who dedicated these few lines to them: “His Nectar seasons us, Nectar gives it to us, My sweet vineyard Brézéen…” It is even said that this Saumur was one of king Louis XIV’s favorite wines! The reputation of the château’s wines is such that its barrels will be exchanged at equal value for those of the Château d’Yquem. The vineyard, planted with Chenin and Cabernet Franc, has the particularity of being made up of unique plots, each of which benefits from special care. Thus each cuvée bears the name of the plot from which it comes: Clos David, Clos de la Rue, Clos du Tue-Loup, Clos de l’Étoile and Clos Bonne-Nouvelle. Since 2009, the 28 hectares of vines have been oriented towards organic viticulture and biodynamics, in accordance with the noble currents of our time: working the vine while respecting it.

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In 1959, Charlotte de Dreux-Brézé married Count Bernard de Colbert, a descendant of the great minister of king Louis XIV, Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Since then, the Château de Brézé has belonged to the same family, which puts all its passion into the renovation work of the château.

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The official Château de Bréze : https://www.chateaudebreze.com/castle-france-loire-saumur.html

The Saumur tourist office on Bréze : https://www.ot-saumur.fr/BREZE_a13289.html

There you go folks, an additional info on the Château de Bréze again worth the detour to see this marvel of the outer limits of the Loire Valley in that other region of Pays de la Loire in my belle France!

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

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