The Château de Clisson!

This is a town we saw by chance as we went for the wines !! It has given us plenty of nice moments in addition to the wines, a wonderful market , beautiful little church , all written before. However, did not give credit enough to the castle or Château de Clisson!! wow a wonderful historical fortress castle in ClissonLoire-Atlantique dept 44 of Pays de la Loire region. Really, , this is historically Brittany/Bretagne but for now let me tell you about the castle.

The Château de Clisson was part of the family of Clisson (lords) since the 12C and by the 15C was a strategic point in the borders with the Duchy of Brittany.  From a wooden castle it became a stone castle ; it was part of Olivier V de Clisson ,then the last Duke of Brittany , François II was very attached to the castle where he marries Marguerite de Foix ; Anne de Bretagne  was their first and heritage daughter!! From 1807 it belongs to Lemot until his death in 1827, the castle stays in ruins until finally purchase by the regional council in 1962.


Ok but there is a lot more , so let me tell you a bit of the history I like.

The story goes that at the time of independent Brittany, the castle located at the crossroads of the Marches of Brittany, Anjou and Poitou, is one of the great border strongholds of the duchy of Brittany. Oh yes was part of it I told you so! The first lords of Clisson occupied the site from the beginning of the 11C; they are mentioned with certainty for the first time in 1061. The castle, at its origin between 1058 and 1060 was a simple castrum, would have consisted of wooden fences,which would be at the origin of the name Clisson. Subsequently and until the beginning of the 13C, the site seems to have been defended by a Romanesque fortress, a massive keep supported by buttresses and surrounded by an enclosure. The castle was undoubtedly demolished in the 1240s, on the orders of Duke Jean le Roux, as part of a conflict between Olivier II de Clisson, grandson of Guillaume, and his two half-brothers.


In the 14C, Olivier III de Clisson incorporated a châtelet serving as access to the courtyard. The castle of Clisson became the setting for the hectic lives of Olivier IV de Clisson and then Olivier V de Clisson. Olivier IV, first of all, presumed guilty of cartel with the English, was beheaded at the Halles de Paris in 1343, by order of the King of France Philippe VI de Valois. His wife, Jeanne de Belleville, took refuge in England with his son, Olivier V, who regained his possessions after his alliance with the French. But this rich lord, become constable in 1380, lives very little in Clisson, whose castle, in which he was born, may be entrusted to a castellan.


After 1420, Marguerite de Clisson, daughter of Olivier V and countess of Penthièvre, accused of treason against the Duke of Brittany Jean V was dispossessed of her property: the castle became the property of the Duke of Brittany and the prerogative of Richard d’Étampes in 1420. To finally dispose of this property fully, Richard must besiege the castle and the city. The surrender of the city was not long, shortly before October 1420. The castle then became one of the favorite residences of Duke François II of Brittany, son of Richard d’Étampes, who remarried there with Marguerite de Foix in 1471 (parents of  Duchess of Brittany/Queen of France, Anne de Bretagne) .The castle was enlarged to the west by a new rectangular enclosure 100 meters in length, armed with towers with casemates for artillery. Until the 17C, the castle was the residence of the Avaugour family, born of François I of Avaugour, illegitimate son of François II of Brittany.

The second half of the 16C was disturbed by the wars of the League. Brittany is Catholic, while Poitou is held by Protestants, notably in Montaigu. The castle collapsed in the middle of the 17C. The possessions and titles of the Avaugours passed to Charles de Rohan, who lost interest in the castle and ordered the sale of the furniture, carried out by 1748 , which led to the disappearance of many elements of great historical value, notably parchments. The fortress was then abandoned by its owners, and various families occupied the apartments until 1793 . During the Vendée war,(against the French revolution) the army of Mayence established its headquarters there. Following their defeat at the Battle of Torfou, Canclaux and his republican troops stop in Clisson. In 1793, they burned the castle and the city before leaving. After the French revolution, the houses in the city had to be rebuilt; thus, the ruined castle becomes a stone quarry and the locals took the building materials there. Long in ruins, it was restored from 1974 to 1975, again from 1986 to 1989 and yet again from 1991 to 1993.

During the 19C, the ruins of the castle of Clisson attracted painters and romantic sculptors, such as Louis-François Cassas or Claude Thiénon, and writers like Gustave Flaubert, passing through Clisson, described these ruins in a romantic style and the poet Évariste Boulay- Paty describes the castle in the constable’s time in a sonnet. At the beginning of the 20C, the castle served as a model for the painting Le Château de Clisson painted by the neo-impressionist artist Jean Metzinger, in 1905, exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts of Nantes (Beaux-Arts). The castle of Clisson is at Place du Minage city center cannot missed. And we love to walk around its remparts and partake on the weekend market or passed by it while shopping my wines in the region which we go direct.

The city of Clisson on the castle

The Nantes region tourist office on the castle of Clisson

There you go folks, a nice romantic castle of Clisson. The place is sublime and the wines well great whites indeed muscadet territory and seafood best match. Hope you enjoy the castle and do come , worth the detour. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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