The Forteresse de Largoët of Elven !!!

Let me bring back some memories of my work. A while back, hard to remember dates, a collegue working in my dept told me he was from Elven? huh? He show me the map and told me there was nice things to see and a very good restaurant (see post). Needless to say we as a family went and true to local knowledge it was nice. Later our CFO decided to have a party for the group and voilà the restaurant was chosen again, and again it was wonderful. I had a post with all but decided to split into the nice monuments of little pretty Elven, therefore, did a post on the church, the chapel and now the fortress. Hope you enjoy this post on the Forteresse de Largoët of Elven !!!


We went looking for the fortress tower of Largoët, built in the 13-16C and residence of the Lords of Largoët, and most notable here lived  Jean IV de Rieux, tutor of the duchess Anne de Bretagne ( and queen of France twice!). The fortress was mentioned first in 1020! Here between 1474 and 1476 , this Jean IV lord of Rieux held prisioner Henri Tudor duke of Richmond and future king Henry VII of England. In 1490, king Charles VIII demolished the castle but it was later restored under Anne de Bretagne. Nicolas Fouquet (vaux le vicomte non fame) purchased the castle in 1656 and after his death it is sold to Michel de Trémeurec and since the castle was never sold and remains in the family that hold it today. On November 30 1799 there was a big battle here during the war of the west against the French revolution by the local Chouans known as the battle of the Tour d’Elven.


The ruins of Largoët retain an imposing appearance, thanks in particular to the octagonal keep from the end of the 14C. At 45 meters high, it is one of the highest in France, Its walls are 6 meters thick and exceed 9 meters in some places. The entrance was on the ground floor through a door which was preceded by a drawbridge spanning a ditch. This door opens into a 7 meter long corridor that runs through the entire thickness of the wall and leads to a room of approximately 40 m2. On each of the upper floors, there was an identical room. On the first floor, you can still see the room where Henry Tudor stayed. Two spiral staircases are caught in the thickness of the walls. One, starting from the ground floor and intended for lordship use and the reception of distinguished visitors, serves all levels up to the summit walkway. A second, narrower spiral staircase, located in the opposite wall, for more private use, starts from the first floor(2nd US), and leads to the upper floors. On the third floor (4th US) of the master tower, there is a chapel, flanked by two oratories, built into the thickness of the wall, with a stoup and a hagioscope which allowed worship to be followed from one of the oratories.

elven forteresse de langoet inside oct11

In addition to this colossal edifice, Largoët has a four-story round tower from the 15C, pierced by gunboats on the first level, and surmounted by a hexagonal building. It was converted in the 20C as a hunting lodge; a 15C châtelet, marking the entrance to the fortress, backing onto another 13C construction; the remains of the surrounding wall, a moat that was drained in the summer and a pond dug at the beginning of the 20C to replace impenetrable marshes; the ruins of a construction called Glacière or freezer which was intended to store food; the entrance to an underground refuge,consisting of two rooms but with no other exit. It would therefore not be the entrance to the underground which allowed to reach the village. Works in the inn of the Lion d’Or (see post), in the center of Elven, would have brought to light a gallery but without nothing could be verified as to the final destination of this gallery.

elven forteresse de langoet ent 16C oct11

In the cinema, the site served as a setting for Lancelot du Lac or Les Chouans as well as in Le Monocle noir (1961).

The official Forteresse de Largoët :

The town of Elven on the fortress

There you go folks, feel better now to give credit to this wonderful monument in little pretty Elven near me just 44 km still in my beautiful Morbihan. Hope you enjoy the post on the Fortress Dungeon of Largoët as I.

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

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