Fougères Castle

Fougères Castle, locally known as Château de Fougères, lies in the town of the same name, in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in France.

The first castle on this site was a wooden motte-and-bailey castle, built around 1000 AD on a rocky outcrop in a meander of the Nançon river. This wooden fortification was burned to the ground in 1166 by King Henry II of England.

In 1173 Raoul II, Baron of Fougères, started to rebuilt his castle but this time in stone.

In the beginning of the 13th century Raoul III payed hommage to King Louis IX of France. This probably prompted Peter I, Duke of Brittany, to take Fougères Castle in 1231, by surprise. Louis IX however quickly showed up with his army and took back the castle. In 1253 the daughter of Raoul III married Hugh XII de Lusignan (a grandson of Peter I). He further strengthened the castle and town. The castle then was part of a string of castles protecting the Duchy of Brittany, stretching from the Channel to the Atlantic, of which the castles of St. Aubin-du-Cormier, Vitré and Grand-Fougeray were also a part.

In 1307 Fougères Castle was confiscated by Philip the Fair, King of France. Later that century Jean de Montfort, Duke of Brittany, settled in the castle but it was quickly seized by Bertrand du Guesclin who returned it to Peter II, Count of Alençon. Again the castle was strengthened.

In 1428, during the Hundred Years' War, the castle returned to the Duke of Brittany, when it was sold by John II, Duke of Alençon, to pay his ransom. In 1449 the castle and town of Fougères were taken by surprise by Francis de Surienne, a mercenary working for the English. He entrenched himself in the castle with his 600-man army. After 8 months the castle taken back by Francis I, Duke of Brittany, after a 2-month siege. Peter II, Duke of Brittany, then reinforced the castle.

In 1488, during the Mad War, Fougères Castle was again besieged. This time it was taken after a week by the French general Louis II de la Trémoille for Charles VIII of France.

In the 16th century Brittany became a part of France and thus the castle lost its strategic importance. It became the seat of several military governors.

In 1793 the castle was in use as a prison when it was taken by Royalist Vendeans and Chouans. For the next 8 years the castle changed hands several times before finally staying in the hands of the Republicans.

In the 19th century Fougères Castle a shoe factory was set up within its walls before it became a monument in 1862. Later the castle was restored and opened for visitors.

At present Fougères Castle can be visited for a fee. This is a really great castle with lots of towers to explore. Recommended.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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Fougères Castle

Fougères Castle, locally known as Château de Fougères, lies in the town of the same name, in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in France.

The first castle on this site was a wooden motte-and-bailey castle, built around 1000 AD on a rocky outcrop in a meander of the Nançon river. This wooden fortification was burned to the ground in 1166 by King Henry II of England.

In 1173 Raoul II, Baron of Fougères, started to rebuilt his castle but this time in stone.

In the beginning of the 13th century Raoul III payed hommage to King Louis IX of France. This probably prompted Peter I, Duke of Brittany, to take Fougères Castle in 1231, by surprise. Louis IX however quickly showed up with his army and took back the castle. In 1253 the daughter of Raoul III married Hugh XII de Lusignan (a grandson of Peter I). He further strengthened the castle and town. The castle then was part of a string of castles protecting the Duchy of Brittany, stretching from the Channel to the Atlantic, of which the castles of St. Aubin-du-Cormier, Vitré and Grand-Fougeray were also a part.

In 1307 Fougères Castle was confiscated by Philip the Fair, King of France. Later that century Jean de Montfort, Duke of Brittany, settled in the castle but it was quickly seized by Bertrand du Guesclin who returned it to Peter II, Count of Alençon. Again the castle was strengthened.

In 1428, during the Hundred Years' War, the castle returned to the Duke of Brittany, when it was sold by John II, Duke of Alençon, to pay his ransom. In 1449 the castle and town of Fougères were taken by surprise by Francis de Surienne, a mercenary working for the English. He entrenched himself in the castle with his 600-man army. After 8 months the castle taken back by Francis I, Duke of Brittany, after a 2-month siege. Peter II, Duke of Brittany, then reinforced the castle.

In 1488, during the Mad War, Fougères Castle was again besieged. This time it was taken after a week by the French general Louis II de la Trémoille for Charles VIII of France.

In the 16th century Brittany became a part of France and thus the castle lost its strategic importance. It became the seat of several military governors.

In 1793 the castle was in use as a prison when it was taken by Royalist Vendeans and Chouans. For the next 8 years the castle changed hands several times before finally staying in the hands of the Republicans.

In the 19th century Fougères Castle a shoe factory was set up within its walls before it became a monument in 1862. Later the castle was restored and opened for visitors.

At present Fougères Castle can be visited for a fee. This is a really great castle with lots of towers to explore. Recommended.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.castles.nl/fougeres-castle#sigFreeId54d7b6e309