Pays de la Loire Section

Chateau de Brissac - Castle Loire Valley

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Chateau de Brissac, the Giant of the Loire Valley

The Chateau de Brissac overlooks the small river Aubance.

It is located in the village of Brissac-Quincé, some 15kms south of the city of Angers.

The gigantic castle projects its towers over the magnificent century-old cedars of Lebanon of its park.

The building indeed boasts 240 rooms laid out on 7 floors!

The name Brissac evolved from Bèchesac, the nickname of millers who cheated on the weight of the flour bags.

This would suggest that the first fortress was built on the site of an ancient watermill.

Cossé Family - Dukes of Brissac

The Brissac are one of the oldest families in France.

Pierre de Brézé built the medieval castle was built in 1455 and René de Cossé purchased it in 1502.

The chateau de Brissac has been in the same family since; the present owner is indeed the 14th Duke of Brissac.

René's grand-son, Charles de Cossé, the local leader of the Catholic party known as the League, sided with the Duke of Guise against the protestant King Henri IV.

The movement was defeated in 1594.

Cossé, the then Governor of Paris, conceded defeat and handed the keys of the city to Henri IV.

In return for his submission, the king appointed him Marshal of France and made him Duke of Brissac.

Cossé began rebuilding the castle which had been severely damaged during the Wars of Religion.

However, when he died in 1602, only the left wing and the central Pavilion were rebuilt and the work never resumed!

The Chateau de Brissac was declared State property in 1796.

It was, however, returned to its owners a few years later, an unprecedented case during the French Revolution!

Gothic tower

Chateau de Brissac - a quick tour

The Early French Renaissance central Pavilion consists of seven floors; this is a quite unusual height for a castle!

Two massive Gothic Towers, the remains of the old fortress, flank it and give Brissac its unique architecture.

The Chateau de Brissac contains a wealth of tapestries, old armour, paintings and elegant 18th century furniture.

One of the rooms indeed boasts an outstanding 17th century painted ceiling, and a Louis XIII style staircase leads to the Great Hall.

The magnificently restored Belle Époque style theatre, on the second floor, is another exceptional features of the castle.

Those who are not too keen on visiting castles, might be happy to know that Brissac has a vineyard!

The Chateau de Brissac's cellars indeed offer a good selection - and tasting - of their wines...

Brissac-Quincé - Department of Maine-et-Loire
Coordinates: Lat 47.352968 - Long -0.449774

Photos via Wikimedia Commons: : header CC BY-SA 4.0 - Gothic tower CC BY-SA 3.0 - Renaissance pavilion and Gothic towers CC BY-SA 3.0
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