Fairytale châteaux: Fougères and Vitré
Built on a protected site surrounded by a loop of the Nançon river, this 13-tower château is one of Europe’s largest medieval fortresses. There has been a château here for more than 1,000 years since the site was identified by the Duchy of Brittany as the perfect spot to defend its lands from the French. Fougères itself is a designated Ville d’Art et d’Histoire (Town of Art and History), full of other treasures including the oldest belfry in Brittany and numerous mansions, museums and gardens. The town is closely connected with the 18th-century writer and politician Chateaubriand.
Instantly recognisable with its imposing pointed slate turrets, Vitré’s château hosted the Parlement de Bretagne on three occasions in the 16th century when the plague ravaged Rennes. These days, it houses a museum focused on the history of Vitré with a collection of 19th-century curiosities. The best view of the château is from the Tertres Noirs viewpoint just off the road to Rennes.