Chateau de Clisson

Sadly closed the day we passed, Within then independent Brittany, the castle, situated at a crossroads for Anjou and Poitou, was one of the great fortified places on the frontiers of the Duchy of Brittany, The first Lords of Clisson occupied the site from the 11th century.

Most of the present castle was built in the 13th century. Constructed by Guillaume de Clisson, on a rocky outcrop dominating the Sèvre Nantaise, In the 14th century, Olivier III de Clisson incorporated the gatehouse into a massive quadrilangular keep. The two semicircular towers of the gatehouse collapsed in the 17th century.

In the 15th century, the fortifications were modernised to permit the use of artillery. After 1420, the castle became the property of the Duke of Brittany. It was one of the favourite residences of Duke Francis II who was remarried there, to Marguerite de Foix in 1474.

Until the 17th century, the castle was the residence of the Avaugour family, descendants of François Ier d’Avaugour, illegitimate son of François II. He modified and transformed the castle to suit the tastes and fashions of the day. During the War in the Vendée, the town and its castle were burned by the Infernal columns of Jean-Baptiste Kléber. In 1807, the estate was bought by the sculptor François-Frédéric Lemot with the goal of conservation. During the 19th century, the ruined castle attracted Romantic painters and sculptors.

2017