The castle is also known as the Chateau de Barbe-bleue (Bluebeard’s castle) after its most famous resident, Gilles de Rais, known as Barbe-bleue. It was here that Bluebeard perpetrated his atrocities. The castle is in the Marches (border lands) between Brittany, Poitou and Anjou and thus an important strategic point. It is positioned on a hill at the confluence of the Sèvre Nantaise and Crûme rivers, this position providing protection against assailants.
The castle was built between the 12th and 16th centuries. The notorious murderer, Gilles de Rais (1404–1440) is associated with the castle, For a long time, the castle was abandoned and lay in ruins, the inner yard even used for a while as a football pitch by the local club, RST Tiffauges. The castle is now owned by the Conseil Général of Vendée. It hosts a series of spectacles and collections, including medieval war machines and an alchemy centre.