The Château de la Hunaudaye: A Medieval Fortress in Brittany
XII Century castle in Pledeliac, Cotes D’Armor
The Château de la Hunaudaye is a medieval fortified castle built in the 12th century, on a former gallo-roman setting at the edge of the Forest of La Hunaudaye.
When you visit this majestic edifice, you will discover the History of the castle and the Lords of la Hunaudaye. From one tower to another, you can admire the power of this stronghold from the times of the Dukes of Brittany.
The fortress of La Hunaudaye was built 800 years ago on a former gallo-roman military camp of the 4th century.
Around 1220, Olivier Tournemine chose this swampy place to defend the river Arguenon. This mission was entrusted to him by the Duke of Brittany. In the 13th century, the river separated two lands in conflict: The Penthièvre (area of Lamballe) and the Poudouvre (area of Dinan). The Château de la Hunaudaye defended the Penthièvre, where the Duke of Brittany had a lot of possessions.
The castle seems to not have been attacked during this conflict. However, at the 14th century, it was destroyed during the War for Brittany’s inheritance. This war brought into conflict two great Breton Lords, who were claiming the crown of Brittany. On the one hand, Jean de Montfort was supported by the English. On the other hand, The Penthièvre and Blois families were supported by the French. At the beginning of the war, the castle was destroyed by Jean de Montfort’s army.
Pierre Tournemine began to rebuild the castle as soon as Peace was concluded – a peace that lasted almost a century. The Tournemine family experienced years of prestige. The Tournemines became powerful Lords, close to the Duke of Brittany and his family. In 1487, they received the title of “Baron of la Hunaudaye”. In the 16th century, their sphere of influence spread over 80 parishes. This time of luxury lasted until the 17th century, the time when the Renaissance staircase, leading to one of the three “logis” (i.e the place where the Lord and his family used to live inside the castle), were built. This addition demonstrates the spreading influence of French and royal fashion and styles throughout the Breton nobility.
But the 17th century was also a period of decline. The Tournemines’ dynasty was dying out. The castle and its Lordship were progressively abandoned.
During the French Revolution, the “Chouans” (faithful to the King) travelled all over the country. In Lamballe, there was concern that they might turn the castle into a centre of resistance. More or less rightfully, a group of Revolutionaries set fire to the castle in 1793. Furniture, wooden-floors and archives disappeared. The drawbridge was pulled down.
The state of the castle deteriorated throughout the 19th century when it was plundered for its stone. After one tower collapsed, the Government decided in 1922 to list the castle among the National Historic Monuments. It bought back the castle in 1930. Since 1977, the Castle has been managed, maintained and developed by the Association of the Château de la Hunaudaye, which is supported by the local communities. The State and its partners grouped together to finance the restoration, which is now complete.
For more information, visit www.la-hunaudaye.com
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