"Fougeres Has a Fine Fortress-Castle (Chateau)" Top 5 Page for this destination Fougères by hquittner

Fougères Travel Guide: 61 reviews and 185 photos

An Early Fortress-Castle

The defensive fortress-castle evolved from about 1000 as feudalism replaced the disintegrated organization built in France by Charlemagne. On previous travels we had already seen a walled city (Avila) in Spain and stimulated by reading Barbara Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror" had just visited Coucy-le-Chateau (Picardie}and wished to see a more intact structure of the time and later. We had never visited Britain, and since we were headed to Mont St.-Michel this slight detour brought us into Brittany for the first time.


Fougeres (pop. 30K) is a busy quality shoe manfuacturing city that has at its east edge the river Nancon which was important as an effluent for the tanning industry and served in a meander for the site of the fortress on a high rise. The old town (still in existence) grew up nearby. Our time table did not allow for a walk through town but it was quite visible from the high ponts in the castle. However on our route out of town we larned about a megalithic alignment in the Forest of Fougeres northeast of town and we made stop there for our first view of these archeologic objects.

The towers of Fougeres were erected in the 12-15C and are intact or partly restored with a complete encircling wall. The first picture shows some of the ramparts and the 15C Surienne Tower. Besides walls and towers we saw a few essentially empty rooms to complete the picture and had pleasant walks outside and inside the compound. The part that was used as a residence is a ruin. The castle was partly destroyed more than once since it sits at place that was once the center of many strifes. We were able to recognize the strategies that its designers envisioned. The guide materials were of help. The restored rooms helped complete the picture.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A Fine Example of a Fortress-Castle in Real French Town
  • Cons:Not a Stay-over town
  • In a nutshell:We still remember our visit
  • Last visit to Fougères: May 1988
  • Intro Updated Nov 6, 2007
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