Old town and the castle
|Canton||Fougères-Nord and Fougères-Sud|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Louis Feuvrier (DVG)|
|• Land1||10.47 km2 (4.04 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||2,300/km2 (5,800/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||35115 / 35300|
|Elevation||62–171 m (203–561 ft)
(avg. 97 m or 318 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Fougères' most famous monument and attraction is the Château de Fougères, a medieval stronghold built atop a granite ledge, which was part of the Duchy of Brittany's ultimately unsuccessful defence against French aggression, and part of a tripartate with Vitré.
Fougères also has one of only three belfries in Brittany, whose location serves as the centre of the weekend market. The belfry, built 1397, has symbolic importance: funded by local merchants, it allowed ordinary people access to timekeeping, previously the preserve of the church and nobility. Fougères is a town of Art and History (Villes et Pays d'Art et d'Histoire), a designation assigned to historic areas by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. The town was involved in the rebellion against the French Revolution in 1793. A skirmish near Fougères was the subject of the French painter Julien Le Blant's (1851–1933) most famous work Le Bataillon Carré, Affaire de Fougères 1793, which won a Gold Medal in the Exposition Universelle in 1889. This large work is now located in the United States, at the Lee Library on the campus of Brigham Young University.
A sizable section of the town walls survives, stretching from the château in the lower town up the hill to surround the upper town. Medieval citizens in the lower town were outside the fortifications and had to retreat into the fortress in times of trouble.
There used to be an important shoemaking industry which is now almost extinct. There was also an important glass making industry.
During the Middle Ages, salt was heavily taxed and was imported from the Breton regions to the rest of France. Fougères was made a stronghold for "salt smugglers," who would creep along the wall of the city with confiscated salt, to sell in other regions. There is a communal garden in modern Fougères that commemorates this interesting and little known fact.
Inhabitants of Fougères are called Fougerais in French.
Fougères was the birthplace of:
- Armand de la Rouerie (1751–1793), cavalry officer
- Georges Franju (1912–1987), filmmaker
- Juliette Drouet (10 April 1806- 1883), actress
Fougères is twinned with:
- "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Fougères.|
- Media related to Fougères at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website (French)
- Fougères Office of Tourism (French)
- Virtual Visit to Fougères (French)
- French Ministry of Culture list for Fougères (French)