Château de Blain
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The Château de Blain or Château de la Groulais, is a mediaeval castle constructed in the 13th century and heavily remodelled in the 16th, located in the commune of Blain in the Loire-Atlantique département of France. It formed part of the frontier defences of Brittany along with the towns and castles of Vitré, Fougères, Châteaubriant, Ancenis and Clisson.
The castle stands on the side of the Canal de Nantes à Brest. It has 12 towers and covers an area of 4 hectares.
The first castle was constructed by order of Alan IV, Duke of Brittany, around 1108. The fortress passed by marriage to the Clisson family in 1225. Following Olivier Ier de Clisson's revolt against the Duke, the castle was razed in 1260.
Olivier I's son, Olivier II obtained permission from the Duke to rebuild the castle. The Clissons progressively enlarged the castle during the 14th century.
During the French Wars of Religion, the castle was besieged and set on fire in 1591 during the fighting between the Duke of Mercœur and Jean de Montauban, the knight De Goust. It was restored by Catherine de Parthenay, who installed herself there with her children. In 1628, Henri II de Rohan having become the leader of the Protestant princes, Cardinal Richelieu ordered the dismantling of the castle which thus lost its military role.
The castle suffered further serious damage during the French Revolution. It was pillaged and burnt, along with the Rohan family archives. It served as a barracks and later as a prison.
The South West Tower and the Drawbridge Tower with the buildings on either side form the entrance to the castle. Along with the Constable's Tower (tour du Connétable), the two towers in the south east and the monumental entrance on the south facade of the logis du Roi, they date from before the 17th century. Together with the remains of the towers and the fortifications linking them, these have been classified as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
The north wing of the logis du Roi was remodelled in the 19th century.
Media related to Château de Blain at Wikimedia Commons
References and sources
- Information panel at the castle
- Ministry of Culture listing for Château de Blain (French)
- Ministry of Culture photo
- Restoration Association web page of the castle's history (French)[dead link]