When visiting Vitré, the first thing you will see is a magnificent medieval castle. This most impressive fortress majestically overlooks the old city and whispers its fairy tale. Built of wood around the year 1000, the Château de Vitré was built, rebuilt, and expanded over the years and centuries. Abandoned and forgotten in the 17th century, this fortification became one of the first medieval buildings of this kind, listed as a French historical monument. I assure you that visiting this place will enchant you, especially if you like history and old fortresses.
The first castle in Vitré was built of wood. Unfortunately, it was burned down so many times, that in the 9th century, the Baron Robert I of Vitré decided to make it more robust. For that reason, he erected it from stone. In the 15th century, the gatehouse with a double drawbridge was built, as well as St Laurent and Magdalene Tower. Visitors can still admire a fascinating oratory added in 1530 in the renaissance style. In the 17th century, the castle started to decline, and it was abandoned. The authorities of the city of Vitré had bought it in 1820, and after that, the castle was nicely restored. It was one of the first medieval castles listed as a French historical monument in June of 1872. Today, this fairy tale medieval castle is a place where you can spend some quality time with your friends and family. If you are a history fan, then you will enjoy learning about the past times of Brittany and France in this place. You could also play an escape game which is regularly organized in the Château de Vitré. The goal of this one-hour puzzle game is to bolt out of the castle secretly.
The Château de Vitré, a former residence of the Barons of Vitré, houses the Museum of Art and History since 1877. Founded by Arthur de la Borderie, a Breton historian, this museum has an imposing collection of paintings, explaining the history of this city. In the tower of the Oratory, you can see and admire a fascinating altarpiece triptych depicting the life of Christ and the Virgin. The Saint-Laurent Tower houses some 15th and 16th-century sculptures as well as a Renaissance-style fireplace from 1583.
Visitors can hear a fairy tale of the Château de Vitré during the guided tours. The price of these tours is 6 euros for adults and 4 euros for children from 12 to 18 years. You should know that you can enter the castle for free, but if you like to visit its Museum, you will have to get a ticket. The ticket office is situated under the gatehouse. The Museum of the Château de Vitré is open from October to April every day except on Tuesdays, and Saturday and Sunday mornings. From April to the end of September, this museum is open every day.
Cover photo © iStockphoto/zinchik
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