Visiting Château de Brissac

Chateau Brissac: The Imposing Giant of the Loire Valley

by and - last updated on 4/17/2024

Travel Tile We drove here from our first base camp for exploring the Loire River Valley in Angers. It was just about 19 kilometers southeast and took about thirty minutes to get there. We were surprised to see the chateau rising above its surroundings as we turned the corner (mistakenly missing the parking lot). This magnificent château is often referred to as the "Giant of the Loire Valley" due to its impressive seven stories, making it the tallest château in France.

The chateau is surrounded by a wrought iron fence, and it looks like an estate which of course it is. The estate grounds consist of a 173 acre park with vineyards and huge centenary trees. The entrance portal is a gate into the estate grounds, and you begin to see how beautiful and well maintained everything is. The vineyard produces AOC rosé wine that can be sampled in the chateau wine vaults. The Chateau is 7 stories tall and contains more than 204 rooms but not everything is open to the public.

A unique feature of the Chateau is that the current chateau owners offer a bed & breakfast. Currently prices start at €495 for two people, which includes breakfast and a tour of the Chateau. Many of the reviews we’ve read said that the breakfast is excellent.

IMAGE CREDITS: Image # 3 above (east view of building) is the property of W. Bulach via Wikimedia Commons using the CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED license. All other images, unless otherwise noted, are the property of Just Travelling Thru, LLC.

Château de Brissac: A Brief History 

The chateau's story starts in the 11th century as a simple wooden fort, strategically positioned by the Counts of Anjou. Over time, it was transformed into a stone castle, reflecting the region's changing needs. The 15th century marked a turning point. Enter Pierre de Brézé, a powerful minister to King Charles VII, who transformed the castle into a luxurious residence. Twin towers, a signature feature, were incorporated into the design.

Following centuries of belonging to the Brézé family, the chateau changed hands during the French Wars of Religion. Severely damaged, it faced the threat of demolition. However, fortune smiled upon the chateau. Charles II de Cossé, a supporter of the future King Henry IV, played a pivotal role. As a reward for his loyalty, the newly crowned king bestowed upon him the chateau, the title of Duke of Brissac, and the funds to rebuild.

Guided by the vision of Charles II de Cossé, the chateau underwent a significant transformation in the 17th century. Embracing the Baroque style, the architects created a masterpiece. The facade was adorned with elaborate sculptures, the grand gallery was constructed, and the interiors were reimagined with a focus on elegance and comfort. This new design cemented Château de Brissac's reputation as a jewel of the Loire Valley.

Chateau Brissac: Ghost Stories 

In 1477, during the Renaissance period, the chateau was owned by Jacques de Brézé, Count of Maulevrier and husband of Charlotte of France, an illegitimate daughter of King Charles VII. Legend has it that Jacques discovered his wife in a compromising situation with one of their servants, a young man named Pierre, in one of the castle's chambers. Overcome with rage and jealousy, Jacques is said to have murdered both Charlotte and Pierre in a fit of passion.

While the exact details of the murder remain shrouded in mystery and historical speculation, the story of the double murder has become an integral part of the chateau's identity and it is often associated with tales of paranormal activity and is reputed to be haunted by the ghosts of Charlotte, known as the “Dame Verte,” or Green Lady and her murdered lover, Pierre. Legend has it that their spirits still roam the corridors and chambers of the chateau, perpetuating the tragic events of their untimely demise.

Visitors and staff members have reported various eerie occurrences, including strange sounds, unexplained footsteps, and sightings of ghostly apparitions. Many believe that the spirits of Charlotte and Pierre continue to linger within the walls of the chateau, forever trapped in a state of unrest.

While some dismiss these stories as mere folklore, others swear by their encounters and experiences at Chateau de Brissac. Whether one believes in the existence of ghosts or not, the tales of paranormal activity add an intriguing layer to the chateau's history.

Chateau Brissac: Architecture & Interior 

This formidable structure has a symmetrical layout typical of Renaissance architecture. The chateau stands as a prime example of fortified medieval design, with its stone walls and strategically placed towers. The château's façade is adorned with intricate details and elegant windows.

As we explored its interior, we were impressed with the intricate detailing of the stonework and the precision of its construction, evidence of skilled craftsmanship of bygone eras. The engineering prowess behind the chateau's defensive features, such as its fortified gates and battlements, reflects the strategic importance it once held in the region. Additionally, the layout of the interior spaces, from the grand halls to the intimate chambers, demonstrates a thoughtful approach to both functionality and aesthetics.

Stepping inside, you'll be greeted by beautifully decorated rooms, each with its own unique charm and character. The highlight is undoubtedly the grand gallery, an exquisite double-height chamber adorned with tapestries and chandeliers. This chateau is one that you could imagine yourself living in. It was warm and inviting and each floor is worth exploring:

Ground Floor: The grand salon and the dining room.

First Floor: The reception hall or grand gallery, Louis X111 bedchamber, hunting chamber and portrait gallery.

Get more Visitation Details: Get more details about your visit here.

Explore Château de Brissac, the
Explore Château de Brissac, the
Explore Château de Brissac, the
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Plan Your Visit to Château de Brissac 

  • How do I get to Château de Brissac?

    From Paris by Train: There is a TGV from Paris Montparnasse to Angers that would require 2 hours 45 minutes. You would have to then take a taxi (there is a bus also) from Angers to Château de Brissac.

    From Angers by Car: Even though the chateau is only 19 kilometers southeast of Angers, due to the number of turns and roundabouts, it is simpler for us to provide you with a link to a Google Map displaying the driving route.

  • Parking near Château de Brissac: Public parking is two blocks away, left turn from the Rue Louis Moron and the lot is located on your right.
  • How to obtain Château de Brissac Tickets: Château de Brissac entrance tickets are currently only available at the entrance to the estate. The ticket booth is also the entrance portal, so it can't be missed. Adult prices currently €11 per adult.
  • Château de Brissac Operating Hours: Currently 10:30AM - 1:00PM, 2:00pm - 5:30PM. Closed on Tuesday.
  • Restaurants near Château de Brissac: A coffee shop/snack bar is directly behind the ticket entrance, and there are several restaurants in the village of Brissac. Here is a link for a Google Search Results list of "restaurants near Château de Brissac"

More Info for Château de Brissac 

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