At the crossroads between the roads between Rennes and Saint-Malo, Dinan and Mont-Saint-Michel, Bretagne Romantique (Romantic Brittany) is a land steeped in history, a clever blend of remarkable heritage buildings and unspoilt nature.
Find an accommodation
Combourg, cradle of Romanticism…
When you arrive in Combourg from Rennes the first thing you see is the tall outline of the famous castle and its four towers overlooking the town and the peaceful waters of its lake. It is easy to understand how the illustrious Romantic author, François René de Châteaubriand, found inspiration here in this incredible setting at the end of the 18th century. The Château was built between the 12th and 15th centuries on a hillock beside « Lac Tranquille ». René-Auguste de Chateaubriand, a ship owner from Saint-Malo, bought it in 1761 and moved in a year later with his family, the youngest being the future writer. They lived here for 12 years, a period which Chateaubriand immortalised in his Mémoires. Later abandoned, pillaged and burned, the castle was totally restored in 1875 in Neo-Gothic style under the influence of Viollet-Le-Duc. It still belongs to the author’s descendants and is open to the public all-year-round. The Tour du Chat, so called because legend has it that it is haunted by a baron of the castle who used to change himself into a cat, still contains the author’s childhood bedroom. The crenellated rampart walk has wonderful views of the grounds, lake and the town of Combourg which made its wealth from linen weaving, leather manufacturing and trade. This prosperity is shown in its half-timbered houses. The arrival of the railway changed the face of the town. Houses from different periods stand side by side : from the 16th century ‘Maison de la Lanterne’ to those of the 19th and 20th century. To explore the town from a different angle, a discovery trail follows Châteaubriand’s walks, punctuated with literary references to the different places along the way.
Plenty of tourist attractions to discover
How to get to Combourg and Bécherel ?
Combourg and Bécherel are about 20km apart, either side of the D137 dual-carriageway between Rennes and Saint-Malo. It takes half an hour to drive from Rennes to Combourg (36km) or Bécherel (35km), and a little under 4 hours from Paris. A local TER train runs between Combourg and Rennes.