Welcome to Fougères, gateway to Brittany, between the Brittany Marches and the Couesnon Valley. The town’s legacy from this once uncomfortable position is its impressive castle, the largest fortress in Europe !
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Fougères 1000 years of history
As soon as you arrive in Fougères, it is impossible to miss the castle whose granite silhouette dominates the town. Stroll through the narrow streets of half-timbered houses huddled around the foot of the castle and stop off for a delicious break at one of the pavement cafés and restaurants in Bourg Vieil, the oldest part of the town.
At the end of the 10th century, a keep was built on the top of a rocky spur surrounded by marshland. Destroyed by the English in the middle of the 12th century, it was immediately replaced by a stone fortress, which was extended and improved over the course of the next 400 years, providing a wonderful history book. Today with its towers, moat, crenellations, machicolations, merlons, curtain walls and wall walks covering an area of 2 hectares the castle looks more or less the same as it did during the 15th century. There are superb views over the ramparts and town gardens from the wall walk. The castle has a special discovery trail for children with riddles and puzzles to solve, a fun way to journey back in time !
Fougères and its splendid gardens :
The nearby Coglais and Vallée du Couesnon…
The Coglais area and Vallée du Couesnon, between Fougères and the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel, have many architectural and natural treasures. The Château du Rocher-Portail, which is reflected in the lake beside it, is a real gem. It is explored by means of a treasure hunt during the day and by unforgettable candlelight tours on summer evenings. Maryse, from Gîtes de France, Ille-et-Vilaine, was lucky enough to visit the château with our property owners in spring 2018 : « The château is very impressive and the guided tour of the interior revealed unexpected hidden treasures. A wonderful visit ! ». The gardens of the Château de la Ballue are a poetic journey from one geometrically laid-out terraced garden to the next through an enchanting world. Stop for a nature break in the Forêt de Villecartier Forest, a magnificent forest of beech and oak trees covering 1,000 hectares. Récrénature, the outdoor adventure park at the heart of the forest, has a variety of activities including a miniature harbour and treetop adventure trails.
How to get to Fougères
Fougères is close to the A84 autoroute between Rennes and Caen. It is 50km from Rennes and 150 km from Caen. A bus service runs between Rennes and Fougères several times a day. Fougères is also 50km from Mont-Saint-Michel.