Essential Architecture-  Loire Valley Châteaux

Château des ducs de Bretagne


Built by Guy of Thouars, Duke of Brittany


Nantes, Pays de la Loire, France


Built 1207, rebuilt 1466  In use 1207 - 1862


French Renaissance




Palace Fortified château
  Entrance as it appeared between 1890 and 1905
  The old keep
The Château des ducs de Bretagne (English: Castle of the Dukes of Brittany) is a large fortified château located in the city of Nantes in the Loire-Atlantique département of France; it served as the centre of the historical province of Brittany until its separation in 1941. It is located on the right bank of the Loire, which formerly fed its ditches. It was the residence of the Dukes of Brittany between the 13th and 16th centuries, subsequently becoming the Breton residence of the French Monarchy.

The castle has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1862.

Starting in the 1990s, the town of Nantes undertook a massive programme of restoration and repairs to return the site to its former glory as an emblem of the history of Nantes and Brittany. Following 15 years of works and three years of closure to the public, it was reopened on 9 February 2007 and is now a popular tourist attraction.

The restored edifice now includes the new Nantes History Museum, installed in 32 of the castle rooms. The 500 metre round walk on the fortified ramparts provides views not just of the castle buildings and courtyards but also of the town.


Official website (English)
Ministry of Culture database entry for Château des ducs de Bretagne (French)
Ministry of Culture photos