Most Famous Former Guest: Louis XIII of France.
Château de Brissac, near Saumur and Angers, is one of the Loire Valley’s, and indeed France’s, best known chateaux and sees many day visitors both French and international. With seven floors it is the country’s tallest, and its sheer scale alone makes it quite a jaw dropping sight.
It is also though an incredibly beautiful building, an elegant masterpiece of architecture that is still thankfully with us after over 400 years of service to the Dukes of Brissac, with the thirteenth Duke of Brissac being your welcoming host today.
The chateau is the Duke and his family’s main home and so, despite the chateau’s vast size (its has a total of 204 rooms) only a number of its bedrooms are available to B&B guests. This makes a stay here feel quite special and even more so when the day visitors disappear in the afternoon and the entire chateau and estate is left to you, your fellow guests and the Duke.
You have three choices for overnight stays, all of them suites, with the classic double suite being the pick of the bunch in terms of opulence and sheer romantic beauty. It can sleep two on its large four poster bed, while the others can sleep four, one, the family suite over one double bed and two singles in one large, 60 m², space and then the two bedroom suite which also has one double bed and two singles but in two separate rooms. Check your options out on the booking page here.
Though the Double Suite is the most lovely they all have plenty of historic charm and space and you will also find them super comfortable and clean. Though you have WiFi and tea and coffee making facilities in your room there is no room service, nor mini-bar or the like, Château de Brissac is happily not a professional hotel in the traditional sense, more a (very!) grand home of a family which warmly opens its doors to visitors.
FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO:
Being less a hotel and more a family home Château de Brissac, though its breakfasts are excellent, doesn’t have a restaurant but you can stroll in to the charming village Brissac-Quincé where you will find a choice of good restaurants, shops and cafes.
The main beauty of the chateau is in just wandering around and admiring the gorgeous building with its maze of lavish rooms and halls with their impressive tapestries, golf leaf ceilings and wonderful antique furniture and art pieces, with a highlight being the chapel room and an especially atmospheric Belle Epoque era theatre room.
As mentioned the chateau sees a lot of day visitors and many spend their time wandering the over 170 acre landscaped grounds by the banks of the Aubance River, a mixture of lawn, parkland, woodland and vineyard, with meandering pathways, seating, ponds, an ancient mausoleum and centuries’ old trees. The visitors leave around 5 o’clock in the evening and then the park is all yours.
The vineyards are a relatively new addition, being constructed in 2002 to celebrate 500 years of the Dukes of Brissac at the chateau, and now produce AOC rosé wine that can be sampled in the chateau wine vaults.
Chateau de Brissac is beside the village of Brissac-Quincé, 20km south of Angers in the Maine-Loire area of France; the western part of the Loire Valley.
As well as Angers you are also close (35km) to the deeply historic city of Saumur, famous chateaux such as Villandry, Serrant and Azay-le-Rideau, and many internationally famous vineyard estates. You can arrange all sorts of tours and excursions from the chateau, by yourself or in the company of your fellow guests.
Tours is just over 100km away as is Le Mans with Nantes being just a little further. The journey by car from Paris should take no more than 2 and a half hours with Bordeaux being around 3 and a half. Angers also has a TGV Gare/railway station with the journey from Paris-Montparnasse taking just 1 hour 30 mins, and from there there are local bus and taxi services available to take you to Brissac-Quincé and the chateau.
A LITTLE HISTORY:
The first chateau on the site was built by the Counts of Anjou way back in the 11th century. The Counts were allied with King Richard (the Lionheart) of England in his 1191-1199 war with King Philip II of France and, having found themselves on the losing side, had the estate seized by King Phillip. He then granted it to his own ally, Guillaume des Roches.
In the 15th century it was owned by Pierre de Brézé, a chief minister to King Charles VII who completely rebuilt the chateau, and his family remained there for around a hundred years before being bought by the newly appointed governor of Anjou and Maine, René de Cossé.
In 1598, during the French Wars of Religion, the chateau was attacked and seized by the Huguenot forces and Henry of Navarre, aka Good King Henry. This marked the start of the Dukes of Brissac’s long association; Charles II de Cossé was a prominent figure in opposition to King Henry but after turning sides and pledging his loyalty to the King he was granted the title of Marshall of France and then later, 1501, the new title of Duke of Brissac with the chateau and the estate of the same name coming with it.
The chateau was heavily damaged during the seizure but Charles, the new Duke rebuilt it in a more contemporary style. It was to see many important figures in its time, and in 1620 was the venue for a famous organized meeting between King Louis XIII and his estranged mother, Marie de Medici, which led to a temporary truce between the two.
During the French Revolution the Dukes not only lost their chateau but were to witness it looted and ransacked. For the next fifty years it remained derelict before the Dukes moved back in 1844 and restored it to its former glory, and there they still remain with the 13th Duke of Brissac being your welcoming host today.
WHAT OTHER GUESTS SAY:
“We absolutely loved our stay at Chateau de Brissac. We sought an authentic Chateau experience; to be in close contact with years of history, to experience a small taste of life as noble folk (just out of curiosity) and to get a genuine feel for the Loire Valley. What we got was more than expected…Everything everywhere oozing history evoked a sensation of this being a seriously special place. It was overwhelming, but in a really, really good way….”
“We bumped into the owner who was convivial and welcoming. What more could you ask for than a warm welcome from the chateau owner?! We wandered around the grounds while mere day visitors made their way home. We felt special….”
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- Château de Brissac, D 55
Pays de la Loire