History & heritage The Domaine du Bois Orcan

A château and medieval gardens mingled with contemporary sculptures

Noyal-sur-Vilaine, Ille et Vilaine

Picture 1 Le Bois Orcan Picture 2 Le Bois Orcan Picture 3 Le Bois Orcan Picture 4 Le Bois Orcan Picture 5 Le Bois Orcan Picture 6 Le Bois Orcan Picture 7 Le Bois Orcan

Le Bois Orcan
Château du Bois Orcan
35530 Noyal-sur-Vilaine

Explore the Château of the Bois Orcan [Orcan woodland] close to Rennes, a joyous architectural celebration of the 15th century built by Julien Thierry, Finance Superintendent to Anne de Bretagne, and contemplate the works of the sculptor Etienne Martin in the grounds.
This baronial hall has been returned to its original splendour following a full restoration. The rooms house an important collection of furniture and medieval objects that bear witness to the way of life in the era of Charles VIII and Anne of Bretagne. Close to the castle moat is the Jardin de la Fontaine de Vie (Garden of the Fountain of Life): this is a garden of medieval proportions created by Alain Richert. The place’s unusually beauty is manifested in its three-part composition – the Cour d’amour (Court of Love), the Fontaine de Vie (Fountain of Life) and the Jardin de curiosités (Garden of Curiosities) – all of them places of olfactory and visual delight. The Bois Orcan also presents the Athanor, a mecca for the work of the internationally renowned French sculptor Etienne Martin (1913-1995). The indoor museum is an opportunity to explore the diversity and richness of this artist’s works whilst the sculpture park, designed in partnership with Etienne Martin himself, showcases his monumental bronze works particularly his famous ‘Demeures’ (Dwellings’).

Languages spoken

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Dutch

Access for the Disabled : yes

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