©Yannick Le Gal


The Cradle of Romanticism

Combourg remains closely linked to François René de Châteaubriand, the most famous of all French Romantic authors, who found his inspiration here, at the end of the 18th century, in this historic, leafy green setting. Follow in the poet’s footsteps, and enjoy the country atmosphere of Tranquille Lake, and the imposing castle.

Discover Combourg

As soon as you arrive, you are bound to admire the 4 massive ‘pepperpot’ towers at the corners of the castle building. The powerful granite fortress, built in the 11th century and remodelled since, was responsible for defending Brittany’s borders. In the Tour du Chat tower you will find Châteaubriand’s childhood bedroom – a great setting for quiet contemplation! There are beautiful views from the castellated parapet walk, looking out over the grounds, the lake and the town.

Successive chapters

Below the castle walls, the town spreads out, spilling over the borders of the former Priory district, which remains unchanged. Its commercial past, based on cloth-weaving and leather-tanning, has left a legacy of half-timbered buildings. The arrival of the railway was to change the face of the town, and now it boasts 16th century residences like the Maison de la Lanterne, elbow-to-elbow with remodelled 19th and 20th century facades.

Did you know

Chateaubriand’s bedroom was in the ‘Tour du Chat’ tower, said to be haunted by a former Lord of the Manor, who regularly appeared as a black cat.

Follow the style!

The spirit of Chateaubriand permeates the town’s stone walls and back streets. From church to lake-shore, lingering near the castle, visitors can follow in the strolling footsteps of the ‘Father of Romanticism’. Finely-worked stone steps, castle grounds, dovecotes – literary references abound, further proof of how literature is inspired by the beauteous harmony of nature and architecture.

Main points of interest

  • The Maison de la Lanterne, a remarkable granite town mansion (16th century)
  • The castle (12th century to 15th century)
  • Les Templiers, a half-timbered house built around a courtyard
  • Le Relais des Princes, a 16th century timber-framed house
  • The Tour du Pendu (‘tower of the hanged man’)
  • The present neo-Gothic church
  • The statue of François-René de Chateaubriand
Official website of tourism in Brittany