Sitting atop its rocky spur, Vitré castle dominates the surrounding countryside. Built in the 11th century and then rebuilt in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, it is a reminder of the town’s defensive role in the border region of Brittany. The pretty medieval city has lost nothing of its prestige gained during the glorious period of the cloth trade. Elaborate porches and half-timbered residences are among the architectural beauties that still bear witness today to the town’s rich past.
Marquise, oh marquise…
The region of Vitré is closely linked to the history of the Marquise of Sévigné. A famous 17th-century writer, she lived and wrote a lot of her letters just a few kilometres from here, in the splendid Rochers-Sévigné castle. If you love formal French-style gardens, go and take a look. The gardens here were created according to the sketches of the talented Le Nôtre.
Lower the drawbridge!
You can’t talk about Vitré without mentioning its impressive castle. Sorry, castle? Rather a fortress whose mission was to defend the entrance to Brittany. This very fine example of Middle Age military architecture in Brittany is now a town hall and museum and definitely worth the detour!