Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chateau de Kerjean

Chateau de Kerjean
29440 Saint-Vougay
Tel. 02 98 69 93 69

A Château and fortress, symbol of the Renaissance in Brittany, the Château of Kerjean unveils to its visitors an eventful history which over the centuries has created a particular atmosphere. Set in a green and peaceful location, a park of 20 hectares surrounds the edifice, perfect for a quiet stroll. ...

Half-fortress, half-Renaissance mansion, the Chateau stands in the midst of a huge park. Towards the mid 16C Louis Barbier inherited a fortune from his uncle, a rich abbot of St-Math¬ieu, and decided to build a castle which would be the finest residence in Leon. In 1710 part of the building burned down, later the castle was sacked. However, the castle, which has belonged to the State since 1911, has since been restored except for the right wing. The buildings are guarded by a moat and ramparts; enter the main courtyard via the old drawbridge.

A main building with two wings and a large portico enclose the main courtyard, which is adorned with a fine Corinthian-columned Renaissance well. The dwelling house contains a museum of Breton art with fine 17C and 18C furnishings: box beds, chests, grain chests.

The kitchen, a vast room with a ceiling 6m/20ft high, has two monumental chimneys facing each other, one of which was used as the bread oven, and a large copperware collection.

On the courtyard’s other side is the chapel. Inside it is decorated with a wooden vault in the shape of a ship's keel and carved beams and purlins. The coach house wing, which once housed the stores, a forge and the servants' quarters, has been restored. There is a slide show on the history of Kerjean. A door leads to an alley supported on a gallery with eight arches, which give a good overall view of the main courtyard and the buildings around it.

The park includes French-style gardens and a charming Renaissance fountain consisting of a niche surrounded by four colonnettes, set into a little stone wall.

The noise of the spring, mingled with the warbling of the birds makes a pleasant background in which to meditate. On leaving, to the left of the cental avenue note the he dovecot, a stone tower 9m/29.5ft in diameter.

Every year, there are temporary exhibitions held, devoted to contemporary art in Spring, and the history of Brittany in summer. During July and August evening theatre performances are on offer.

2010 Exhibition : from the 26/03 to 07/11 : Brittany presents its cinema.

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