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Chateau de Pontivy visitor guide

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Visit Chateau de Pontivy, France

The Chateau de Pontivy is an important castle in the historic centre of Pontivy, a town in the Morbihan department of central Brttany.

Explore the Chateau de Pontivy

France This Way comment: the castle in Pontivy is the highlight of a visit to the town's medieval centre

Although an earlier castle stood in almost the same location, a short distance below the current castle, that had been destroyed by the English in 1342 as part of the War of Succession in Brittany.

The current castle dates from 1485 when it was built by Jean II of Rohan, an important lord and part of the powerful Rohan family: hence it is also known as the Chateau des Rohan. In 1485 the castle was captured by an enemy of the Lords of Rohan called Francois II, Duke of Brittany, but was recaptured by the Rohan in 1490.

A more recent important event in the Chateau de Pontivy took place in 1940, when it was here that the Breton National party declared independence from France (although this National Party party remained active until 1944, this declaration had no legal basis and Brittany remained legally a part of France).

The principal renovation of the Chateau de Pontivy took place from 1955 to 1972, at which time it was opened to the public.

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Even from the time of its construction, Pontivy castle combined architectural elements of a fortress with the need for the castle to be a comfortable dwelling. The accommodation in the castle underwent a substantial transformation in the 18th century to become more comfortable, such as the impressive decorated fireplaces and the imposing staircase.

There is thus a significant difference in styles that you will see when you visit - the one being 'medieval fortress' with heavily defended walls once surrounded by moats; and the other the more decorative later developments.

In 2014 a substantial part of a wall between two of the towers collapsed, leading to a lengthy closure for the castle as renovations were carried out. Although the most important structural elements have now been completed, work is ongoing. Please check for information about visits and opening hours with the office of tourism in Pontivy before travelling far to see the Chateau des Rohan.

Attractions nearby

In the streets around the castle you can explore the historic centre of the town, with an interesting selection of medieval and colombage houses: see the Pontivy guide. To the east of here you can also visit the Chateau de Josselin.

See more castles in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Morbihan guide and the Brittany guide.

See also: 

Map of Chateau de Pontivy and places nearby

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Visit near Chateau de Pontivy with France This Way reviews

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... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Morbihan

The French version of this page is at Chateau de Pontivy (Francais)

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