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Culture and heritageLE CHÂTEAU DE COMBOURG

Château de Combourg, the place that inspired Chateaubriand

Château de Combourg, nestled among the trees, is where Chateaubriand spent the majority of his childhood. Set off in his footsteps. The special atmosphere that emanates from this sublime and majestic 11th-century castle is bound to charm you.

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF CHATEAUBRIAND

Château de Combourg is nestled in a 25-hectare park. This romantic place will delight couples and children who love castles, tales and legends.

Throughout the visit, Château de Combourg will reveal its secrets and its stories. Previously used for military purposes to protect the neighbouring commune, Dol de Bretagne, the castle was then bought by the family of the writer François-René de Chateaubriand in 1761.

Come and discover the history of the famous writer, Chateaubriand, who spent his childhood and youth at the castle before leaving for Paris. He immortalises the history of the place in his main work: Memoirs from Beyond the Grave.

 

THE LEGEND OF THE BLACK CAT

The young Chateaubriand describes the castle as a cold, dark place devoid of any comfort. It was here that he experienced his first fears and his encounters with ghosts. He slept in a little room on the top floor of the tower known as “cat” tower, far from the rest of the family. At night time, he heard the ghost of a black cat and a wooden leg wandering around the stairs and corridors. It is said that these night terrors forged his character.

The legend of the black cat is evoked during the visit. The story goes that a black cat was buried alive in one of the castle rooms to ward off evil spirits. The cat of Combourg is said to have taken revenge by haunting one of the towers. After the death of Chateaubriand, workers discovered a mummified cat, which is now on display in the young writer’s room. Legends and visions of ghosts marked the youth of Chateaubriand. A captivating moment where you can imagine his tormented childhood.

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The best view of the castle is undoubtedly from Lac Tranquille. A tip: go in the morning for the best light or at sunset.

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