The Careil castle – a fortified manor house in a Renaissance style

The Careil castle (Fr. Château de Careil) is a fortified house in the commune of Guérande in the Loire-Atlantique département of France.

Constructed from the end of the 14th century, and enlarged in the 15th and 16th centuries, this manor house had originally a defensive function, as witnessed by the crenellated curtain wall which still exists. Under the Reformation, it served as a place of worship for the Protestants established in the Guérande peninsula. For this reason, it was attacked and pillaged on 11th May 1589 by the Catholic League. In 1699, some time after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the manor was seized and sold to a Catholic family. After becoming a restaurant in 1924, the site is currently a visitors’ centre.

It is originally built around a square courtyard and surrounded by a moat. It was then accessed by a drawbridge defended by two towers and a fortified wall to the south. These elements have now disappeared.

To the north, the house is built in a Renaissance style. The original mullioned windows were modified following the tax on doors and windows instituted in 1798. The original keep, which was located at the rear of the stately home, collapsed in the middle of the 19th century for lack of maintenance. Part of the staircase leading to it is still visible in the vestibule of the stately home.

To the west, the military wing, still visible today, originally housed a garrison of forty soldiers. On the ground floor were the stables and a common room. Upstairs was the soldiers’ dormitory. They slept on straw mattresses.

The east wing disappeared in an accidental fire in the 18th century. It included a kitchen from which the fire started, an oven, a chapel and a dovecote. The elements damaged by the fire are not restored and the stones are reused.

There is no trace of these different elements today. After the fire, a smaller kitchen and a chapel were set up in the wing of the old garrison.

Address: 33 Rue du Château Careil, 44350 Guérande, France

Working hours:

Sunday 2–6PM
Monday 2–6PM
Tuesday 2–6PM
Wednesday 2–6PM
Thursday 2–6PM
Friday 2–6PM
Saturday 2–6PM

Individual Rates

Adults (over 12 years old): 6 euros

Children (5 to 12 years old): 5 euros

Groups prices

Adults (over 12 years old): 5 euros

Children (5 to 12 years old): 4.50 euros

GPS coordinates: 47°17′55″N 2°23′55″W

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