Unusual: the Wedding of Peace

Using scenography with sound and light effects, the château has reconstructed a key moment in French history: the wedding of Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany. This marriage unified Brittany with the kingdom of France and sealed the destiny of a woman who was twice to become queen of France.
Back in those days marriage was rarely a question of love, and this one was a purely strategic affair… Territorially strategic! On 6 December 1491, King Charles VIII married the Duchess Anne of Brittany in the Château of Langeais and sealed the unification of Brittany with the kingdom of France. Anne had inherited the duchy of Brittany when her father, Duke Francis II, died when she was only 11. The stakes were suddenly raised for her future marriage, and it was first of all Maximilian, future King of the Germans and Holy Roman Emperor, who seized the opportunity to wed Anne by procuration, arousing the military displeasure of Charles VIII who sent troops into Brittany. Maximilian took no counter-action, abandoning the young duchess who was forced to marry the King of France at the age of 14. Since the Pope had not yet annulled the previous union, the wedding was organised in secret in the Château of Langeais because of its discreet location.
The contract binding the couple was far from romantic: the Duchess of Brittany provided her husband with the duchy and promised to marry his successor if the king died without a male heir. Anne gave birth to six children but sadly none survived. Fate also later took her husband, who died after accidentally hitting his head on a stone lintel. She was obliged to remarry the heir to the throne, Louis XII, who, incidentally, was already married himself but he annulled his first union in order to retain the precious duchy of Brittany. Anne became queen of France for a second time and Brittany became part of French territory! 
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