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Construction of the Château of the Dukes of Brittany began in the late 15th century with Francis II, the last Duke of Brittany, and was continued by his daughter, Anne of Brittany. The Medieval fortress protects a residential palace with elegant facades combining different styles to create a harmonious overall effect. The château also houses a museum of the history of Nantes that uses contemporary scenography and is open for visits.
Once the grand residence of the Kings of France in Brittany, the Château of the Dukes of Brittany stands proudly in the historic city centre in Nantes. This priceless piece of heritage dating from the 15th century has been fully restored and today welcomes sightseers for unaccompanied visits or a trip to the museum of the history of Nantes.

This magnificent residential palace is the final château on the banks of the Loire before the river meets the ocean. It was partially built by Francis II, the last Duke of Brittany, and the construction work was completed by his daughter, Anne of Brittany, who is the only woman to have twice been Queen of France, following her consecutive marriages to Charles VIII and Louis XII.

On the city side, the château looks like an impenetrable fortress protected by a chemin de ronde covering 500 metres and seven towers connected by sections of curtain wall. This is in striking contrast with the courtyard side, whose Gothic architecture has been built using tuffeau stone and where the earliest signs of the Renaissance style can be seen.


When Brittany was unified with France in 1532, the château in Nantes became the official Brittany residence of French sovereigns, who all made their own modifications to it and left it with a surprising overall architectural style. After serving as a prison and military barracks, it was listed as a Historic Monument in 1862 and then ceded in 1915 to the city of Nantes which, immensely proud of its heritage, began multiple reconstruction and renovation works that lasted until 2007, when the Museum of the History of Nantes was inaugurated within the château’s walls. The museum provides a history of the city right from its origins to the present day. It also recounts the history of the château and contains unique exhibits that tell of Nantes’ role in the slave trade in Europe, daily life in Nantes during the two World Wars, and major local industry. It reveals information on the city’s urban development plans, its port activity and, above all, the future projects of the resolutely forward-thinking Greater Nantes conurbation.

In total, the museum displays over 1,150 exhibits in 32 rooms in a modern, immersive museography. The château-museum has created different types of visits to enable visitors to stroll through the grounds or plunge into the fascinating history of the city and this exceptional building.
Not to be missed

Anne of Brittany’s château

Duchess of Brittany, twice Queen of France, Anne of Brittany is the most iconic figure of the château in Nantes. Her destiny was not only closely linked to that of the château, but it also symbolised the unification of Brittany with France.
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Hidden treasure

The Golden Crown Tower

The Golden Crown Tower constitutes a joint work built by father and daughter that gives the château an elegance rivalled only by the arcades of its loggias.
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Unusual

A prison in a fortress

The château of Nantes has always served as a prison, since its impenetrable walls provided ideal conditions for holding prisoners.
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News from the château
Practical information

CHATEAU DES DUCS DE BRETAGNE - MUSEE D'HISTOIRE DE NANTES

CHÂTEAU DES DUCS DE BRETAGNE - MUSÉE D'HISTOIRE DE NANTES
4 Place Marc Elder
44000, NANTES
France
Fermé en ce moment
+ opening times
La Loire à Vélo"Accueil Vélo"
Things to see in the area
How to get there
A tram runs between the Château of the Dukes of Bretagne and Nantes train station, which is 2 hours by TGV high-speed train from Paris-Montparnasse and 3 hours 15 minutes from Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport. Nantes Atlantique international airport is 20 minutes from the city centre on the shuttle bus, and has flights to and from mulitple European cities.

Your journey

Visits around the Château of Nantes