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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.

After inheriting the duchy at the age of just 11, Anne of Brittany was forced to marry King Charles VIII of France when she was 14 in order to ease tensions between France and Brittany. When her husband died unexpectedly she was forced to wed the heir to the throne, King Louis XII. A pure Breton in heart and mind, Anne performed her role as Queen of France with dignity. She was reputed to be intelligent, cultivated and an aesthete, and she pursued the works to embellish the château begun by her father, Duke Francis II. She added loggias to the top of the Golden Crown Tower, something which testifies to her taste and ability to think through her ideas.

She died at the age of 37 and saw seven out of her nine children pass away, but Anne of Brittany remains symbolic of the peaceful union between France and Brittany. One of the rooms in the museum is entirely dedicated to her life, presented through an animated film, and also contains a copy of the golden reliquary for her heart. It was the custom in this period for the hearts and entrails of the kings and queens of France to be placed in a different burial place to the rest of the body. This is why her body was buried in the Saint-Denis Basilica, which was the royal burial place, but her heart was placed with her parents’ graves in Nantes in accordance with her last wishes.
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