Tour the Birthplace of Romanticism to walk through the rooms and halls of the castle where one of France’s best writers spent his childhood.
The Château de Combourg is an inspiring and well-preserved lakeside castle surrounded by the verdant Brittany countryside. The château, which dates back to the 12th century, is recognizable by its cylindrical towers and Disney-like spires. Learn about the life and literary career of Viscount François-René de Chateaubriand in his childhood home.
Note that the iconic writer, credited with the founding works of French Romanticism in the 18th century, spent the early stages of his life here. As such, the castle itself is considered the cradle of the literary genre of Romanticism in France.
Embark on a guided tour of the château in English for a deeper understanding of the writer and the architecture of the structure. Pick up the leaflet that sheds light on intricate details about the castle. The tour takes you through the many rooms adorned with period décor. Snap photos of your family members on the staircase by the front portal; you’ll get a sense of the sheer size of the large castle.
Lay down a blanket for a picnic in the gardens enclosing the castle and appreciate the serenity amid the roses and plants. Wander through the thickets of woodland, which are said to have played a large role in the writing development of Chateaubriand. The large and picturesque lake stands at the southern flank of the château grounds.
The castle owes its impressive current condition to a restoration project in the late 19th century by the grandson of Chateaubriand’s brother. There is a fee to enter the building. Check times of English tours at the castle’s information center.
The Château de Combourg is in the southwestern corner of the town of Combourg. Walk southwest for 5 minutes from the town center to reach the castle, which stands beside the vast Lac Tranquille. Consider visiting nearby sights such as the Église Paroissiale Notre-Dame, the Presbytère Catholic Church and the Town Hall.