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When choosing the decor for a film, a seminar, a wedding or a reception, the organiser of the event in question could well describe a setting quite similar to the chateau of Rocher-Portail: stunning architecture stands among traces of the medieval fortress (the moat, the drawbridge, the corner towers) and the essentials of a Renaissance home: symmetry, regularity, light and refined stone work. A few days here, or even a few hours, will fill guests with the harmony that radiates from this property in soothing waves. Meanness and mediocrity have been left at the entrance, the interior and exterior spaces are vast and noble, as are the feelings they inspire.
Le Rocher-Portail chateau, near Fougères and the Mont-Saint-Michel, is one of Brittany's largest leisure chateaus. As a child, I dreamed of becoming the owner one day. I wanted to make a name for this great historical monument and share it with the world. My dream came true in January 2016. In 2017 and for the first time in history, Le Rocher-Portail opened its doors to the public; four hundred years after it was completed for Gilles Ruellan in 1617. Today, with my wife and my children, I devote myself to showing off this gem of Brittany.
The chateau of Rocher-Portail is a stunning Breton chateau of the late Renaissance. It was built on the foundations of an old medieval castle between 1596 and 1617. Its name comes from the fact that it is built on a rock that is visible at the foot of the facade. "Portal" comes from its location on the outskirts of Brittany. The chateau of Rocher-Portail is classified as a Historical Monument. It showcases the power of its builder, Gilles Ruellan, who was the private counsel of King Henry IV and Queen Marie de Medici. The richness of this building comes from its authenticity. The chateau, outbuildings and gardens have undergone almost no changes since their construction in the late 16th century. The Renaissance gallery is exceptional. In one of the rooms, known as Madame Ruellan's room, there is a secret passage.
The chateau was built for Gilles Ruellan in 1617, most probably by the architect of the king, Salomon de Brosse, who was also the architect of the Luxembourg Palace and the Parliament of Brittany. Gilles Ruellan, born of low status in Antrain, made his fortune as a canvas merchant's valet, an expert in "good business" and a collector of taxes on wines for Britain for twenty-four years. He became a very wealthy owner, Baron of the Tiercent and the Rocher-Portail, then Marquis de la Ballue (Bazouge Perouse) and provider of funds to the Court of King Henry IV and Louis XIII. It was in consideration of the work he did to pacify the relations between Brittany and France and by his financial strength that he became the friend and adviser of King Henri IV and his famous finance minister Sully, as well as Louis XIII and the Cardinal of Richelieu. The latter personally announced the death of his friend Gilles Ruellan in writing on 22 March 1627, "the poor Monsieur du Rocher Portail has been let die". Between the Reullan family who stayed until 1653 and the Boutray family, three families have succeeded each other between 1617 and 2016 and each of them have left their mark. The Boutrays owned the property from 1866 to 2016 and had thirty-five servants. Traces of a hierarchical era remain: servant rooms, a butler's table, photographs. Everything has remained intact in memory of 19th century of aristocratic life. Spared from the destruction of wars and revolutions, the chateau of Rocher Portail has not suffered any damage during its four hundred years of history and is a veritable museum of France's history.
It is an open history book that has been well preserved since its construction. One of the few chateaus in France that has preserved its tapestries and furniture from the late 19th century. The servants' quarters are also very well preserved. All spaces are open to the public who, after their visit, can enjoy the tea room located in the historic kitchens.
The city of Fougères is a must. It is listed among the "Cities and Countries of Art and History" because it implements a policy of enhancing and spreading awareness of its heritage. The medieval fortress is the largest in Europe and also the most well preserved. As for the rest, we will send you a confidential list of attractions when we have the pleasure of hosting you.
The reception room is located in the old outbuildings of the chateau and can accommodate up to one hundred and fifty people. It can become a seminar room, exhibition or restaurant. It has a direct access to the the large service quarters' courtyard with a breathtaking view of the chateau and the seigniorial gardens. On request, a partner event agency can organise events that fit the objectives of each company.
Guided tours for groups and schools by appointment from April to October, every day except Saturday. Duration of the visit: 1 hour and a half. At the end of the visit, you have access to the entire estate of Rocher Portail (chapel, Renaissance Gallery, gardener's pavilion and Gardens), roughly two and half hours is needed to explore the property.