Chateau de Josselin
Château de Josselin
The medieval town of Josselin is situated just 25 miles from La Forge the Brittany holiday cottage withheated swimming pool, both situated within the Morbihan region of southern Brittany.
The town's first chapel was built in the forth century and since then various fortifications have been erected as a French stronghold, with work on the first castle starting around 1008, the site was chosen as it has a steep rocky cliff over looking the river Oust with views over the surrounding valley.
Henry ll of England pulled down the original castle in 1175 after defeating the Breton lords in 1154 over a dispute between land rights.
After that the area was always garrisoned but it was not until 1317 that Oliver de Clisson,who became the Lord of Josselin built a new imposing castle with nine towers.
The Castle was a major military stronghold during the 100 year war, which included some famous battles, one of which was in 1351 known as the 'combat of the thirty' where 30 English knights arranged to do battle with 30 Franco Breton knights half way between the English held castle at Ploërmel and the French knights based in Josselin. The French won that battle after killing or capturing the english force.
Since then the castle has been partially demolished, loosing 4 of its 9 towers and the latest work of main construction took place in 1822, since the early 14th century the castle has been held within the Rohan family.
When you enter the town center now your greeted with exposed 16th century timber dwellings, the gargoyled Basilique Notre Dame which was constructed in the 9th century.
The Basilica also contains the tomb of Olivier de Clisson, nicknamed 'The Butcher' for his tendency to chop the arms and legs off English soldiers in battle !
Most years to celebrate Bastille day the town of Josselin holds its medieval festival where several hundred people dress up in costume to celebrate its rich history, which is a great weekend for anyone to enjoy while holidaying in Brittany.