Bluebeard Castle exists!

The castle of Tiffauges may have accumulated superlatives, but it has a nickname that would have gone by without: it is the castle of Bluebeard!

The castle of Tiffauges, the most imposing castle in the Vendée

In fact, to be exact, it would be better to say "the most imposing medieval ruin in the Vendée".

To defend themselves from the formidable barbarians, the Normans, castles were built in places that seemed adequate, that is, preferably at a height and with a clear view! The Tiffauges site met the specifications!
Towards the end of the 11th century, the castle belonged to the powerful viscounts of Thouars, and it seems that it was Geoffroy (Geoffroy de Thouars, of course...) who began the construction of the current castle, in the early 12th century. He obviously did not know that, after many setbacks, and having become a splendid ruin, this castle would be classified as a Historical Monument in 1957.

The castle of Tiffauges, a unique conservatory in Europe.

The castle houses a conservatory of medieval, reconstructed war machines, absolutely unique in Europe, and it was the first site in the world to present live fire demonstrations to the public in 1992. And beware, it's not nothing: Several centuries before the powder artillery, huge throwing machines demolished the walls of castles by throwing projectiles weighing several hundred kilos!

You will discover the medieval crane (with squirrel cage!), the shooting of the tinker on the rampart, the stumbling block, in short, all kinds of very useful machines to crush the one opposite! We've done better since then, but still....!

What about Bluebeard?

Bluebeard is a legend, a tale of which Charles Perrault gave the most famous version, in "Les contes de ma mère l'Oye", in 1687. But he thinks that this story has its source in that of Gilles de Rais. 

His career had started out pretty well. 

He is particularly known for having fought the English, whom he had to drive out of France, and this alongside Joan of Arc. He contributed to the lifting of the siege of Orléans, then was promoted to Marshal of France on the very day Charles VII was crowned in Reims. Not bad, is it?

But where it gets worse is when he retires to his land, to the Château de Tiffauges, for a well-deserved retirement...
He must be bored a little, and, as a result, from banquet parties, he spends everything. He ruins himself, and even sells the estate in small pieces, which doesn't please the family very much! 

And, above all, he brings in women, a lot.
The problem is that they don't leave again, and that ends up making people talk... 

And he adds children, a lot. And they too are disappearing. 

In short, when he is tried, we are talking about several hundred people!
The "serial killer", as we would say today, was finally condemned to be hanged and then burned.
So, his story may have inspired Charles Perrault, but he still leaves a bad image to the castle!

 

Château de Gilles de Rais
85130 Tiffauges
Tél. : 02.51.67.60.00


chateau.tiffauges@vendee.fr

www.chateau-tiffauges.vendee.fr

 


To go further....

Les contes de Perrault - Version intégrale

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Aujourd’hui, petits et grands du monde entier connaissent l’histoire de la Belle au bois dormant ou celle du Petit Chaperon rouge. Tout le monde craint Barbe Bleue et admire l’ingéniosité du Chat botté. C’est à Charles Perrault que l’on doit l’écriture de ces récits fabuleux, que l’on retrouve ici en intégralité, illustrés avec talent par Thomas Tessier.
Vendée et Charente maritime - Explorer la région - 3ed

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Un guide qui couvre l'une des régions les plus touristiques de France : le littoral et l'arrière-pays vendéen et charentais, incluant le Marais Poitevin.
Une sélection des meilleures adresses de la région – des restaurants de fruits de mer aux cafés de village ainsi que les plus beaux hébergements – pour préparer un séjour selon ses envies et le temps/budget disponibles.
Châteaux forts de Vendée: Guide d'histoire et de visite

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Guide pratique et ouvrage de référence, conçu pour une lecture à plusieurs niveaux, ce livre fournit une mine unique d’informations pour tous ceux qui s’intéressent à l’histoire, aux châteaux forts, à la Vendée et à la vie médiévale.
La Vendée chemin faisant

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En passant du Haut-Bocage au littoral, du Marais breton au Marais poitevin, l’auteur nous entraîne sur des sites incontournables mais aussi dans des lieux plus méconnus, voire insolites. Si vous le suivez, vous partirez sur les traces des moines qui ont fait émerger le Marais poitevin, sur les lieux de vie et de mort d’Aliénor d’Aquitaine et de Clemenceau ou encore de Barbe Bleue et de Richelieu. Une balade pleine d’escales, au cœur d’une Vendée verte et bleue. Chemin faisant, cet ouvrage propose un véritable voyage culturel à travers le département. Pour mieux faire comprendre et aimer la Vendée !

Also to be seen in the department

La fontaine de Charzais

placeFontenay-le-Comte - Vendée 
label Remarkable buildings  
Le Moulin de Rairé

Le Moulin de Rairé has been running since 1555, without interruption!

placeSallertaine - Vendée 
label Amazing... isn't it?  

Bluebeard Castle exists!

placeTiffauges - Vendée 
label Tourism, sports and cultural activities Remarkable buildings Archaeology and old stones People from here Legends, stories & Treasures Museums & Collections Castles & Monuments  

Unusual Vendée : the gourmet mill

placeSaint-Révérend - Pays de Saint-Gilles Croix-de-Vie - Vendée 
label Small trades Gastronomy[to eat]  

Discover the regions of the Great West