History of the castle


From the 15th to the 17th centuries


Gilles de Maillé-Brézé obtains permission from King René of Anjou to refortify his lands. The castle moats are dug out partially for the first time, attaining a depth of 10 to 12 metres in some parts.

1560 -1580

Arthus de Maillé- Brézé razes the remnants of the medieval fortress, reconstructing the château in the renaissance style and completing the incredible defensive system layered upon the underground fortress. The U-shaped body of the château dates to this era. The moats are dug out entirely round the castle for the first time and reach depths of up to 18 metres.


Arthus receives the young king of France, Charles IX and his mother Catherine de Medici, at Brézé. The sovereign compliments his host on his “lovely little château”.


The lands of Brézé are elevated to the rank of Marquisate by Louis XIII in favour of Urbain de Maillé Brézé. The first Marquis of Brézé allies his family with that of the Cardinal Richelieu by marrying his sister Nicole du Plessis.


Following the marriage of Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé to Claire Clémence de Maillé-Brézé - and the death of her father Urbain - the Marquisate of Brézé passes into the hands of the powerful Condé family – “Princes of the Blood” and cousins to the kings of France.


The Prince de Condé exchanges Brézé for the Britanny holdings of Thomas Dreux, parliamentary advisor. The Marquisate is reconfirmed for the Dreux – Brézé family 3 years later.