Chateau de Tregarantec may very well be the quietest castle in France.
Sometimes if I don’t have a certain landmark in mind I will open up my search map very wide in hopes of finding a treasure of a place to stay. This generally goes for countryside spots and road trips. If I stay in a city, I position myself around what I will be doing and seeing. In this search I was looking for interesting places in Brittany as part of a roadtrip I did with my mom before photographing this beautiful wedding. After looking at a few photos online I knew we had to do a slight detour just for the chance to stay and visit this remarkable property.
This airbnb gem was admittedly far off the path. Chasing the daylight, we drove around winding country roads with sights of fields, scattered trees and old farm houses. Both of my grandparents lived on farms and something about them has always been comforting to me. I’ll never forget driving up to this magnificent place, our own secret little castle for the night.
Our home was in the outbuildings [what would’ve been part of servant quarters] fully refurbished with antiques and decor from the castle itself. We were so lucky to have the owners take time to chat with us and take us around the grounds. I mustered up all the french I could so we could have a little bit of a conversation. The biggest treat was that they actually showed us around inside the main building. The owners were part of the family that owned the property and were working to restore the castle, a very expensive task they mentioned. My favorite corner they showed in the attic was were a WWII Soldier hid in the attic. The children’s grandfather was the last person to live in the castle and passed in the 90’s. Regretfully, this part I did not have my camera with me. I kick myself about it often as words could never describe the time capsule we got to glimpse in to.
The very brief history is that the castle dates from 1698 by Francois Rene Jegou du Laz who was an advisor to the parliament of Brittany. The castle was originally composed of two wings arranged at right angles. The entrance is flanked on each side by two pavilions. To the left are a series of different buildings, sheds and stables. On the right is the chapel, built in 1755 and the sacred cornerstone of the property along with the three terraced sprawling gardens.
The pair told us the gardens were quite prestigious at one time complete with an orangerie, a working well and a sprawling farm.
Today the grounds are a bit quieter.
We had the entire place to ourselves to explore and enjoy. The sunset much too early so I woke up just before dawn to spend some time wandering. This is a place I so wish we could’ve stayed longer.
*ghost note* I was very apprehensive about seeing or feeling anything during this stay. There was no cell service and we were miles and miles from the nearest town. We left the light on in the bathroom and my mom claims it turned off in the night on it’s own. Wandering about in the morning by myself I wasn’t really open to seeing anything, I was cautious and careful. Startled only by two deer on one of the back paths. The sense I got was of love, hospitality, accomplishment and happiness. I left feeling better than when I arrived.