The Castle of Combourg

History and heritage
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Château de la Ballue
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One of the cradles of Romantism 

The pretty lakeside village of Combourg is dominated by the thick-walled, four-tower boyhood home of Romantic writer Viscount René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848). By turns traveller, politician, writer and poet, Chateaubriand, a key figure of French literature, was a leading light of Romanticism and of the return-to-nature movement ; his novel “René”, about a tragic love affair between a French soldier and a Native American maiden, was an international sensation in the mid-19th century.

The castle, dating back to the 13th and 15th centuries, and the grounds, with ponds, woods, and cattle-strewn meadowland inspire deep melancholy, most perceptible in his masterpiece, “Mémoires d’Outre-Tombe”: “In the woods at Combourg, I became what I am; I first started to feel the first strike of this spleen that I have dragged all my life, of this sadness that made my torment and my felicity».

His tomb, facing the ocean on the islet of the Grand-Bé, at Saint-Malo, tells all the greatness of this illustrious man.

Château de Combourg
Rue des princes
35270 Combourg
Tél : + 33 (0)2 99 73 22 95