A fortress town close to the Breton border, Fougères rests on a hill overlooking the Nançon river. In the valley below, and still linked to the Haute Ville by a curtain of ancient ramparts, stands the mighty 11th - 15th century Château de Fougères.
A walk around the castle's massive outer fortifications reveals the ambitious scale of its construction, with 13 towers and walls over 10 feet (3 m) thick. Much of the action in Balzac's novel Les Chouans (1829) takes place in and around Fougères and its castle.
During the Middle Ages, salt was heavily taxed and was imported from the Breton regions to the rest of France. Fougères was made a stronghold for "salt smugglers," who would creep along the wall of the city with confiscated salt, to sell in other regions.
Leaving the Middle Ages and jumping right into 2012, we come across a wedding. "Convoi d'anges heureux" means "Transportation for Happy Angels". Not sure what the brooms represent, but perhaps a sweeping of the old and on with the new?
I think we should tag along and attend the "Vin d'honneur".
The town of Fougères still has wonderful old stone buildings, half-timbered houses, and many interesting doorways. Walking through some of the streets made me think I was interrupting a movie set.
Driving back to our hotel in the pouring rain... The weather has not been the best on this trip.