When Tiffauges' heiress married the bloodthirsty Gilles de Rais

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The castle - ©Benoît Bâlon / CC-BY-SA The castle - ©Benoît Bâlon / CC-BY-SA
Tiffauges castle Castle Gilles de Rais

The first lord of Tiffauges was Geoffroy de Thouars. On the foundations of an old Roman castle, Geoffroy III de Thouars raised a fortress in the 12th century, a simple keep surround by a wall flanked by a chapel.

Catherine de Thouars inherited the castle after her marriage in 1420 with the notorious Gilles de Laval... lord of Rais. Sure, did you recognize him? It was Bluebeard! With this marriage, Gilles added to his domains 7 baronies, Tiffauges and Pouzauges included.

I'm going to tell you what happened to Gilles: people noticed young boys strangely disappeared near his castles. An inquiry began, in vain. We must wait until 1440 before Gilles was found guilty of heresy... Arrested, tortured, questioned, he was hung in October 1440 near Nantes.

And yet, Gilles was a "nice lord of good manners", said chronicles. He was Joan of Arc's brave comrade in arms during the war against the English. They even put him in charge of holding the Sainte-Ampoule ("Holy Phial"), when Charles VII was crowned in Reims, on July 17th 1429! He also became a marshal of France. Tiffauges was demolished by Richelieu in the 17th century.

And also!