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The Three Graces from Santo-Domingo under the sun... of Brittany

The castle | / CC-BY-NC-SA
Castle Love story Kerlevenan castle

Tuffeau in Brittany

In Sarzeau, in front of the Morbihan gulf, here's an unexpected castle.

It was raised in tuffeau (a white stone from Anjou they especially brought here in a boat).

Pretty unique: castles here in Brittany are made of granite...

The first seigneury of Kerlevenan dates back to the 12th century, when it belonged to the Gouvello.

On the foundation of the old manor raised by this family, Joseph-Armand, marquis of Gouvello, built a brand new Neoclassic castle between 1782 and 1790.

But do you know that Kerlevenan’s construction was justified by a love story?

Les Trois Grâces

XVIIIe s. The court of Versailles hosted 3 special guests… the 3 gorgeous daughters of a French Royal Navy’s commissioner, coming from Santo-Domingo: ladies de Peyrac.

Pretty ladies, nicknamed Les Trois Grâces ("the Three Graces")!

Marquis de Gouvello, who was here in Versailles, immediately fell in love with one of them, Catherine-Charlotte…

Besides, he married her in 1780. Then our marquis left Versailles and came back in Brittany, in Kerlevenan.

Whoa, what a shock for the poor lady! The old castle scared her, she begged her husband to bring her back in Paris!

That was why the marquis decided to raise the current castle, for his wife's pretty eyes...


But the Revolution came, and the castle wasn't completed at all! The marquis emigrated... the building works was finished, and then Kerlevenan was seized…

You know what? Architect Jouanne owned the estate few weeks later. Not for him! For the countess of Sérent, marquis de Gouvello's relative.

Whoa, what an ingenious subterfuge! The Gouvello could get their precious estate…

But the authority discovered the truth and hindered the continuation of the building work.

De Gouvello finally came back from his exile in 1802 and decided to complete his castle... In 1827, marquis' son asked architect Caristie to finish the inner decoration and restore façades. In 1850, a vast park was laid out.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!