Courtly (or not so courtly!) love

The Game of Love in a medieval château

Laurence Rigaut

Laurence Rigaut

Heritage and exhibitions manager at the Domaine Départemental de la Roche Jagu

  • Guingamp - Baie de Paimpol An enormous choice of cultural and nature-based activities
  • Your ideal day A leisurely walk by the sea or in the countryside with plenty of things to see and time for a chat
  • Your philosophy Being open to the possibility of discovering new experiences
  • Your favourite spot La Roche aux Oiseaux
  • Your favourite indulgence Sitting on a rock overlooking the sea, enjoying a good book
  • Your passion Capturing the landscape in photos

Pick up a guide and explore the grounds with your children by following Louenn the little salamander who will take you on a 2 km walk around the gardens.

The Vallée du Trieux is home to a vast array of fabulous walking paths.   Our ‘topo-guides’ guidebooks will show you an amazing diversity of landscapes.

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Just a few minutes from Pontrieux, the Petite Cité de Caractère, the Domaine de la Roche Jagu is a true jewel nestling in beautiful green surroundings.  You’ll be able to enjoy a unique experience combining heritage, nature and culture whether you visit with the family, with friends or in a group.  Laurence Rigaut, Manager of Culture at the Domaine de la Roche Jagu, will share all the secrets of this idyllic setting with you.

Castle life explain by Laurence

Courtly (or not so courtly!) love

During the summer, Laurence accompanies groups on guided tours (by reservation).

Our visit begins with a presentation of the exterior of the château.  Laurence advises us to stand back in order to take in just how impressive the structure is, with its 19 chimneys, the imposing granite tower and the ramparts.  We immediately fall under the spell of this beautiful building with its harmonious lines.  But there’s a surprise waiting for us!  Laurence invites us to follow her around the château to appreciate it from another perspective.  As we look upwards, the severe lines of the facade remind us of a sentinel jealously guarding the mouth of the Trieux river.  Laurence reminds us that the past was not always so idyllic, and takes us back in time into the tumultuous history of the château, which lived through the wars of succession and attempts to control navigation on the river.  An enthralling tale!

Leaving the château with its stunning views over the Trieux, we head for the gardens!

Laurence continues our visit, taking a narrow shaded path leading to the medieval gardens.  Four enclosures surrounded by woven fences delight our eyes and tickle our nostrils with plants that are useful, pretty to look at and good to eat:  the medicinal herb garden, the flower garden, the kitchen garden with its wonderful vegetables and finally the ‘seigniorial’ lord of the manor’s garden surrounded by roses, honeysuckle, jasmin and iris with their intoxicating fragrances. “Hidden from view, this garden of earthly pleasures was where amorous lords and ladies met to practise the arts of courtly - or not so courtly! - love.”  Listening to Laurence, we discover the secrets of the art of love during the age of chivalry, with its many precisely defined codes, for, “to charm a lady you must pay her court in the correct manner.”  We can expect to hear some saucy secrets! Before we leave this magic place, Laurence invites us to wander the different spaces, take time for a pause, close our eyes and ... allow our senses to awaken.  A moment of perfect relaxation!

Wherever chance or your imagination takes you

But the visit doesn’t stop there!  This tranquil corner of nature still has some surprises in store along its winding pathways.  Laurence shows us the best way to discover the Domaine de la Roche Jagu, “this amazing garden has so much to offer you, so let chance or your imagination guide you around the landscape.”  Exploring the grounds and the terraces we come across a whole range of different experiences:  woodland areas, orchards, flowering pergolas, flax-retting ponds, camellia walks and views that invite a moment of quiet contemplation.  The palm grove provides an exotic touch, with the soothing murmur of a bubbling spring and the sound of birdsong.  What a lovely spot to stop for a picnic or - why not? -  an afternoon siesta!

The château and its grounds come to life

Other guided visits are available inside the château, with exhibitions showing the daily lives of the chatelains.  The grounds are the setting for a whole range of events guaranteed to delight young and old alike.  Taking place throughout the day and into nightfall you can enjoy theatre, performances, concerts, storytelling, activity workshops and even open-air cinema!

  • Domaine départemental du Château de La Roche-Jagu ©Chimair
  • Domaine de la Roche-Jagu ©Oeil de Paco
  • Parc du Château de la Roche-Jagu ©Cedric Bossard
  • Domaine départemental du Château de la Roche-Jagu ©Cédric Bossard
  • Domaine Départemental du Château de la Roche-Jagu ©Damien Journée
  • Domaine de la Roche-Jagu ©Oeil de Paco
  • Domaine de la Roche-Jagu ©Oeil de Paco
  • Domaine de la Roche-Jagu ©Oeil de Paco
  • Domaine de la Roche-Jagu ©Oeil de Paco
  • Domaine de la Roche-Jagu ©Oeil de Paco