A 1000-Year Old Town, a beautiful destination

Château-Gontier
This thousand-year-old citadel has preserved its historic heritage, which you can discover as you wind your way round its narrow streets.

  • Château-Gontier

    Château-Gontier

    © Photo : Jean-Charles Druais

  • Château-Gontier

    Château-Gontier

    © Photo : Bruneau

  • Château-Gontier

    Château-Gontier

    © Photo : Bruneau

  • Château-Gontier

    Château-Gontier

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

  • Château-Gontier - Couvent des ursulines

    Château-Gontier - Couvent des ursulines

    © Photo : Mayenne Tourisme

  • Château-Gontier

    Château-Gontier

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

  • Château-Gontier - Crypte de l'église Saint Jean Baptiste

    Château-Gontier - Crypte de l'église Saint Jean Baptiste

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

  • Château-Gontier - Couvent des ursulines

    Château-Gontier - Couvent des ursulines

    © Photo : Mayenne Tourisme

One of the most beautiful destinations in France
Château-Gontier and its surrounding area appear in the guide to the "Plus Beaux Détours de France" (most beautiful destinations in France). Only 100 towns are included in the guide, and all are of medium size, possess outstanding heritage features, demonstrate an exceptionally good quality of life, and provide tourist facilities all year round.
The town is made very special by having as its spine the river Mayenne, which runs right through it.

Religious Buildings
- Ursuline convent
You can take an evocative tour of the Ursuline convent, which is a fine example of classical architecture from the 17th century.
And don’t imagine that nothing ever happens within these ancient walls: since 1999 this has been the home of a superb theatre that's officially designated as a "scène nationale" (a national theatre under the French government’s cultural decentralisation scheme).
- The Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Saint John the Baptist)
This 11th-century Romanesque church dominates Château-Gontier’s upper town. It’s the town’s oldest church and has an impressive crypt with very effective lighting.
- Le Genêteil Chapel
Le Genêteil Chapel  was built in the 12th century and is now a place where contemporary artists hold temporary exhibitions (sculptures, engravings, paintings, etc.)

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere
Château-Gontier has been designated a "Town in Bloom" with the prestigious Four Flowers  award. In 2010 it won the "Fleur d’Or" (Golden Flower) award and the prize for plant diversity. Its numerous gardens and parks are a real treat for everyone who loves trees and flowers. Don't miss the "Jardin du Bout du Monde" (Garden at the End of the World) which overlooks the river Mayenne.

An unusual event
On the opposite bank, every Thursday, you’ll find the Calf Market, one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

Ark Animal Refuge
Not far from Château-Gontier, on the road towards Ménil, you'll find the Ark Animal Refuge (Refuge animalier de l’Arche) , which is unique in Europe. Visitors can see more than 1,500 animals of local and exotic species, and they all have one thing in common.
All of these animals have been injured, abandoned or ill-treated, and everyone was rescued and brought here to be nursed, cured and pampered by the team led by Christian Huchedé, founder of the refuge.
As a result of his work here he is now regarded as an authority in the field of animal protection. Your visit helps to finance this extraordinary place that shows such dedication to animal welfare.

More info

  • South Mayenne tourism
  • Place André Counord
  • 53200 Château-Gontier
  •  +33 (0)2 43 70 42 74
  • E-mail
  • Website

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