Chateau Kerguehennec, Bignan
Château de Kerguéhennec, Kerguéhennec, 56500 BIGNAN. Phone: +33 (0)2 97 60 42 66

This stately home was sold in 1703 in Lawrence Hoegger. The new owner was a major shareholder of the Dutch East India Company based in Lorient. The house was in a dilapidated state so the new owner, a rich banker, demolished it and hired the renowned architect Olivier Delourme to design and build a new château. The current castle was built in 1710.

In 1872 the park of 175 hectares was developed. The arboretum contains rare and exotic species from the Americas, Asia, North Africa and Europe. The collections include copper beeches, oaks American sequoias, cypresses of lawson, white cedars and atlas, magnolias, rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas. The General Council of Morbihan bought the estate from the Countess d'Humières, and have installed a contemporary sculpture park.

The Chateau is open to the public in summer, with the ground floor and kitchens displayed as they would have looked when the castle was lived in. The first floor of the castle houses a modern art exhibition. The old outbuildings contain a café which provides snacks and light lunches, and further art exhibitions. In good weather you can take a picnic and enjoy it beside the lake, where you might see herons, grebe, spoonbills, egrets, hobby, hawking dragonflies over the water, buzzards, mallard, kingfishers and if you are lucky, otters in the little river beside the lake.

Opening dates: April to June Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 1400-1800; July & August: daily, 1100-1900; September to October: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 1400-1800. Guided tours in July & August. Access to the grounds and ground floor of the château is free, charge for tours.
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