Dominated by its 15th-century castle, Ancenis was considered the ‘gateway’ to Brittany.
The towers may not be as high as they once were, but you can still see how the castle was fortified repeatedly between the 10th and 16th centuries. Here, the Edict of Nantes was drawn up in 1598, ending France’s Wars of Religion.
In the town itself are the impressive 19th-century ‘halles’, the covered market that is still one of the best in the region. Then there is the Maison des Vins, where you can taste wines grown in the surrounding vineyards: Muscadet, Gros Plant and easy drinking reds.
OUDON'S MEDIEVAL CASTLE
Set high up on a spike of rock above the Loire, the medieval castle in Oudon was built in the late 14th century on the ruins of an even older fortress. Oudon was also in the Brittany Marches, and also constantly in conflict. Climb up the restored tower, the Tour Jean IV, for superb views over the river.
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