Our story begins over 1000 years ago in 1008, when Guéthenoc, son of the Count of Rennes and Viscount of Porhoët, built a stockade on a rocky promontory dominating the valley of the river Oust. His son, Goscelinus, gave his name to the castle and to the community clustering around it: the Josselin we know today.
14th century: Olivier de Clisson's Fortress
In 1370, Olivier de Clisson acquired the castle. The most celebrated son of a powerful noble family from south of Nantes, he was a brilliant military commander and a successful politician. In 1380, on the death of Bertrand Duguesclin, he became Constable of France, the commander in chief of the royal armies. Over nearly forty years, he transformed Josselin into a mighty fortress and sumptuously furnished residence, with a formidable keep and nine high towers, four of which survive today. He died here in 1407 and was laid to rest beside his wife, Marguerite, in the Basilica, Notre Dame du Roncier, 50 metres from the castle gates. Their tomb, a rectangular sarcophagus on which repose their recumbent figures sculpted in white marble, was desecrated during the revolution. It is now located by the south door of the church. On de Clisson's death, the castle passed to Alain VIII of Rohan, the husband of his daughter Béatrice.