The only surviving reminder of Old Brest’s history, the castle was built in the 11th century on a site previously fortified by the Romans. Towers and fortifications were added from the 12th to the 17th century. Richelieu, Colbert, Duquesne and then Vauban starting in 1683 all played a part in fortifying the castle. The outer wall was restored after the last war.
Thanks to its strategic location at the centre of town, on a rocky outcrop, the castle towers over the Penfeld River, the roadstead and its narrow entrance or “goulet”.