In the heart of the medieval city, the Chenaux castle dominates Lake Neuchâtel. Built from 1284, only one of the 3 towers has survived: the current dovecote.
The castle of Chenaux, Castrum de canalibus, takes its name from the wide ditches that protected it. It was built in 1284 by Pierre d'Estavayer and his brother Guillaume on the model of the "Savoyard square".
Bought in 1432 by Humbert the Bastard, the castle is transformed into a fortress with the addition of a peripheral enclosure and two brick towers. To win against the people from Estavayer-le-Lac, Humbert split the large tower on the city side by a powerful defensive castle at the front of the ditch. However, this very well defended castle remaind empty because Humbert died in 1443 and could not complete the interior fittings.
In 1454, after Humbert's death, the castle was bought by Jacques d'Estavayer, who also took over the seigneury. But the castle, adorned with its new fortifications, is a too heavy burden. Jacques d'Estavayer-Chenaux goes into debt with the Fribourg Hospital. In 1475, after the capture of Estavayer by the Confederates, Freiburg seized the castle, which from then on became its residence. The castle, still property of the State of Fribourg, continues to fulfil the same administrative functions as before, the prefects succeeded the bailiffs.
Only the gardens can be visited and to climb the tower of the donjon, you must ask for the key at the prefecture or book a guided tour with the Tourist Office (026 662 66 80).
Opening hours of the prefecture :
- Monday-Friday 8am-11.30am
- Tuesday 2pm-7pm
- Rue du Château (free 2 hours)
- Amarante (unlimited, 5 minutes by foot)