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Fougères is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 and a sub-prefecture of the Ille-et-Vilaine
Ille-et-Vilaine is a department of France, located in the region of Brittany in the northwest of the country.- History :Ille-et-Vilaine is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

 department in Brittany, in north-western France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...



Fougères' major monument is a medieval stronghold
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 built atop a granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 ledge, which was part of the ultimately unsuccessful defence system of the Duchy of Brittany against French aggression, and part of a tripartate with Vitré
Vitré may refer to communes in France:* Vitré, Ille-et-Vilaine* Vitré, Deux-Sèvres...

Fougères also has one of only three belfries in Brittany. Its location serves as the center of the weekend market. The belfry, built 1397, has symbolic importance: funded by local merchants it allowed ordinary people access to timekeeping previously the preserve of the church and nobility. Fougères is a town of Art and History
French towns and lands of Art and History
Since 1985, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication has pursued a policy of preserving and promoting France's heritage. Historic towns and districts have been designated Villes et Pays d'Art et d'Histoire ....

. The town was involved in the rebellion against the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 in 1793. A skirmish near Fougères was the subject of the French painter Julien Le Blant
Julien Le Blant
Julien Le Blant was a French painter of military subjects who specialized in the scenes of the Vendee Wars of 1793–1799 that occurred during the French Revolution...

's (1851–1933) most famous work "Le Bataillon Carré, Affaire de Fougères 1793" which won a Gold Medal in the Exposition Universelle in 1889. This large work is now located in the United States, at the Lee Library on the campus of Brigham Young University.

A sizable section of the town walls survives, stretching from the château in the lower town up the hill to surround the upper town. The citizens in the lower town were outside the fortifications and had to retreat into the fortress in times of trouble.


There used to be an important shoemaking industry which is now almost extinct. There was also an important glass making industry.

During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, salt was heavily taxed and was imported from the Breton regions to the rest of France. Fougères was made a stronghold for "salt smugglers," who would creep along the wall of the city with confiscated salt, to sell in other regions. There is a communal garden in modern Fougères that commemorates this interesting and little known fact.


Inhabitants of Fougères are called Fougerais.

Notable people

Fougères was the birthplace of:
  • Armand de la Rouerie
    Charles Armand Tuffin, marquis de la Rouerie
    Charles Armand Tuffin, marquis de la Rouërie , also known in the United States as "Colonel Armand", was a Breton cavalry officer who served under the American flag during the American War of Independence. He was promoted to brigadier general after the Battle of Yorktown...

     (1751–1793), cavalry officer
  • Georges Franju
    Georges Franju
    -External links:* at Allmovie...

     (1912–1987), filmmaker
  • Juliette Drouet
    Juliette Drouet
    Juliette Drouet, born Julienne Josephine Gauvain was a French actress. She abandoned her career on the stage after becoming the mistress of Victor Hugo, to whom she acted as a secretary and travelling companion...

     (10 April 1806- 1883), actress

Twin towns

Fougères is twinned or "sister cities" with:
  • Ashford
    Ashford, Kent
    Ashford is a town in the borough of Ashford in Kent, England. In 2005 it was voted the fourth best place to live in the United Kingdom. It lies on the Great Stour river, the M20 motorway, and the South Eastern Main Line and High Speed 1 railways. Its agricultural market is one of the most...

    , Kent
    Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

    , United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

  • Bad Münstereifel
    Bad Münstereifel
    Bad Münstereifel is a historical spa town in the district of Euskirchen, Germany, with about 19,000 inhabitants, situated in the far south of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia...

    , Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

  • Ouargaye
    Ouargaye is a city located in the province of Koulpélogo in Burkina Faso. It is the capital of Koulpélogo Province....

    , Burkina Faso
    Burkina Faso
    Burkina Faso – also known by its short-form name Burkina – is a landlocked country in west Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the southwest.Its size is with an estimated...

  • Somoto, Nicaragua
    Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

See also

  • Fougerite
    Fougerite is a recently discovered representative of clay minerals, chemically and structurally related to so-called green rust, hydrotalcite-like minerals and other layered double hydroxides. The formula of the mineral is complex due to structural variabilities, as is for green rust, thus...

    , a new iron-bearing LDH mineral discovered in forested soils near Fougères.

External links