A thousand years of history
It is at the very beginning of the Middle Ages (11th century) that the island will first, be managed and protected by monks and Benedictines from Redon and Quimperlé. We owe to these ecclesiastics the first defensive elements of the coasts against the pirates, as well as the first developments of the island: priories and chapels, houses and fishing port.
After Brittany became part of the Kingdom of France (1532), François I and then his son, Henri II, were concerned about the island’s security. It must be said that at that time, the rivalry between the kingdoms of France, Spain, England and the Holy Roman Empire reached its peak. It was in this context that in 1573, Charles IX pushed the monks to cede Belle-île to the Gondi family, close to the Medici family, so that the latter could build a veritable fortress capable of opposing any enemy incursions. It is from this period that the economic development of the island dates and more particularly ofThe Palace.
Now, in just a few years (in truth, less than a hundred years), the French Monarchy has evolved greatly. The “House of Bourbon” succeeded that of the Valois. The Gondi are facing great financial difficulties and therefore decide to cede Belle-île … “So that this place, does not fall into the hands of suspicious people”, Louis XIV invites Nicolas Fouquet, his Superintendent of Finance, to acquire it. This will be done in September 1658. However, Nicolas Fouquet, named Marquis of Belle-île, will never have the opportunity to land on his land: he is arrested and imprisoned by the Sun King in 1661, for embezzlement.