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Loire Valley castles

The 6 most beautiful Loire Valley castles

The Loire Valley, known as “Le Jardin de la France (the garden of France)”, was being the favorite residence for the French kings during the Renaissance, and these buildings are mostly built or substantially reworked during the Renaissance in France. ParisbyM will present you some of the most beautiful Loire Valley castles, in order to help you in case you want to visit castles in the Loire Valley.

Loire Valley castlesAs you can see from the map, there are numerous castles disperse in the region. The main reason might correspond to the hundred years’ war which made the French kings and the English kings oppose against each other. During this very long war, the kings of different nationalities possessed each a bank of the Loire and made the construction of several palaces and military fortresses which later became, particularly during the Renaissance, the majestic Loire Valley castles. In addition, the winegrowing condition and the goat cheese production make this region more charming in terms of the castle culture.

The 6 most beautiful Loire Valley castles

1. Chateau de Chambord

According to most people, the Chateau de Chambord is the castle the most worthiest of being visited. As the hunting reserve of the king François I, its immense park is the biggest closed forest park in Europe, with an area that is similar to the city of Paris. Its facade is also spectacular with its hundreds of amply curved chimneys and chapiters. In addition, you can also attend the horse and raptor shows in the Chateau de Chambord (the raptors may graze your shoulder!).

 

2.Chateau de Chenonceau

The chateau de Chenonceau also named “le château des dames” (the castle of the ladies), spanning the river “le Cher” just like an elegant lady. Its history is marked and embellished by women. Thomas Bohier built the castle in 1513, but it was his wife Katherine Briçonnet who supervised the construction and imposed her style on the castle. Afterwards, Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis also added their personal touch. As a result, you will have the chance to promenade in the marvelous French garden and in the forest, and to cross and walk along the banks of the beautiful le Cher.

3.Chateau royal de Blois

To visit the chateau royal de Blois, is to discover a panorama of the French architecture history. In the center of the inner courtyard, four architectures of four different periods (from the medieval style to the classic style) are available for you to visit. Evidenced by the royal apartments sumptuously furnished and adorned with magnificent decorations, it is also a place which is evocative of the kingship and the daily life of the Court during the Renaissance.

4.Chateau de Cheverny

Domaine de Cheverny was a seigneurial property that had belonged to the same family for six centuries. Unlike many castles in the Loire Valley, Cheverny has always been inhabited and each generation contributes to the maintenance of the castle with passion, to keep the beauty of the place. Therefore, Cheverny presents the most beautiful interior and the most beautiful furniture. It is worth mentioning that, in the comic “The Adventure of Tintin”, Hergé used Cheverny as the model for Marlinspike Hall, you can also visit an exposition dedicated to the comic album.

5.Chateau d’Amboise

The primary reason to visit Chateau d’Amboise is that it offers you a unique view of the panorama of the Loire Valley. With its terraced gardens, you have many different vast and magnificent views of the valley. Another thing to know: Leonard da Vinci who lived in Amboise, is buried in the Chateau d’Amboise. You can also visit the Chateau Clos Lucé which is right next to it, where Leonard da Vinci lived for his last three years.

 

6.Chateau Chaumont-Sur-Loire

The castle of Chaumont-Sur-Loire, standing in the Loire Valley between Amboise and Blois, its construction was for the purpose of protecting Blois from the attacks of the Counts of Anjou. It may not be interesting to visit the castle itself, but its gardens do worth a visit. Each year, the castle hosts the International Garden Festival, from April to November. You will discover not only the style of “French garden”, but also different contemporary artistic landscape creation. Really amazing and surprising to discover!

 

Not only these 6 castles above, ParisbyM have selected for you the 19 most beautiful Loire Valley castles, you can check them out by clicking the marks on the following map!


Have a good trip in the Loire Valley!

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Chateau des ducs de Bretagne Chateau de France

Which chateau de France you should visit

The “Chateau de France”, is the symbol of the splendidness of the French history. From Versailles to Castelnaud, passing by the “Chateaux of the Loire Valley”, the rich and fantastic culture of castle may sometimes make us confused when it comes to visit a chateau de France. So, this article is aiming to help you to have a clear vision of the chateau de France, in order to help you further to choose the best ones to visit.

Castles of the Loire Valley

loire valley bike tours Chateau de France

Map of the Loire Valley

In France, when we talk about the castles, the first thing that really comes to mind is the “Chateaux of the Loire Valley”. During the hundred years war, the French kings and the English kings opposed each other, and each one of them possessed of a bank of the Loire. Theses kings of different nationalities did the construction of several palaces and military fortresses that eventually became, especially during the Renaissance, the magnificent chateau de France.

The Loire Valley is located in the west of the France, about an hour and a half from Paris (one hour and twenty minutes by train, and one hour fifty by car). The region is reputed for its natural landscape, cultural heritage and the castles which are very worth a visit. If you are passionate about the chateau de France, this place cannot be missed. Not only the famous castles like Chambord, Chenonceau, Amboise, Blois, Azay-le-rideau etc., you can also visit the little-famous ones such as Talcy, Menars, Abbaye de la Guiche, Chemery etc. If I write a list of the castles at this point, it will be long and tedious, I would suggest you buy and read a backpacker guide to get a more complete knowing about the Chateaux of the Loire Valley before your visit.

 

Castles in the Paris region

The world-famous chateau de France in the Paris region (in the department Île-de-France) is also unavoidable for a visit, like the Palace of Versailles, the Palace of Fontainebleau, the Vincennes Castle and so on.

The Palace of the Versailles is the most visited one among all the chateau de France, was constructed from 1661 to 1715, by King Louis XIV, in order to appease the rebellion and strengthen his kingship. The palace became since then, a very significant symbol of the greatness of France, which have been attracting people from all over the world to come and look at it with reverence.

Palace of Versallailles, Châteaux de Versailles Chateau de France

The garden of the Palace of Versailles

It is worth mentioning that, the chateau de France in the Paris region usually merges with the stories of French kings. For example, the Vaux le Vicomte Castle, located in the south-east of Paris, its background story is as fantastic as its look. Its builder, Nicolas Fouquet, was the superintendent of finance, imprisoned because of the manipulation of his colleague on the charge of corruption. And his Castle, Vaux le Vicomte, was then sealed and the king Louis XIV seized almost all his property. Also, the king Louis XIV used the Vaux le Vicomte Castle as the model for the design of the Palace of Versailles.

 

The chateau de France in the Paris region are all accessible by public transport, and it takes generally from 20 minutes to less than 1 hour by train. If you don’t have the availability to visit the castles which are outside the Paris region, the castles inside the Paris region are easy to reach and worth to visit, besides, don’t forget to get to know the stories behind these majestic castles.

 

The Castles outside the Paris region

The most famous chateau de France outside the Paris region and the Loire Valley must be the Chateau de Castelnaud, which is in the town of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, in Dordogne department. It is a magnificent medieval fortress, offering you an amazing panorama of the Dordogne valley. Classified as historical monument, this fort is entirely dedicated to the great era of the Middle Ages. The fortress shelters a huge number of weapons and armor. The models, the furniture, the machines of war, as well as the numerous restorations of the fort, make of it a museum of war more real than nature. The castle counts more than 200 000 visitors a year.

 

Other chateau de France that I suggest you to visit are :

chateau outside the paris region Chateau de France

Click the picture to see the map

Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg in the Alsace region (Key words: medieval, furniture, weapon, rocky spur)

Chateau des ducs de Bretagne in Nantes (Key words: Nantes history, Bretagne history, museum, Gothic-Renaissance)

 

Chateau de Valençay in the Commune of Valençay, the Indre department (Key words: French garden, English park, Renaissance, elegance, art)

Peyrepertuse, in the Commune of Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse, the Aude department (Key words: ruined fortress, Cathar castles, rocky spur)

 

 

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