Loire valley castles
There are countries left where life is still peaceful and nobody is beating the bush to attract tourists. The small Loir valley is one of these regions. Let’s explore the Loire Valley and its magnificent castles, immerse yourself in the history of France through the centuries.
Chambord castle : Francis I ordered the construction of this palace in the heart of Sologne. Louis XIV completed the building, the surroundings of the castle were laid out, stables were built and the river was partly channelled to clean up the site. In the company of his court, he stays there and gives the opportunity to large hunting and entertainment parties. The Count of Chambord had the estate administered and undertook major restoration campaigns and then officially opened the castle to the public. After his death in 1883, the estate passed by inheritance to his nephews, the princes of Bourbon Parma.
Saumur castle : After the death in 1480 of King René, the last Duke of Anjou, the castle of Saumur returned to the royal domain. In the 16th century the castle was fortified by the enclosure that still exists, a very innovative design for its time. Spared by the Revolution, Napoleon I wanted to transform it into a state prison. Assigned to the Ministry of War, it became a weapons and ammunition depot in 1814. Classified as a Historic Monument in 1862, Saumur Castle has since undergone restoration work carried out in coordination with the State services.
Ussé castle : A fortified town in the Middle Ages, the location of Château d’Ussé is strategic and over the centuries it became a model of Renaissance architecture, then a refined residence in the 17th and 18th centuries. Elegant architecture, rare furniture, remarkable French-style gardens designed by Le Nôtre himself make it a jewel of world heritage.
Chenonceau castle : François 1st integrated it into the Royal Domain in 1535, then King Henry II offered it to his Favorite, Diane de Poitiers. Then, having become widow of Henry II, Queen Catherine de Médicis established the authority of the young king and ruled the Kingdom of France from Chenonceau. It was converted into a military hospital during the Great War from 1914 to 1918. Park, gardens and ponds make it an unmissable, remarkable and refined castle. An example of French taste.
Saumur castle : After the death in 1480 of King René, the last Duke of Anjou, the castle of Saumurb returned to the royal domain. In the 16th century the castle was fortified by the enclosure that still exists, a very innovative design for its time. Spared by the Revolution, Napoleon I wanted to transform it into a state prison. Assigned to the Ministry of War, it became a weapons and ammunition depot in 1814. Classified as a Historic Monument in 1862, Saumur Castle has since undergone restoration work carried out in coordination with the State services.
Cheverny castle : Opened to the public in 1922, it is also known as the model of Moulinsart Castle, the famous residence of Captain Haddock during the famous adventures of Tintin and Snowy of Hergé. The castle has unique pieces of furniture and remarkably well-preserved interior fittings. The refinement of the interior decoration, the superb colourful gardens, make it an authentic seigneurial property, belonging to the same family for more than six centuries.
Beauregard castle : The Château de Beaurregard was a manor house, built at the end of the 15th century on the lands of Beauregard by Lord François Doulcet. Between 1553 and 1559, important works that made Beauregard one of the great castles of the Loire Valley. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Tillier family modernized the castle, installed running water and heating and undertook a first restoration campaign, both of the buildings and the park. It opened its doors to the public in 1957, and for the past 30 years, buildings, galleries and parks have been renovated.
Explore the magnificent Loire Valley castles
- Chambord castle in the heart of Sologne
- Saumur castle transformed into a palace by the Dukes of Anjou
- Ussé castle and it’s remarkable French-style gardens designed by Le Nôtre
- Chenonceau castle : unmissable, remarkable and refined castle
- Cheverny castle also known as Moulinsart castle
- Beauregard castle built at the end of the 15th century