When visiting the magnificent country of France, a lot of love is put into every region of the country. Everything has a distinct appeal, from the cuisine to the environment to the art to the people. Your ordinary lodge might be transformed into a wonderful setting. As a consequence, think about booking a hotel room that is both physically beautiful and historically significant.
Witness kingly living and how Marie Antoinette thrived in equivalent luxury throughout mediaeval ages. Living in castles was an integral part of the French monarchy, which gradually recovered to its original splendour.
Château de Chambord
The chateau boasts various revolutionary design aspects that influenced other French monumental structures in the 16th century CE, and it is still one of France’s most famous and visited monuments. In 1981 CE, UNESCO designated Chateau de Chambord as a World Heritage Site.
The Château de Chambord at Chambord, Centre-Val de Loire, France, is one of the world’s most recognizable châteaux due to its distinctive French Renaissance architecture, which combines typical French medieval forms with classical Renaissance constructions.
The castle lies in the Loire Valley, 15 kilometres northeast of Blois, France.
The Château de Chambord was erected in the 16th century and is the valley’s largest castle. The castle was erected 5 kilometres from the main river and features an outstanding moat that provides for an excellent tourist snapshot while in its presence.
The palace is a Renaissance fantasy. It is thought that Leonardo da Vinci and the works he made across Europe had a great effect on the beauty of this castle.
The castle is open all year and operates on a museum-style basis. I propose that you use one of the audio assistants to gain a comprehensive history of the location as you go through it. You may also take a day trip from Paris to see three Loire Valley castles, the first of which is the Chateau de Chambord.
Château de Chenonceau
It is one of the most well-known Loire Valley châteaux. Chenonceau’s estate is first referenced in writing in the 11th century. Chenonceau Castle is also known as the “Ladies Castle” since various notable ladies have left their imprints on its history. Katherine Briçonnet erected it, and Diane of Poitiers and Catherine de Medici decorated it.
The Château de Chenonceau is a French château near Chenonceaux in the department of Indre-et-Loire, Centre-Val de Loire. It is one of the most well-known châteaux in the Loire Valley.
The Château de Chenonceau is located 30 kilometres east of Tour in the department of Indre-et-Loire. It is linked to the ground by stunning bridges and is surrounded by exquisite gardens to the north and woodlands to the south. It is one of France’s most visited castles due to its architecture, which mixes late-Gothic and early Renaissance styles.
The Grand Gallery at Chenonceau became the only point of entry to the free zone during WWII, and the Menier family participated in sneaking out people fleeing the Nazis. US President Harry Truman visited the château on his first trip to France.
Make a reservation for lunch at l’Orangerie, the restaurant in the castle’s garden, and don’t miss the park’s labyrinth.
Château de Fontainebleau
Château de Fontainebleau is a renowned castle near Paris because of its architecture and history. Fontainebleau Forest was the French Kings’ favourite hunting field, and they built a splendid stronghold to make use of it. This castle hosted all of the royal and imperial families of the time for seven centuries, giving him the renowned nickname “true home of the French Kings.”
This majestic fortification outside of Paris has its beginnings in the 12th century. Its construction spans over eight centuries and incorporates a range of styles (mediaeval, Renaissance, and Classical), and its more than 1,500 rooms and halls are large and stunning!
From its huge cathedrals to its sprawling gardens, museums, and art galleries there is a lot for everyone. Furthermore, the castle offers unusual activities such as carriage and boat trips, as well as balloon flights!
Another benefit for nature lovers is the close proximity to the Fontainebleau Forest.
The gardens’ focal point is the Grand Parterre, Europe’s largest formal garden and King Louis XIV’s crowning architectural achievement at Fontainebleau.
Château de Vincennes
One of the city’s few mediaeval strongholds is Château de Vincennes. Château de Vincennes, a royal residence from the 12th to the 18th centuries, dominates the city’s entry.
It can only be reached by walking across its stone bridges, which date back to the walled castle’s mediaeval age.
Inside, the courtyard expands, and the dungeon rises, reflecting the opulence of the time: a really beautiful sight.
This incredible structure towers over the entrance to Paris and is surrounded by a 7-meter-deep trench. It contains Europe’s tallest dungeon (more than 50 metres!).
You will also be able to climb the 250 stairs to the dungeon’s peak. The venue hosts a range of cultural and artistic events, including mediaeval reenactments and various types of concerts.
For those interested in learning more about the subject, the castle offers self-guided excursions as well as visits led by a knowledgeable professor from the “Centre des Monuments Nationaux” (a government entity that administers historical sites).
Another advantage is that the castle is right near to the Parc Floral and the Bois de Vincennes.
Château de Rambouillet
The Château de Rambouillet is notable for its location in the heart of a lush, game-filled forest. Its previous owners, including the Angennes family, the Toulouse-Penthièvres, Louis XVI, Napoleon I, and even our Presidents of the Republic, gradually transformed it into a leisure house and lavishly furnished it.
The Rambouillet estate also hosts two unique monuments: Queen Marie-Dairy Antoinette’s and the Cottage with Shells. These two houses were built in the 18th century in the heart of 150 hectares of historic gardens known as Remarkable Gardens.
A visit to the Château de Rambouillet is a voyage back in time to see how some of history’s greatest figures lived.
Following the death of Francis, I of France within the castle walls in 1547, the grounds were turned into a notable hunting estate by the Count of Toulouse, Louis XVI, Napoleon I, and, beginning in the late nineteenth century, France’s Presidents.
Gardens and architecture Tourists will be surprised by the French and Anglo-Chinese gardens. The Queen Marie-Dairy Antoinette’s shows the beauty of a time as well as an art de vivre highly influenced by Enlightenment principles. The ‘Chaumière aux Coquillages,’ or Shell Cottage, is one of Europe’s most beautiful examples of interior design.
Château de Blois
The Chateau de Blois is a royal residence located in Blois, Loir-et-Cher.
The Château de Blois was constructed in stages between the 13th and 17th centuries. It is made up of various structures and features a variety of architectural styles.
The chapel of St Calais (consecrated 1508), of which only three bays of the choir survive, and Anne of Brittany’s octagonal garden pavilion are both part of Louis XII’s building work. Pacello da Mercogliano, a Neapolitan, built magnificent gardens for him, which no longer exist.
The north-west wing (1515–1524) of the Château de Blois is the most spectacular portion, erected against the old defences for Francis I.
The elaborate ornamentation of the ashlar-faced, three-story inner and outer elevations is Italianate, with pilasters, entablatures, and other classicizing elements.
The location and the sequence of rooms within, however, compel the uneven arrangement of the components. The vast open polygonal staircase turret that originally occupied its centre is the major feature of the courtyard elevation; it is colossal in design and festive in adornment.
Work on the château ceased during Francis I’s Italian expedition (1524–1525), and it was not restarted until 1635, when Gaston d’Orléans hired François Mansart to reconstruct the south-west wing to establish a rival court to that of his brother. Cardinal Richelieu cut off funding for the project in 1638, leaving it unfinished.
The Château of Blois was neglected during the 18th century, and it was utilised as a barracks from 1788. It was handed to the municipality of Blois in 1810, and it was designated a historic monument in 1840. From 1845 through 1869, extensive repair work was done. It was damaged by German bombardment in 1944 and has subsequently been rebuilt.
Château de Blois is a museum in and of itself, with a rich history and beautiful architecture. A spectacular sound and lighting effects event and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Château de Villandry
There are several locations where you may marvel at the splendour of Renaissance and Medieval architecture. It is a massive countryside home surrounded by world-renowned gardens designed in the classic French Renaissance style.
The Chateau de Villandry is a lovely castle that has been occupied since the Renaissance. The estate is located near Villandry, which is around 100 kilometres from Angers and another 100 kilometres from Le Mans. Previous proprietors of the Chateau include the Marquis de Castellane, renowned as Louis XV’s envoy, and Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother. When Breton arrived at Villandry in 1532, he had a distinct vision for the castle’s design.
Grounds at Chateau de Villandry, it is believed that the gardens in Villandry were designed by Joachim Carvallo. Joachim purchased a lovely English-style manicured park in 1906, which stood in stark contrast to the rest of the property. They occupy 9 hectares of the entire property.
Château de Cheverny
Cheverny is located 15 kilometres southeast of Blois, France. Cheverny is recognised as the national hound hunting centre.
The Marquis de Vibraye established the Equipage de Cheverny in 1850. In the Cheverny forest nowadays, only deer are hunted.
A kennel in the château’s outbuildings houses almost a hundred Anglo-French tricolour beagles. Feeding time is a stunning spectacle that is available to the public. This beautiful 17th-century rural palace, however, is famous for being Hergé’s basis for the Château de Moulins art (Marlinspike Hall in English) in the Adventures of Tintin comic novels. This little castle is furnished with historical furnishings and décor that have been nicely kept. This makes it a highly enjoyable historical site to visit. An English-style park and gardens totalling about 100 hectares surround the château and are open to the public. Paul de Vibraye planted rare tree species, including a number of exquisite examples – lindens, redwoods, and numerous kinds of cedar, between 1820 and 1860.
The Apprentice’s Garden, which opened in 2006, is located between the château and the Orangery, which housed a collection of national importance furnishings during WWII. The garden’s contemporary design was inspired by the blueprints of an antique French garden that originally grew on the same land.
Finally, in 2004, the culinary garden was developed and constructed between the trophy hall and social rooms. It was designed by the Marquise de Vibraye and includes the unusual usage of various coloured fabrics, vegetables, and flowers.
Château de Chaumont
The address is 41150 Chaumont-sur-Loire, France. The Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire is a multifunctional property located on the banks of the Loire River between Blois and Amboise. It was founded in the 10th century and is historically significant and beautifully preserved, but it is now a centre for arts and nature, as well as the site of an annual International Garden Festival. Chaumont Castle, who combines modern art, huge gardens, and fantasy architecture, is well worth a visit, especially between April and October, during the Garden Festival. Food and refreshments are available on-site.
Marie-Charlotte-Constance Say bought the château in 1875 and married Prince Henri-Amédée de Broglie. She furnished its rooms with Renaissance furniture and handled all the work necessary to make the property fit for the grand events she planned to give there. The project was given to architect Paul-Ernest Sanson, who also designed the opulent stables, while architect Marcel Boille was in charge of developing the estate’s model farm.
Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, which was given to the State by Princess of Orleans and Bourbon in 1938, has been the property of the Centre Region since 2007 and a Public Establishment of Cultural Cooperation (EPCC) since January 2008.
Château de Sully-sur-Loire
Henri1V’s First Minister was the Duke of Sully, and together they delivered France 20 years of much-needed stability. The Edict of Nantes created religious tolerance following the Religious Wars.
He was a tree-planting fanatic, and many credit him with popularising the practise of planting poplars beside highways, which many identify with France.
Sully sur Loire, with its high towers and vast ditches, is a great indicator of a mediaeval stronghold. It was built at the end of the 14th century on a position that allowed an uncommon Loire River bridge. The first Duke of Sully was Maximilien de Béthune (1560-1641), who acquired the chateau in 1602, built the Loire embankments to keep the town from flooding, constructed the gardens, and was primarily responsible for its restoration. The exterior is very similar to that of the Château de Chaumont.
It was carried down through his family until 1962, when it was granted to the state.
They have since worked extensively to repair it. It is especially beautiful from the exterior, whether you visit during the day or at night.
Inside the castle, a small collection of tapestries, paintings, sculptures, and French period furniture may be discovered. The Louis XV wing, on the other hand, has 17th-century-style chambers to tour.
The château hosts a classical music event every year as part of the Music Festival De Sully & Du Loiret.
Six centuries later, the Great Hall’s ceiling remains an outstanding construction.
Château de la Loire
The Loire Valley’s famed 16th century châteaux were created as Renaissance palaces where their owners could live the high life and indulge in their favourite pastimes, most notably hunting in the Loire Valley’s forests. The château at Azay-le-Rideau was built in 1518, the château de Chambord in 1519, and the château de Valançay the following year. Twelve years later, construction on the Château de Villandry began. Over the next century, more châteaux were erected or restored, leaving the Loire Valley with an extraordinary collection of Renaissance mansions.
The splendour of the Loire Valley Castles, also known as Loire Valley Chateaux or Chateaux De La Loire, is so organic that it has become an inherent part of the landscape. The impact and omnipresent outlines of the legendary castles are spread over a vast region, prompting UNESCO to label a large length of the Loire River a world historic site. Explore the various nature and rich history of Chateaux de la Loire, from the wide, stunning landscapes to a vital part of French history and the Leonardo Da Vinci link.
Château de Meung-sur-Loire
The Bishops of Orléans had their country house at Château de Meung-sur-Loire, which was located near to the collegial church. It was constructed and demolished multiple times. Manassès de Seignelay created the earliest still-standing sections in the 13th century (bishop from 1207 to 1221). The main rectangular plan structure is still surviving, flanked by three towers, with a fourth collapsed.
During the Hundred Years’ War, the structure was converted into a castle, which Joan of Arc took from the English on June 14, 1429. Building to the north included a tower with drawbridge during the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century.
During the Wars of Religion, the castle was abandoned until the beginning of the 18th century, when Bishop Fleuriau D’Armenonville transformed it into a pleasant dwelling. D’Armenonville reconstructed the rear façade in the Classical style. There are dungeons, a chapel, and other mediaeval torture tools beneath the castle, including one used for water torture.
A wing to the southeast was erected in the middle of the 18th century, with a staircase servicing the upper floors of the wing. The church was constructed in the Neoclassical style in 1784, including sculpture by Delaistre. The two pavilions on the grounds are modern, as is the church.
From the refinement of its drawing rooms to its unnerving underground corridors, you will be astounded when you explore Chambord and the great personalities that have been there.
Château de Gizeux
The Château de Gizeux is a significant mediaeval structure that has been significantly remodelled throughout the years, most notably during the French Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment.
The Château de Gizeux is located in the commune of Gizeux, in the department of Indre-et-Loire, in what was once the province of Anjou. It is one of the Loire’s Châteaux.
The château is located in the Parc naturel regional Loire-Anjou-Touraine. The château is 250 metres long, making it the longest in Touraine angevine. This castle has been a bastion of the Bellay family for 350 years and is designated as a historical monument. It was constructed between the 14th and 18th centuries and has kept its commanding presence and magnificence.
The château has two large painting galleries: the Galerie François Ier (François I), which is decorated with Italian paintings from the early 17th century, and the Grande Galerie des Châteaux, which is decorated with late 17th-century paintings, including panels depicting royal palaces and rural scenes covering more than 400 m2.
A chapel nearby holds the magnificent tombs of the Du Bellays. Ghislaine (known as Cambrai), director of the Académie royale de Peinture et Sculpture in Paris, created the exceptionally rare 17th-century orants out of white marble.
The French Ministry of Culture has designated the Château de Gizeux as a historique monument since 1945.
Discover the history of Gizeux and the families that moulded the castle’s history. Explore its hand-painted galleries, salons, kitchen, stables, and park. Enjoy the peace and quiet of this wonderful location amid an exquisite natural park.
Château de Langeais
The Chateau de Langeais, like many others in the Loire Valley, combines the twin functions of defensive fortifications and pleasant living – you can see the former as you approach the castle with its towering walls and towers – while the interior is decorated more as a nice place to live.
When you first arrive in Langeais, you are struck by the chateau’s absurd location smack dab in the midst of town.
Kids with imaginations will enjoy the operating drawbridge at Chateau de Langeais, which recalls visions of knights and castles.
While the exterior of the structure is sturdy and fortress-like, the inside facade is more Renaissance-influenced, giving it a more regal air. Much is made of the fact that the stronghold was erected in double fast time – between 1465 and 1469 – which, when seen in person, is a magnificent feat.
The majority of the chateau’s restoration work was done by Jacques Siegfried, who installed many beautiful specimens of 15th-century furniture and tapestries to help restore the interior to its former glory.
You have access to the major towers’ projecting parapets, which provide excellent views of the city.
The major attraction is the castle, but the centre is nice and worth visiting while you’re here, and there are various eateries.
Château de Chinon
The Royal Fortress of Chinon has a rich history and played an important role in the fates of both France and England during the Middle Ages. The Counts of Anjou conquered Chinon in 1044 as they stretched their dominion into Touraine. From 1200 to 1202, John built several modifications to the Chinon Fortress. In 1200, he selected Chinon to commemorate his marriage to Isabella of Angouleme, the King of France’s cousin, whom he rescued from suitor Hugh de Lusignan.
Following that, Charles VII retreated to Bourges and the regions south of the Loire, where the Fortress of Chinon served as one of his homes. Charles held his court in Chinon in 1427.
Highlights of the Castle are The Royal Quarters, which are housed in the Middle Castle, are the most spectacular part of Chinon. Prior to 2003, the Royal Quarters had no roof and were just made out of walls. The Royal Quarters were rebuilt after major restorations, with rooms full of interactive displays and audio/video elements describing the history of the castle, as well as a tale about Joan of Arc. Several towers stand across the courtyard from the Royal Quarters in the Middle Castle.
The Clock Tower, which comes from the 14th century, is the castle’s most spectacular tower. It is the entrance to the Middle Castle, through a drawbridge and a portcullis. Coudray Tower is located in Chinon’s Fort Coudray area. Philippe Auguste designed it.
I am a French history enthusiast and blogger. I love to travel around France, exploring its many historical sites and sharing my passion with my readers. I am also an avid photographer, and my blog features many of my stunning photos of France’s beautiful landscape and architecture.