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Chateaux of the Loire

History on your doorstep

Montreau CastleThe list of chateaux in the Loire valley is vast, with plenty of choice. Below are some of the chateaux which are nearest to Le Chardon.

 

Chateau de Montreuil Bellay – Montreuil Bellay

This feudal chateau was originally built around 1025. The barbican moats and fortified ramparts date from that period. The vaulted underground passages and the kitchen with its central fireplace, are from the Middle Ages. The Lords of the Chateau then built the adjoining elegant constructions.

The new chateau and the collegiate church, the residence of the canons and the baths all date back to the 15th. and 16th century.

The chateau is encircled by emposing ramparts and is one of the most beautiful architechtural and historic areas in the Loire. www.chateau-de-montreuil-bellay.fr

 

Chateau de Bréze

Built between the 11th. and 19th. centuries, this chateau houses and extraordinary underground network of passages. You can discover the ancient stately home, its stables, battlements, drawbridge, silkworm farm, kitchens and immense wine presses. It also has the deepest dry moat in Europe.

At ground level, this Renaissance chateau was completed in the 19th.century. The underground galleries beneath the chateau are a real fortified palace, complete with kitchens, bedrooms, cellars and offer the opportunity to discover the primitive cave dwelling of the Lords of Bréze in the Middle ages.

Montreau CastleThe chateau also has its own wine which it has been producing since the 15th. Century. See more on: www.chateaudebreze.com

 

Chateau de Saumur

Set on a rocky plateau this chateau is visible for miles. Part of the Planatgenet estate in the 12th. century, a fortress at the time of St. Louis, a stately mansion in the 14th. century it went on to become a governor’s residence in 1589. It was inhabited by Phillipe Duplessis-Mornay, a devout protestant and close friend of the future King Henry IV. The new resident added the fortifications which surround the chateau to this day.

When the old regime fell, the chateau first became a prison and then a munitions store. It was purchased by the city of Saumur in 1906 and houses the decorative arts and equestrian museums. Major renovation started in 2001.

 

Chateau de Montsoreau – Montsoreau

This chateau was built overlooking the Loire in the 15th. Century and made famous by Alexanre Dumas. It is part residence and part fortress and was originally a four sided structure with a tower at each corner and surrounded by a deep moat fed from the Loire river. The chateau has undergone extensive restoration. www.chateau-montsoreau.com

 

Chateau de Montgeoffroy

Montreau CastleThis chateau is unique in France and perfectly depicts the life of the Morechal de Contades. Built in 1772, it is still possible to see the furniture and decoration of that time which has been preserved by his decendents, who still reside there. The park and gardens are also open to the public.

 

Chateau de Villandry

Built by Jean Le Breton and completed toward 1536, it was the last of the large chateaux built in the Loire Valley during the Renaissance.

Le Breton had first been Ambassador to Italy where he spent his time studying the Italian Renaissance art of gardening, and in order to build the present chateau he razed the old 12th Century chateau, from which only the old tower was kept. Villandry stayed in the Breton family until 1754 when it became the property of the Marquis of Castallare.

The traditional gardens were destroyed in the 19th century to create an English style park around the chateau. They were rescued by Joachim Carvallo in 1906 – more in the gardens section. www.villandry.com

 

More Chateaux

Within an hours drive you can also visit he chateaux of Chinon, Angers, Brissac Quince, Langais, Ussé, Boumois, Azay le Rideau, Les Reaux, Martigné Briand

 

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