The Loire Valley has some of the most beautiful Renaissance castles in the world, which are an integral part of the History of France. Discover this unique architectural and artistic heritage.
This week, Wine Tour In France reviewed for you a sample of the most famous French castles and some exceptional ways to discover them: from the Château Chenonceau to Château Chambord through Chateau Cheverny.
The Loire Valley boasts a very large number of historical monuments including its majestic châteaux along the river, which take us on a journey through the major and minor events of the history of France.
A little bit of History
Medieval fortresses, royal châteaux, Renaissance residences, bucolic manors, impressive cathedrals… This artistic miracle that gave birth to what historians call "the French way of life," is in fact the result of a military disaster: the Battle of Agincourt in October of 1415.
The King of France at the time, Charles VII, was defeated and chased from Paris by the English. He took refuge in Touraine on the banks of the Loire because several sturdy fortresses were already standing there. The nobles remained after initially being forced to take refuge here, but later settled for much longer stays. The region was thus named "the Garden of France."
Model of the Renaissance traditions, the Chenonceau Castle is an architectural masterpiece. Known as the "Château des Dames", five women played a part to the interior decoration, making Chenonceau one of the most romantic castles in the Loire valley.
Considered as the largest and most majestic castle of the Loire valley, Chambord Castle was commissioned as a hunting lodge by François I. However he only spent 42 days of his 32-year reign in this royal residence. The 365 chimneys, 440 rooms, 14 staircases and 800 turrets and capitals give an insight of the magnificent period architecture. The main attraction remains the intricate "double revolution" staircase attributed to Leonardo de Vinci.
The Cheverny Castle is the private property of the Vibraye family. During the visit, you could admire its wonderful 17th century furniture. Before leaving, you could go for a stroll through the gardens and find the kennels. The castle is also remarkable because of the inspiration for Hergé's famous Moulinsart castle in the Tintin comics.
To discover more Loire Castels, refer to our previous article “Discover 10 amazing Châteaux of the Loire Valley” here
Since our main concern is finding for you what is best to do, we fetched for you some extraordinary ways to discover the Loire Valley.
Along the Royal River, wander by foot or choose to cycle along the 800 km way. Also, you could prefer to horse ride accompanied by a regional nature specialist.
Tired of the ground? Choose to float! Private cruises on traditional boats are available with complimentary terroir products on board. A more sportive version exists with canoes.
None of these options seduced you? Our last suggestion is to fly! Fly over the wild river and admire nature and castles from a hot-air balloon or an ULM (3 seats tourism aircraft).
This article convinced you? So click here
and get in touch with us to learn more and plan your next journey in the Loire Valley!