The fertile land with its lush green spread and the serene ambience, globally honoring the medallion of the “Love paradise” of the world, France is known for its noble and royal castles and palaces that were architected beautifully during the early French history.
The Royal men imposed their interest into building these honorable chateaus to mark their presence in the history. However, in the 16th century, the virtue inclined towards Paris as the Kings flamed less time loitering into their respective Kingdoms and landed more frequently in Paris.
The lore valley is yet homing around 80 castles and the time to visit them in bunch is also in hand. Out of these 80, seven of the must see Castles in France are:
The Chambord castle is the most famous due to its detailed grandiosity, rococo interiors and fancy decorations. It was originally built by Francis I in 1519, which served their purpose of hunting ebb. After his demise in 1547, the castle was left abandoned, half built. Later on it was visited by Loius XIV in 1639. He ordered the men to complete it, on the basis of its pre-planning.
This architecture is beautiful both inside-out. Its interior staircase elicited the double-helix staircase, inspired by Leonardo-Da Vinci, alluring the richness of its beauty to many more folds. The garden is the main attraction which gathers and bewitches almost zillions of tourists on the daily basis.
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Tip: The audio tour on the ipad is worth the time, wherein you can zoom in on the paintings and the artifacts that provides the illusion of what the room would have looked like during the 17th and the 18th century, giving ample information, which is worth every Euro.
How to reach: You can hire a 25 minutes taxi or shuttle from the nearby city of Bloise.
Constructed close to the hill, this chateau was built in the 14th century for King Phillip Augustus. When the place was acquired by the local men, then the structure was razed and the fortress was erected. During the French Revolution, this property was seized by the state, which was later on presented by the Emperor Napoleon to his brother, Jérôme Bonaparte in the 19th century. It was in 1906, that the Carvallo family purchased the property and invested a huge amount of money and time, for its alluring beauty today.
The main attraction is its revitalizing garden, which roots water garden, ornamental flower garden, and vegetable garden, together comprising at least 60,000 vegetables and 45,000 bedding plants! The garden is laid down beautifully in various geometric shapes, with the gushing water stream and the ambience perfect for relaxing and loitering around.
How to reach: There’s access of the bus from Tours only on Wednesday and Saturday, else you will have to hire a car.
This phenomenal piece of art in situated in Blois, just like the Chambord. Earlier, it was a fortress which was built in the 9th century and was taken over by Louis XII in 1498. They then transformed it into grotesque style, being the centre of power for centuries.
The most essential portion of the castle was built by François I in 1515, in an invigorating style and also comprises of a famous buttressed circular staircase escalating towards the private sleeping rooms and ballrooms.
This castle holds nothing astonishing from the exterior, with the interior lining up to the detailed room, periodic furniture etc. It though holds a captivating view of the town and river, being one of the most lovely castle sites!
How to reach: From Paris, you can take a two-hour train. From Tours, you can reach your destination within 45 minutes.
This castle is the one which seems to be directly out of a fairy tale. Its architecture is akin to the one which we always witnessed in the fairy tales. It’s one of the most enticing with its mesmerizing abode with the enchanrting interiors, amazing gardens and a perfect view of the Loire River. Seized by the monarchy in the 15th century, it was later on re- architected by King Charles VIII.
It was exquisitely built by its successors, which later on tasted the dust in the second half of the 16th century. It was greatly damaged during the French Revolution and was renovated again in the 19th century.
This place marks history with its winding carriage ramp that descends from the castle into the towns and the terrace gardens splashing green with the oak trees The place also abodes a church that consists of the remains of Leonardo-Da-Vinci. This place is a haven in its own kind.
How to reach: You can take a thirty minute train ride from Tours. The castle is just a 10 minutes’ walk from the station.
5. Clos Luce:
It was built by Hugues d’Amboise in the mid of the 15th century. This beautiful mansion was acquired by Charles VIII in 1490. The castle is famous due to its residence of Leonardo Da Vinci during the period of 1516-1519. This castle holds the exemplification to him today, with graceful revived rooms and its basement filled with some of his famous inventions. The ground is graceful with an abode of a restaurant, mill and several ponds. The garden is a complete package of the lush green ambience, the streams and the walking trails that reflects the illusion that one might picture of Leonardo Da Vinci, loitering in the garden for some illumination and enlightenment.
How to reach: You can take a thirty minutes train tour from Tours. The castle is hardly a 30 minutes’ walk from the station.
6. Azay le Rideau:
This castle was initially built in the 12th century, which was burned into flames by Charles VII. It remained in the ruins until 1518, which was again rebuilt by a local noble. The French King Francis I, however confiscated the chateau and gifted it to one of his knights, pleased by his service in 1535, who then abandoned it half built. The castle was left to surrender its remains to the environment when the new owner in 1820s undertook it under his supervision and built it into the one it is today.
The fact that it is built on a pond along with the long macadamized driveway, leading from the town, depicts an easy picture of the carriage galloping its way into the castle through the esteemed cobblestone driveway to attend the ball.
How to reach: You can take a thirty minute train ride from Tours. The castle is just a 20 minutes’ walk from the station.
7. Chenonceau: It is one of the well-known castles of the Loire Valley. It was constructed in 1514 on the foundations of the old mill. King Francis confiscated it in 1535, due to the unpaid debts. In 1547, Henry II, gifted this piece of art to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers (now one of the most famous women in French history).
Post Henry’s demise, his wife, Catherine de’ Medici (also one of the most famous women in French history) forced Diane out of the castle and began residing in it. In 1577, she stretched out the grand gallery and imprinted the look, like it’s today. After her demise, the castle juggled around various royalty and their mistresses, luckily spared destruction during the French revolution. It was renovated and sold almost dozens of time until it finally became the state property.
Walking up through the forest, there is the presence of the two gardens, which resides this astonishing castle, spanning the river. Its rooms are small yet cozy, from where you can get a perfect view across the river. The gardens are gracefully done and there is even a presence of a little maze on the grounds.
How to reach: The castle is a 35 minutes train ride from Tours.