5 Best Loire Valley Castles Reviews
Numerous Loire Valley Castles are scattered around the Garden of France with its fruitful vineyards, lush landscaping and alluring sights. Loire Valley Chateaux were drawing French Royalty, noblemen, poets and artists alike creating the Center of Renaissance Art.
We invite you on a journey to tour 5 best Loire Valley Castles with us:
1. Chateau Chambord is the largest of all Loire Valley castles and is perhaps the most well known. Surprisingly, it was initially built as a hunting residence for King Francois I and presented a rather impractical model with large rooms and windows unable to hold heat. After the death of King Francois I the Chateau remained vacant for almost a century lacking in furnishings and décor. King Louis XIV took great interest in the Palace and initiated a large restoration campaign adding impressive stables and interior. Unfortunately, the colossal Chateau Chambord was rather difficult and expensive to maintain and had been passed from one owner to another throughout French history. When you visit France, make sure to see this lavish architectural structure that holds almost 400 rooms filled with antique furniture, royal hunting museum and a myriad of expositions and displays. Explore the adjacent game reserve that is home to a wild boar, European Deer and many bird species.
2. Amboise Chateau sits proudly in the region of Loire Valleys overlooking the river Loire. It was built in the 11th century as a strategic defensive fort. Amboise Chateau changed owners several times over the course of French history and started truly flourishing only with royal ownership. King Francois I spent many years here as a child since the palace belonged to his mother, Louise of Savoy. Later, in his adulthood Francois I was frequently visited here by his friend Leonardo da Vinci. A small underground passage connected da Vinci’s workplace with the palace itself so he could visit the King at any time. Years later in French history the Amboise Chateau was used as a family residence for King Henry II and Catherine Medici where they were raising their children. The palace suffered a great deal of damage during devastating French revolution and had to be fully restored by King Louis-Philippe in the 19th century. Fantastic panoramic views, gardens and amazing artwork along with the architectural design of the palace present tourists with a great attraction to visit.
3. Chateau de Chaumont was built to replace a previously burnt fortress castle around mid 15th century. This French Chateau possesses a rather interesting architectural design mainly due to a mixture of defensive elements and decorative style of the Renaissance castles. The castle was one of the few lucky ones to escape the damages of the French Revolution and preserved the majority of its splendor. Modern day Chateau de Chaumont holds many summer garden festivals.
4. Azay le Rideau Castle is a relatively small and charming little Chateau situated 150 miles from the center of Paris. The architectural style that was chosen for this lovely castle is a mixture of Italianate and Renaissance French creating this proportionate and beautiful structure that is positioned on the shores of River Indre. This beautiful palace is in fact a defensive fortress having endured multiple battles and even fire causing great damage but later refurbished. Delicately carved furniture along with exquisite interior décor and significant art pieces make Azay le Rideau Castle a must see when you travel France.
5. Chateau de Chenonceau is also called the Ladies Castle mainly due to women having largely contributed to the construction and later development of this Chateau into the magnificent beauty that we are lucky to admire today. This first private French Chateau was initially built by Katherine Briçonnet in 1513, later improved by Catherine de Médicis and finally saved from the ruins of French Revolution by Mrs. Dupin. Picturesque surroundings, lavish architecture and elegant interior place Chateau de Chenon among the most alluring Loire Valley Castles. In addition, the Chateau holds a large art collection created by some of the most admired artists in the world like Rubens, Van Loo and Nattier just to name a few.
Visiting Loire Valley Chateaux is your chance to catch a glimpse of the splendor and luxury of the French history that the beautiful walls of the palaces hold.