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Tourist attractions Châteaux of the Loire

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  • 1 The Cathedral Quarter Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. de la Cathédrale F - 37000 Tours

    Less frequented by the tourists than the old town of Tours, with private residences, gardens, the Archbishops' Palace, (which houses the Fine Arts Museum) and of course, the Cathedral. The area is full of charm. At the corner of rue Petit-Cupidon and..

  • 2 Cathedral of St Gatien Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    pl. Grégoire-de-Tours F - 37000 Tours

    Started in the middle of the 13C and finished in the 16C, this cathedral illustrates the whole evolution of the Gothic style. The Flamboyant façade is particularly beautiful. Inside there is great purity of line. The chancel, one of the most beautifu..

  • 3 Tours Fine Arts Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    18 pl. François-Sicard F - 37000 Tours

    A huge cedar of Lebanon stands in the main courtyard of the former archbishop's palace (17C-18C). The interior, embellished by Louis XVI woodwork and Tours silk, displays works sourced from castles destroyed by Richelieu and Chanteloup, and important..

  • 4 Musée de Compagnonnage Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    8 r. Nationale F - 37000 Tours

    Occupying the guest quarters (11C) and monks' dormitory (16C) above the chapter house of the abbey of St Julien, this museum traces the history, customs and practices of the town guilds' journeymen. It explains trades (some extinct, some not), tools ..

  • 5 Château Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Montée de l'Emir Abd-el-Kader F - 37400 AMBOISE

    This fine château has no architectural unity of style. It retains imposing remains of its past magnificence. The St. Hubert Chapel, located on the terrace, houses the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci, who died at Amboise in 1519. In the castle itself, succe..

  • 6 Château du Clos-Lucé Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    2 r. du Clos Lucé F - 37400 Amboise

    This summer residence was selected by Charles VIII for his wife, Anne of Brittany. Leonardo da Vinci took up residence here in 1516. On the ground floor are some magnificent frescoes from the master's workshop (to which a protective coating was added..

  • 7 Château de Villandry Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    3 r. Principale F - 37510 Villandry

    Built at the end of the Renaissance, the Château de Villandry has retained the keep of an earlier fortress. Heralding the emergence of Classical architecture, its interior decor is particularly impressive. The chamber with the 13C Mudejar ceiling fro..

  • 8 Old Chinon Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. du Gén.-de-Gaulle F - 37500 Chinon

    You can see the remains of timber-framed Medieval houses while roaming Chinon's alleys, notably in Rue Voltaire or Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Grand Carroi was the town centre in Medieval times. Along the way, you'll see churchs such as St. Étienn..

  • 9 Fortresse Royale de Chinon Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. du Château F - 37500 Chinon

    Built in the 12C, abandoned by the court in the 15C, purchased by Cardinal Richelieu in the 17C, before being progressively abandoned, this fortress was rescued by Mérimée. Sited on a rocky outcrop, it is made up of the fort de Coudray with a 13C kee..

  • 10 Château of Ussé Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    F - 37420 Rigny-Ussé

    Situated on the edge of the forest of Chinon, overlooking the Indre, the château of Ussé inspired Charles Perrault's tale of Sleeping Beauty. It was built on the foundations of an 11C fortress in the 15 and 16C. The interior contains Flemish tapestri..

  • 11 Château de Langeais Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. Pierre-de-Brosse F - 37130 Langeais

    The feudal stronghold of Langeais, with its high walls, round towers, crenellated sentryway and drawbridge, has survived intact through the centuries. Built between 1465 and 1470 by Jean Bourré, Louis XI's treasurer (1423-1483), the castle houses unt..

  • 12 Loches Royal City Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    F - 37600 Loches

    The natural defensive site of Loches has been exploited since at least the 6C. The counts of Anjou and Henry II of England strengthened its defences, prior to King Louis IX transforming it into a royal residence in 1249. A number of imposing medieval..

  • 13 Donjon de Loches Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    7 mail du Donjon F - 37600 Loches

    The keep was built in the 11C by Fulk Nerra to defend the fortified town from the vulnerable south side. It is a solid square construction with two towers, the Ronde and the Martelet. Inside the keep, the floors of the three storeys have vanished, bu..

  • 14 Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. du Maréchal Leclerc F - 41150 Chaumont-sur-Loire

    A precursor of Blois and Chenonceau, this charming château also has a charming 19C landscaped park, fine stables and the popular international garden festival. Inside, the apartments of Catherine de Médicis and Diane de Poitiers recall their rivalry...

  • 15 Trinité Abbey Church Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    F - 41100 Vendôme

    This church combines elements from various periods; decorative openwork of the amazing Flamboyant Gothic west front contrasts with a plain Romanesque 12C bell tower, 80m high. Inside, the transept is an 11C vestige. The vaulting was altered in the 13..

  • 16 Cathedral of Ste Croix Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    pl. Ste-Croix F - 45000 Orléans

    Built from the 13C to the early 16C, the cathedral was partly destroyed in 1586 by the Protestants. In recognition of the town's support, Henry IV undertook its reconstruction in a composite Gothic style. There is a lovely three-porch façade with ros..

  • 17 Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    pl. Ste-Croix F - 45000 Orléans

    The quality and diversity of this collection make it one of the most important in France. Pictures, sculpture and objects recount the history of European art from the 16C to the 20C. Note the series of 18C portraits of Mme de Pompadour by François-Hu..

  • 18 Parc Floral de la Source Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    av. du Parc-Floral F - 45070 Orléans

    This 30 hectare park is a window on horticulture in the Orleans region. It contains a large variety of plants and several animal species including deer and emu. Among the other delights for the eyes, the mirror gives a beautiful view of the castle an..

  • 19 Briare Canal Bridge Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    F - 45250 Briare

    Built at the same time as the Eiffel Tower, this 1890 bridge allows a canal running lateral to the Loire to cross it and join the Briare canal. The metallic structure containing the canal is made up of plates held together by millions of rivets. It i..

  • 20 Musée International de la Chasse Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    pl. du Château F - 45500 Gien

    This interesting museum of hunting is housed in the Château de Gien (rebuilt just before 1500). It offers a full picture of the arts and techniques of hunting: tapestries, ceramics, paintings and also beautifully made hunting weapons. The great hall ..

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