© Joel KLINGER

The Royal

Loire Chateaux

Chenonceau Château

Unique in the world thanks to a French queen

Chateau de Chenonceau: unique architecture for this Loire chateau built on the Cher…
Integrated into the Royal estate by François I, this emblem of the Renaissance is a remarkable example of architecture, whose history has been marked by famous women, such as Catherine de Medici, Diane de Poitiers, Louise Dupin… which is why Chenonceau was know as the ‘Château des Dames’.

Chenonceau by boat…

To discover this historical highlight in Indre-et-Loire from a different point of view, cruises on the Cher are organised daily in summer


Chambord

Emblem of the French Renaissance

A flagship of architecture built from 1519 at the request of François I, a lover of the arts and hunting, the chateau de Chambord was not designed to be a permanent residence, François I spent only a few weeks there. It was an architectural work that the king liked to show to sovereigns and ambassadors as a symbol of his power inscribed in stone. The plan of the chateau and its decorations were designed around a central axis: the famous staircase with double revolutions, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, an ascending spiral which leads to the profusion of chimneys and sculpted capitals, on the terraces.


Chateau de Cheverny

Tintin's château and the secrets of Marlinspike Hall

Home to the same family for over 6 centuries, Cheverny, located at the gates of the Chambord estate, is certainly one of the most richly furnished and decorated chateaux in the Loire Valley.

The precious and refined decoration will delight lovers of furniture and tapestry.

This is a chateau with many facets, a magnificent botanical park, the famous kennel occupied by the estate’s hounds, and the Tintin museum in 3D ‘Les secrets de Moulinsart’, known as Marlinspike Hall in English.


Royal Château of Amboise

Palace of the French kings during the Renaissance

Closely linked to the great History of France, this Touraine chateau overlooks the Loire – listed as World Heritage of Humanity.

The kings Charles VIII and Francis I grew up there and they continued to make improvements and embellishments to create a royal palace. Fascinated by literature, the arts and Italy, François I invited many Italian artists to Amboise: Leonardo da Vinci then became a close friend of the court and made the choice to stay near the royal chateau in the chateau de Clou, now called Le Clos Lucé, between 1516 and 1519.


Le Clos Lucé

Leonardo de Vinci's residence in Amboise

Named ‘First painter, engineer and architect of the King’ by François I, in 1516 Leonardo da Vinci crossed the Alps to stay in Touraine. In his luggage, he brought three of his masterpieces: the Mona Lisa, the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, Saint Jean the Baptist.

In this magnificent building, a stone’s throw from the royal chateau of Amboise, we enter the intimacy of the genius: Leonardo’s room and workshop, the room of Marguerite de Navarre, sister of François I, the oratory of Anne de Bretagne.

Leonardo da Vinci Park and Leonardo’s Garden are veritable open-air museums. By exploring them, you will get to know Leonardo the engineer, visionary, painter and architect. Many of his inventions are present in full-scale models: paddle boat, tank, aerial screw…


Château Gaillard

The King's Gardens

This small Italian palace, surrounded by the first gardens of the French Renaissance, has been rediscovered and opened its doors to the public after 5 years of restoration. No fewer than 5 years, 300 workers, 50 artisans and a dozen crafts from the Loire Valley were necessary to revive this marvellous site.

Château Gaillard took the name in 1500 from ‘Jardins du Roi’. Charles VIII presented his rare plants and exceptional citrus trees to visitors.

A Neapolitan genius, Dom Capello de Mercoliano, a botanical gardener monk considered to be ‘The Greatest Gardener in Europe’, accompanied Charles VIII and fulfilled his dream of an earthly paradise in the valley of Château Gaillard. A veritable experimental open-air laboratory, the ‘Jardins du Roy’ were created. Dom Pacello invented, sculpted vegetation and created an embroidery reminiscent of the 4 rivers of Paradise: water, milk, honey and wine.


Château de Blois

The scene of an assassination

From the 9th century, lords of Blois and kings of France modified the chateau to adapt it to their taste. Around the main courtyard today, there are buildings that bear witness to four great eras of French architecture from the Middle Ages to the 17th century.

The 13th century medieval fortress, The Gothic wing of Louis XII (1498-1500), The Renaissance wing of François I (1515-1518), The classical wing of Gaston d’Orléans (1635-1638)

The Château de Blois was the scene of the assassination of the Duke of Guise, trapped by Henri III after trying to take power from Paris and thus gain control over the king.

Escape Game

Do you love excitement? Travel back to the 16th century and relive the assassination of the Duke of Guise at the royal chateau of Blois! It’s December 1588, King Henry III is preparing for the assassination of the Duke of Guise. He summons a handful of his closest followers to a secret room in the chateau. The king entrusts each of them with part of his plan and asks them to keep the secret sealed under lock and key…

Your mission will be to infiltrate the king’s supporters to try to thwart this scheme, but you only have 60 minutes left…


Château de Chaumont sur Loire

The fortress of Chaumont-sur-Loire was built around the year 1000 to monitor the border between the counties of Blois and Anjou.

In 1465, Louis XI burned and razed the castle which was rebuilt a few years later.

Owned by the Amboise family for 500 years, it was Charles II of Amboise who began the transformation into a chateau in the Renaissance style.

Through the International Garden Festival, Chaumont-sur-Loire is known worldwide. A unique place full of creativity and imagination.

Paradise: the place where the souls of the righteous and the angels reside. A place of innocence and delight, to which all of humanity aspires. Is it not this dream of infinite happiness, which has guided people for millennia?

2019: Jardins de Paradis

Château d'Ussé

Sleeping Beauty's chateau

Erected as a stronghold in the Middle Ages, the Château d’Ussé was transformed over the centuries to become a model of Renaissance architecture and later a refined pleasure residence in the 17th and 18th centuries.

This magical allure inspired Charles Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty… Young and old, come and immerse yourself in the life of a chateau and watch as the fairy tale comes to life before your eyes.


Château de Villandry

Villandry is a Renaissance chateau located within three levels of tiered gardens. It is the last of the great Renaissance chateaux built on the banks of the Loire.

Remarkable for the harmony of its architecture and its gardens, the site is best known for its gardens, spread over 3 levels, which combine aesthetics, diversity and harmony.

From season to season, the Villandry gardens can be discovered through meetings and events: nights of a thousand lights, days in the vegetable patch, Christmas at the Château…