Châteaux in the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley’s most famous landmarks are its châteaux. Here are just a few of the many châteaux that dot the area:
Abbey of Pontlevoy
Built 1,000 years ago, The Abbey of Pontlevoy has been used as a religious center, a school for veterans, a library and a military academy. Much of The Abbey’s past can be revisited today by roaming its halls and grounds. Please reserve in advance for a guided tour.
Due to the large number of refurbishments from the 10th to the 17th centuries, the château at Blois reflects many different periods in French architecture. It gives a good insight into what life was like in Blois over the centuries.
The largest of all the Loire Valley castles, this magnificent Renaissance edifice built by François I is surrounded by an immense park and reflecting pool. The château contains 440 rooms and 84 staircases, along with countless turrets and spires.
Dominating the Loire Valley from its strategic position is the Château of Chaumont. Originally constructed in the 10th century, the château was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries in the traditional French Renaissance style. The chateau is surrounded by a large park and garden and commands stunning views of the Valley.
Built over the River Cher, in the heart of the Loire Valley is Chenonceau, known as the Women’s Castle for the large number of female owners. The château features a magnificent garden as well as Renaissance furniture, a vast ensemble of XVIth and XVIIth century tapestries and a great number of paintings.
Cheverny is the epitome of “French style”. With a classical façade, paneled ceilings and richly decorated interior, touring Cheverny is a must while in the Loire Valley. The lush gardens are extensive and the furnishings are celebrated.
A mélange of Italian architecture, French tapestries, Turkish carpets and Flemish furnishings, the château of Amboise is located in the center of the city of Amboise and was a royal residency during the 15th century. The tomb of Leonardo da Vinci is located in St. Hubert’s Chapel.