Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Loire Valley (Vallée de la Loire)

  • Château d'Ussé

    The Château d'Ussé was built in the fifteenth century as a stronghold at the edge of the Chinon forest overlooking the Indre Valley. The Chateau’s picturesque aspects inspired a fairy tale classic published by Charles Perrault’s “Sleeping Beauty”, which became 1959 Walt Disney’s animated film.

  • Château de Rochecotte

    The château de Rochecotte is a late 18th century château located in the French village of Saint-Patrice, near Langeais. The chateau originally belonged to the comte de Rochecotte, who was executed during the French Revolution. In 1828 it was sold to Dorothée de Courlande, duchess of Dino, who undertook the reconstruction.

  • Château de Chenonceau

    The Château de Chenonceau is a castle near the small village of Chenonceaux, built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher. The castle was seized by King Francis I for unpaid debts to the crown, and it was his successor, King Henry II who gifted the chateau to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. She had the arched bridge constructed, joining the chateau to its opposite bank, and oversaw the plainting of extensive flowers, vegetable gardens and a variety of fruit trees.

    However, upon the death of Henry II in 1559, his strong willed widow and regent Catherine de' Medici had Diane expelled, and forced Diane to exchange it for Château Chaumont.

    (Château de Chenonceau Image: Courtesy of

  • Tours

    Tours is famous for its original medieval district, called le Vieux Tours.

    Unique to the Old City are its preserved half-timbered buildings and la Place Plumereau, a square with busy pubs and restaurants, whose open-air tables fill the center of the square.

    (Tours Image: Courtesy of

  • Château d'Azay-le-Rideau

    The Château d'Azay-le-Rideau was built on an island in the Indre River, with it’s foundations straight out of the water.

    Giles Berthelot, state treasurer of King Francis I of France and major of Tours began building this already fortified site, that was partly his wife’s inheritance.

  • Château de Villandry

    The Château de Villandry is a castle-palace located in Villandry, known for its beauty and famous Renaissance gardens which include a water garden, ornamental flower gardens, and vegetable gardens. The chateaux is a World Heritage Site.

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