Chateaux

Known throughout the world for their architectural splendor, romantic glamour and fascinating history, the famous châteaux of the Loire Valley were the favorite destinations, vacations, and residencies to European royalty throughout the centuries. Centrally located amongst them all, The Château Loire provides an ideal starting point to visit, explore and learn all about these celebrated castles.

Chateau Chenonceau

Chateau Chenonceau

Built in 1513 and spanning the famous Cher River, Chenonceau's stunning architecture lies in harmony with its spectacular natural surroundings. Enveloped by gardens, forest, and elegant walkways, the château's romantic beauty is forever etched in the Cher's tranquil flowing waters. Owing a large part of its charm and history to the grand dames of France, Chenonceau features five Queen's bedrooms, magnificent furniture, artwork and tapestries.
www.chenonceau.com

 

 

Chateau Chambord

Chateau Chambord

The largest castle in the Loire is famous for its towers, terraces, hunting grounds and grand double spiral staircase thought to be designed by Leonardo da Vinci. Built in 1519 by François I as a hunting lodge, Chambord contains 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases. Originally designed in French renaissance architecture with a blending of medieval and classical Italian structures, its myriad lanterns, chimneys, and dormer windows make Chambord a truly breathtaking sight.
www.chambord.org

Chateau Cheverny

Chateau Cheverny

Cheverny stands out as a château in rare architectural unity of style, having been commenced and completed within a 30-year period. Its classical façade and symmetric design reflect the period of Henri IV and Louis XIII. Built in the 17th century with the famous white stones of the nearby Bourré quarries, the château's exterior facades remain unchanged since its construction. Cheverny is also celebrated for its magnificent hounds. A pack of 70 hunting dogs is kept on the castle grounds.
www.chateau-cheverny.fr

 


Chateau Chaumont

Chateau Chaumont

Majestically overlooking the Loire River, Chaumont was the one-time residence of Catherine de Medici (widow of Henry II), who upon seeking revenge, later forced Diane de Poitiers (Henry II's long-term mistress) to exchange it for Chenonceau. Also home to Jacques-Donatien Le Ray, considered a French "Father of the American Revolution" because of his great admiration of the break-away republic. Today, Chaumont hosts an annual garden festival of international renown.
www.chaumont-sur-loire.com

 

Royale d’Amboise

Royale d'Amboise

Set high above and overlooking the town and the Loire River, Amboise was a favorite childhood residence to many kings of France. Its golden age came during the period of 15th and 16th centuries under Louis XI, Charles VII and Francois I. Conspiracy, underground passageways, towers, and Leonardo da Vinci's tomb are all part of the magic, mystery, and splendor of this enchanting castle.
www.chateau-amboise.com

 


Chateau Blois

Chateau Blois

Overlooking the beautiful Loire River, the Château of Blois was home to several Kings, including Louis XII, François I, Henri III, Henry IV and Gaston d'Orléans. Constructed in the heart of Blois between the 13th and 17th centuries, the château is made up of several asymmetrical connecting buildings and features the grand spiral staircase of Francois I. Joan of Arc was blessed here in 1429 by the Archbishop of Reims before going to Orleans to drive out the English.
www.chateaudeblois.fr

 

Clos Luce

Clos Luce

This red brick and white stone "Manor House," acquired by Charles VIII in 1490, was made famous by Francois I, a great admirer of artist and scholar Leonardo Da Vinci. Francois invited da Vinci to live there, encouraging him to be "free to think, dream and work." Da Vinci resided there from 1516 until his death in 1519. Today the house hosts a museum of da Vinci's famous inventions as well as beautiful grounds and gardens laid out in Renaissance style.
www.vinci-closluce.com