The Loire Châteaux

 



The Châteaux de La Loire are famous castles (châteaux), dating from the Renaissance and located in and around the center of France, around the cities of Tours, Orleans et Chartres in the departments of the Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Maine et Loire, Eure-et Loir, Indre et Loire, Loire-et-Cher, Indre and Cher.

The group of those castles are called the Châteaux de la Loire. Those magnificent castles dating from the 1420 to 1530 are still standing and a great attraction for tourists from France and all over the world.

Since I had and uncle and cousins living in the city or Tours I remember going to this area sometimes and visiting some of those rather impressive Châteaux.  Let me tell you a little bit about them and how it all started…

Le Château de Chaumont

 Le Val de Loire (the Loire Valley) Home of the Châteaux

Besides being famous for its over châteaux (castles) the Val de Loire (Loire Valley) is called the Cradle of the French language (le Berceau de la langue Française) for having the purest French accent and also the Garden of France (Le Jardin de la France) due to the abundance of vineyards and fruit orchards in this area.

The area that constitute the Châteaux de la Loire is located in what is called the Val de Loire which is 280 KM long (173 miles) and 800 KM2 (497 square miles) which stretch from Sully-sur-Loire in the Loiret departement to Chalonnes-sur-Loire in the Anjou province in the Pays de Loire region which is in the Maine et Loire department.

I know it may sound a bit complicated, but France is divided into regions and provinces and what is called departments within the regions.  There are 95 departments, 38 provinces and 21 regions in France.  withing those regions there are also hundreds of communes and cantons.  I know it’s like layers upon layers!

Le Château de Chenonceau

History of the Châteaux de la Loire

The chateaux of the Val de Loire are part of the UNESCO world heritage of the living cultural landscapes.

The Val de Loire is home to medieval fortresses, royal palaces, Renaissance mansions and Cathedrals.  The impressive construction of the chateaux lasted over two centuries.

The story of the Loire Valley castles really started with the battle of Azincourt in October of 1415 with the defeat of a French king against the English.  For safety reasons, the king had to take refuge in one of the then already built fortresses of the banks of the Loire River.  Thus, the reason why all the departments in this area have the word “loir” in them.

The region also happened to be rich and crossed by a river that was the main route between the Mediterranean, Burgundy, Lyonnais regions and provinces of the great west.

First as refugees, the nobles then expanded their territory during the golden age and started the century’s construction of the castles.

Le château d’Ussé

Le Château de Chambord

The 19 Castles of the Loire Valley

 

 Enjoy The Châteaux de la Loire

14 Comments

  • AdrienneTwitter: adriennesmith40 says:

    Wow, those are some amazing structures Sylviane.

    I’ve never been to a castle before but just seeing the size of some of those just blows my mind. In the video they showed some that weren’t as large but I’m sure they are all so unique in their own way.

    Thanks for sharing this educational post with us Sylviane. I definitely learned some new things today.
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      Yes, those castles are huge. Goes to tell you that those kings had no problem imagining grandiose things for themselves, did they? But sounds like a theme for another of my blogs 🙂

      Thanks for your visit, Adrienne, and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Oliver Tausend says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    we haven’t been to the Western Loire region so far…therefore your post really makes us wanna go there…great photos, lovely video.

    Thanks for sharing

    Amicalement

    Oliver

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Oliver,

      I’m glad I made you want to go visit this area of France. Beautiful place to go explore. Thanks for coming, as always.

  • Shelley Alexander says:

    Hi Sylviane, Your stories and pictures are so amazing and informative! I have never been to Loire Valley but after reading your article and viewing the video I have to add it to my list of places to visit. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Shelley,

      Ahaha! I hear that a lot these days “I have to add this on my list of places to visit”, that really makes this blog alive and with a purpose, I guess. And thanks for your compliment.

      Thank you for your visit and, please, come back 😉

  • Chris Burpee says:

    Thanks Sylviane! I’ve actually spent some time in France, and visited several castles, but none quite as nice as Le Chateau Loire. Your article was very informative and the video brought the whole piece together. Great job!
    Chris

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Chris,

      Welcome to my blog and I am glad if you enjoy this post. There is a new post every Friday, so, please, when you get the chance do come back 🙂

  • Patricia Gozlan says:

    Hello Sylvianne,
    I love les Chateaux de la Loire, as a matter of fact these very images are the ones I have on my vision board , a metaphor where my business is my castle ( just like the Chateaux on your fotos) and the wells outside of the castle are source for inspiration for those who want to quench their thirst for wisdom, and prosperity.
    Thank you for sharing these fotos and description it revived my mission!
    Best wishes;)

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Patricia,

      As a personal development coach, I really like that metaphor of comparing your business to a castle, and I am so glad if this post revived you in any way.

      Thanks for coming by, dear 🙂

  • Carol LynnTwitter: carollynnrivera says:

    Gorgeous… every time I read one of your posts I want to become a tourist again. I love the beautiful architecture. I could spend all day just staring at it with dreamy eyes. The only chateau I’ve seen in real life is Fontainebleau and that was a while ago but I remember how hugely impressive it all was. Nowadays it takes 3 years just for someone to fix a pothole in the street, you wonder how someone so long ago built something so grand! Thanks for the history and the great photos, it’s a lot of fun to read about so many places I would love to visit.
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Ahah, Carol,

      90% of the time you write something it makes me laugh out loud because it rings so true. I laughed out loud when I you said that it takes 3 days to fix a pothole in the street. You’re so funny 🙂 but yes, it’s true!

      Imagine that they were building those gigantic buildings with basically primary tools. I know, amazing!

  • Bob Clarke says:

    Hi Sylviane… what a pleasant surprise to read your post about the castles of France.

    I’ve never been to France, even though I have relatives there and I grandmother was actually born in Pau (sp?) in southern France.

    I’ve always had a thing for castles, ever since childhood. I think I liked the idea of man eating crocks in the moats. haha.

    Anyway, thanks for the information and the cool pictures!

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Bob,

      Nice to see you here!

      It’s amazing how many people here in America have French roots. I certainly know about Pau, but I’ve never been there. Nice to know that your grandmother was French. Did you learn any French, then?

      I’m glad this post about castles spoke to you 🙂

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