A trip down any French river offers unique vistas of the grand stately homes lining the banks. The small mound is the remains of a Viking/Norman motte-and-bailey castle (motte castrale, motte féodale in Old French). The castle dates to the 13th century AD and was constructed by the Bauçay (also spelled as Beauçay or Baussay) family. Commanding a lofty position over cliffs, the castle grounds include a cascading waterfall at its foot. By the 17th century, the French court and nobility had shifted their attention back to Paris, building châteaux such as Versailles and Chantilly whose grandeur outshone even the finest on the Loire. Choosing the finest French châteaux was never going to be an easy task, but we’ve narrowed our choice down to eight gems: Built by King Henri II as a mansion to house his mistress Diane de Poitiers, the château de Chenonceau has one of the loveliest locations of any French stately home. A chateau, because of its size and history, usually has over 1 hectare of land - usually this is much more, even with lower budget examples. The chateau was built in the 18th century and has 96 rooms. From the 12th to 14th centuries the site of the chateau was in the parish of La Motte and was a fortified stronghold, however, it was not until 1406 that the Husson family, the Seigneurs of Montgiroux, named the castle, Chateau de la Motte Husson. The Château de Lourmarin, north of Aix en Provence. https://www.galeriemagazine.com/10-of-the-most-beautiful-chateaux-in-france … Our next choice of the best French châteaux can be found outside Palinges in Burgundy. Victory by King Francis I led to France reclaiming the Duchy of Milan and a peace treaty. There have been many historic owners including Louis XIV, hence the stone carving of the Fleur des Lys on the south defence turret. The foundations are from the original 10th Century wood construction. french-waterways.com (founded 2003) is independent and impartial. The last of the Loire Valley châteaux to be built, the château de Villandry takes on a pure French Neoclassical style with little influence from its Italian-designed neighbours. Open all year ; The Château de la Verdière, in inland Provence, is an impressive … Abandoned up until recently, almost 12,000 donors chipped in to restore this castle, offering “complete immersion into the Middle Ages,” as well as both a piece of history, and a … This exceptional woman was the first to draft a Code of Women’s Rights, with the assistance of her secretary, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who enjoyed a period of serene happiness at Chenonceau that is described in a number of his works. A classic French château built in the style of the southwest. Some lie in ruins while others bask in their original grandeur. The “Château de La Barbée” that you see today is the third to be built on this site. In the château of Chambord, these components are assembled with astonishing virtuosity and unabashed freedom with regard to formal technique, thereby subverting Italian traditions and adapting them to French taste. Her beautiful daughter, Simone Menier, wife of her son George, and staff nurse, administered this hospital, treating the wounded and actively collaborating with doctors and surgeons working on site, until the closure of the establishment. Explore the luxury havens of the Loire aboard a, Our next choice of the best French châteaux can be found outside Palinges in Burgundy. The local French Resistance group a… It was, however, the war against the Swiss Confederation in the early 16. century that turned the tide for the most famous châteaux in France. The second château was built in the 16th century just slightly north-east of the present one. Explore by boat, barge or ship – what are the differences? For our purposes, we’ve taken it to mean ‘stately home’ or a fine residence rather than a castle or palace – so the Cité de Carcassonne and Versailles are not included here. In this blog post, we look at the history of French châteaux and take our pick of the finest in the country. There are around 300 châteaux along the country’s longest river including some of the world’s most iconic. Set on an island created by the Indre River, Azay-le-Rideau is a feast of Renaissance beauty and one of the best examples of Loire Valley châteaux. A far cry from their northern cousins, the châteaux in the Languedoc region are more castle-like in appearance and many lie in ruins. The current château you see today is in the style of the French Première Renaissance and was built in 1863, by Edmond Möller, a local gentleman who inherited the ruined château and land at Bourneau through his mother’s family. Find out how they've lived in a French chateau during the pandemic. The Husson family, seigneurs (lords) of Montgiroux around 1406, gave their name to the château de la Motte-Husson or Husson Castle. The Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers is located in the commune of Les Trois-Moutiers in the French region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. But some regions offer château viewing opportunities at almost every turn. It is most famous, however, for its gardens: some of the prettiest in the Loire Valley with knot gardens, fountains, miles of box hedges and the pièce de resistance, the vegetable garden quite unlike any other. Mottes were made throughout France and Europe from the 10th century until the early 13th century, with many sites carrying … British engineer Dick Strawbridge and his wife Angel buy a rundown French chateau. châteaux originally served a purpose as a fortification in those parts of France in battle. château has several meanings in English and can include castles, stately homes and palaces in its definition. With its rich history of royalty and nobility, France is home to countless châteaux, and the Pays de la Loire region holds many of them. The last of the Loire Valley châteaux to be built, the château de Villandry takes on a pure French Neoclassical style with little influence from its Italian-designed neighbours. By then, victory by Joan of Arc at Orleans over the English had freed the Loire Valley of the English rendering the castles obsolete. In 1519, Château de Chambord was the site of major renovations begun by the sovereign whose aim was to construct glorious castles that reflected his victories in battle. Henri de Husson received the land as concession from Jeanne "La Voyère d'Aron" in 1394. as it meanders its way west to the Atlantic. The most famous French châteaux hail from the banks of the River Loire as it meanders its way west to the Atlantic. Known as the Land of a Thousand and One châteaux, this region of France actually runs up over 1,500. As a result, the design and feel of many French châteaux have a strong Italian influence. "The Chateau Diaries," the unlikely YouTube quarantine hit, has made a star of Stephanie Jarvis and her friends and family. Many form part of Burgundy wine estates and have privileged locations set among vines in the region’s rolling hills and woodlands. the Castle Is Located in a Totally … But it then endures an extended period of neglect; only in 1809 does Napoleon hand it over to Marshal Louis-Alexandre Berthier as a token of recognition for his services. Essential navigation guides, maps and books from publishers Breil, Fluviacarte and Imray. Francis I invited Italian artists and architects, including Leonardo da Vinci, to the Loire Valley to work their magic. The castle acquired its current … Later the term came to designate any seignorial residence and so, generally, a country house of any pretensions. During the Second World War, the Grand Gallery at Chenonceau became the sole point of access to the free zone, and the Menier family helped to smuggle out people fleeing the Nazi tyranny. Château, in France, during the 13th and 14th centuries, a castle, or structure arranged for defense rather than for residence. No Indigo : 0820 20 90 90info@chenonceau.com. From 1914 to 1918, the Château de Chenonceau was converted into a military hospital. The information published here results from more than ten years personal experience cruising the waterways from north to south and east to west. You may wish to buy a large building with little land to make your money go further. To help fund the project, the owners last year began holding paid restoration workshops. It was built as a hunting ‘lodge’ for King Francis I and one of its most famous features is the double helix staircase. France just wouldn’t be France without the thousands of châteaux dotting the landscape across the country. Most corners of France boast a château (or several in many cases) and you’re never far from at least one example of a fine French stately home. With slate turrets and pinnacled roofs, this grand fortress dates back to the 10th century. The conversion of a medieval fortress into one of the region’s finest residences took almost all of the 18th century. Their locations tend to be high up and often sit perched on top of a cliff or hilltop, designed to give Cathars the best look-outs for approaching troops. Victory by King Francis I led to France reclaiming the Duchy of Milan and a peace treaty. The Chateau Diter Is a Magnificent Renaissance Property Situated in the Crossroads of Monaco, Cannes and Saint Tropez, in the Hearth of the French Riviera. https://www.wanderluststorytellers.com/best-chateaux-loire-valley-france In 1535, King Francis I incorporated it into the Crown Estate as part of a debt settlement. The brief rule of Milan gave the French a close-up taste of the Italian Renaissance, in full splendor at the time. With slate turrets and pinnacled roofs, this grand fortress dates back to the 10. century. Louis Gaspard de Sales, Marquis de Gudanes, was one of the wealthiest noblemen of the county of Foix, hence … The bridge over the river was built from 1556 to 1559 to de… One of the best ways to see French châteaux at their best is from the water. Shop Chateau Personalised Gifts with World Wide Delivery Exclusive Homemade Dick & Angel Videos, Events, Life Style and more Although medieval in structure with a central keep, round bastions at the corners, two wings, two further towers, and an enclosing curtain wall, the execution of the building is Renaissance, a style Francois became familiar with during his campaigns in Italy. Perhaps fittingly, Charles Perrault used it as the setting for Sleeping Beauty and Walt Disney drew on it for inspiration for his famous castle. The de Sales family, ancient, wealthy and influential, were well-respected, important members of the Toulouse Parliament, sitting on committees, writing laws under the king's orders, and making judgements. Unfortunately, any records or plans of this original château are lost to history. It is one of the best-known châteaux of the Loire valley.. Up to 20% discounts for private charter or book by cabin luxury cruises, Save 5% to 50% per week on boats and destinations throughout France, Up to 20% off high-quality fleet cruises on the major rivers of France. Here sits this architectural combination of Baroque and Neoclassical style, overlooking English-style gardens complete with lake. French king Francois I (often Francis I in English) commissioned the building of Château de Chambord as a hunting lodge in 1519. The conversion of a medieval fortress into one of the region’s finest residences took almost all of the 18, Located in the heart of southern France, in Auvergne volcano country, is a completely different kind of château. On the ground floor, a highly efficient operating room was equipped with one of the first X-ray machines. Château de Villandry. CHÂTEAU de Chambord 41250 CHAMBORD FRANCE +33 (0)2 54 50 40 00. By then, victory by Joan of Arc at Orleans over the English had freed the Loire Valley of the English rendering the castles obsolete. The château d’Uss é sits on an idyllic spot on the River Indre before it flows into the Loire. The French waterways are known for their tranquility and lovely scenery, and these attributes have…, Off the beaten track - the wines of Provence, Jura, Corsica and Savoie In the…, Think French châteaux and Versailles or the Loire Valley are probably the first candidates to…. Our last choice from the Loire Valley, this fine example of French Neoclassical architecture was built in 1760 as a summer place for Baron Pineau de Viennay. Go Your Own Way – Cruise the canals driving your own hire boat, Sit Back and Relax – captain and crew will treat you like royalty, Watch France Glide Past – close-up, from the comfort of your cabin. 80+ waterways – Key facts, km by km details, maps, navigation guides and PDF downloads. It was, however, the war against the Swiss Confederation in the early 16th century that turned the tide for the most famous châteaux in France. The château d’Uss. Many form part of. Here sits this architectural combination of Baroque and Neoclassical style, overlooking English-style gardens complete with lake. Her daughter-in-law, Louise de Lorraine, wife of King Henry III, became a widow in turn, and moved into the château in her mourning. Chambord is relatively spared from the ravages of the French Revolution; while the château is ransacked and much of the furniture sold off, the monument itself escapes destruction. Welcome to The Chateau, Home of Dick & Angel Strawbridge & Escape to The Chateau! It stands astride the River Cher and one of the château’s wings spans the river as a bridge. Located in the heart of southern France, in Auvergne volcano country, is a completely different kind of château. Château de Fontainebleau was first built in the twelfth century as a hunting lodge for the French kings, but fell into disrepair by the fifteenth century. About the Château de Sceaux. Amongst the festivities she held here, she managed the Kingdom of France from her study, the Green Cabinet. Visits of the château daily in the afternoon July and August.. At other times, check it out. Abandoned during the French Revolution, the fortified château fell into ruin. The largest of those in the Loire Valley, the château de Chambord has 440 rooms and sits on a vast hunting estate. The history of Versailles is inextricably linked with the figure of Louis XIV. 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