Popular Castle Locations in France: 25 Chateaus That Delight with Their Beauty
Castles of France occupy a special place among the world’s attractions. First of all, the Loire Valley, the architecture of the palace complexes, and the beauty of the park areas surrounding them are of interest. French monarchs knew how to surround themselves with luxury and delicacy. The legacy left after them is a golden fund, amazing places that attract tourists.
Some magnificent buildings became residences, others turned into museums, and still, others passed into private hands. The rich history of each castle allows us to trace the main milestones of the past of the entire country. Such beauty cannot do without restoration work so that the appearance does not fade and pleases both residents and guests. They are carried out with extreme caution: you cannot allow the original species to disappear or change unnecessarily.
If you have always dreamed of visiting such a palace, but do not know what to choose from this rich abundance, then stay with us. Now we want to tell you about the best castle locations in France where you can go right now.
25 Best Castles in France
Château De Tarascon
Located on the banks of the Rhone River, Tarascona Castle is in surprisingly good condition. This is one of the finest medieval castles in France and Europe. It was built in the 15th century by the Duke of Anjou and is a very architecturally compact castle surrounded by water.
Château De Vincennes
The magnificent Chateau de Vincennes is a massive manor owned by French kings, built in the 14th and rebuilt in the 17th century. This castle is located near Paris, in the city of Vincennes. Like many other famous French castles, it started as a hunting lodge built for Louis VII in 1150. Its surprisingly spacious building consists of a fortress with four corner towers surrounded by a thick perimeter wall.
Without a doubt, Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most impressive architectural ensembles in Europe. Built in the 8th century, this French castle is located on a rocky island on the northern coast of France, in Normandy. The uniqueness of this place is that this island is located only 600 meters from the continent, it can be easily reached at low tide, as many pilgrims did. At the same time, a castle is an ideal place for defense: at high tide, potential attackers would have to drown.
This beautiful France castle is located at the edge of the Chinon forest overlooking the Indre Valley. The castle was first fortified in the 11th century, by a Norman signor named Gueldin de Saumur, who surrounded the fortress with a palisade. Because of its fabulous Gothic and Renaissance look, Chateau d’Usse is often referred to as the Castle of the Sleeping Beauty.
This famous French chateau is located in the center of the Loire Valley, in the town of Amboise. The manor was built at the end of the 9th century on a spur above the Loire River. Unfortunately, over time, most of the castle interior was destroyed and only a small part of it still survived. The halls and the fortress wall have been restored and now attract crowds of tourists.
Château De Chantilly
The historic Château de Chantilly is one of the most significant aristocratic residences in France during the Old Order. The castle is located in the town of Chantilly, north of Paris. It is surrounded by a magnificent park, which was laid out by the great Le Nôtre.
Château De Chenonceau
This is one of the biggest castles of the Loire Valley. Château de Chenonceau became a testament to the Age of Enlightenment. The unusual interior in this french castle looks amazing with its furniture and decor.
Château De Chambord
Château de Chambord is one of the most magnificent castles in France and the largest one in the Loire Valley. Located in the largest wooded park in Europe, Chambord Castle is a jewel of Renaissance architecture.
Château De Foix
This castle is an important tourist attraction in the region. It was built in the Middle Ages and has been known since 987. In 1034, the castle became the capital of the County of Foix and played an important role in medieval military history. Towers were gradually added to protect the fortress. The two square towers of the castle, built before the 11th century, served as a political and civil prison for 4 centuries, until 1862. Today, the manor is classified as a historical monument.
Palace of Versailles
This one of the most popular French castles is located about 20 km southwest of Paris. When the manor was built in 1624, Versailles was still a small village. Now this area has turned into a wealthy suburb, where tens of thousands of tourists come annually.
Versailles was built as a small hunting estate for King Louis XIII in 1624. Versailles was ahead of its time – it was used as a model in the construction of many other palaces in Europe.
The Château De Vaux-Le-Vicomte
This is a classic French royal palace of the 17th century. Its interior amazes with its luxury – gilding, an abundance of works of art, beautiful frescoes on antique themes. The manor is surrounded by a moat filled with water and a huge park with canals and fountains.
Château De Fontainebleau
This is the first royal residence in Northern Europe, devoid of any defensive function. Many rulers of France have lived here such as Philip IV, Francis II of Valois and Louis XIII. Tourists from all over the world come to see this important and beautiful French chateau.
Château De Malmaison
Our list of castles in France cannot but include this private residence of Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine Beauharnais. She acquired it on April 21, 1799 (price up to 300 thousand francs). Napoleon loved to come here to relax or work.
Château De Rambouillet
This castle has been the property of French monarchs since the 15th century. The park is large, uniting several gardens created at different times: French – with parterres and a water channel, English – with a winding river, picturesque areas, and romantic pavilions.
Château De Breteuil
Erected at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century, it is located 35 kilometers from Paris in the Chevreuse Valley. This majestic castle was named a historical monument in 1973. Nowadays, excursions are often held here and everyone has the opportunity to touch the past.
Château De Champs-Sur-Marne
This is one of the most magnificent examples of classical architecture from the time of Louis XIV. Built between 1699 and 1706 the Chateau-sur-Marne is a true example of a country house type where the monarch and the aristocracy could rest from the rigors of palace etiquette.
Le Château De Maisons-Laffitte
Harmony, symmetry, and grandeur of forms made this castle an architectural masterpiece of its time. The is the first large “open” manner with a central lobby and modern staircase, combining all the innovative features.
Speaking of castles around Paris, this French manor of the 16th century is worth mentioning. This is a real historical and architectural monument of the French Renaissance that was built by an influential nobleman Anne de Montmorency for his wife Madeleine of Savoy. Since 1977, it has housed the National Renaissance Museum.
Château De Monte-Cristo
French manor in Port-Marly, rebuilt by Alexandre Dumas in 1847 with funds from the publication of the novel The Count of Monte Cristo. The project was designed by the architect Hippolyte Durand.
Château De Pierrefonds
The manor on the southeastern edge of the Compiegne forest belonged to the lord Pierrefonds of Chierzi. In the castle’s interior two halls are especially beautiful: here are figures of five knights and nine “ladies of the heart” in the form of ancient goddesses.
Château De Maintenon
The construction of the castle began in the 12th century and the 17th century, it was rebuilt for Madame de Maintenon. The park around the chateau was created under the direction of André Le Nôtre, the creator of the park project in Versailles.
The Château De Dourdan
The fortress was built at the request of Philip Augustus in the 1220s on the site of a wooden structure. The château became the property of Jean de Berry in 1385. At the end of the 17th century, the castle was handed over to the Duke of Orleans, who turned it into a prison. Now it houses a museum of local lore.
Château de Saint-Germain-En-Laye
It is a former royal residence in the suburb of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. In the inner chambers of the palace, there were seven chapels, more than fifty apartments, a large kitchen, and a ballroom. Now it houses the National Museum of Archeology, which annually receives tens of thousands of tourists. Its exposition consists of 18 rooms where you can see exhibits of the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras; artifacts of the Bronze and Iron Ages; treasures of the Gallo-Roman and Merovingian periods.
Château De La Plumasserie
Easily accessible, the 19th-century château offers indoor and outdoor spaces for all types of events. Lost among the acres of luxurious park, Château de la Plumasserie has an incredible atmosphere of calm and serenity.
Château De Courances
It is the main castle of Fleury-en-Bière and the most romantic castle in all of France. The park surrounding the manor was designed by André Le Nôtre. Its main charm is the water mirrors that reflect trees, ancient statues, and greenery of the parterres.
Our list of the best French palaces is coming to an end. It is only a small part since there are a lot of them in this country. It’s hard to say how many castles are in France, but the number is over 45,000.
France was and remains a country of chateaus, true knights, and fairy tales. Don’t miss the opportunity to travel and enjoy the sights of the most romantic country.
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