France’s magnificent châteaux are scattered throughout the country, these stately homes and former royal palaces are super to visit. Whether you are sipping wine it the vineyard or staying the night, you will feel like royalty.
Here are the French châteaux’s that are must sees, as follows:
Château de Chenonceau
Spanning the river Cher in the heart of the Loire Valley, the Château de Chenonceau was built in Gothic-Renaissance style in the early 16th Century where an old mill once stood. It is often referred to as “the ladies château” or the “Château des Dames” since Katherine Briçonnet, wife of original owner Thomas Bohier, oversaw its construction and subsequently, Diane de Poitiers, Mistress of King Henry II, added the bridge and gardens. Today, visitors can tour the château during the day, walk the romantic gardens at twilight and eat at the onsite restaurant.
Château de Fontainebleau
Located just outside Paris, the Château de Fontainebleau is 1 of the most beautiful of France’s royal palaces. It was the residence of the French monarch from Louis VII to Napoleon III. Today, its grand apartments, lavish ballroom, and elegant formal gardens delight visitors from across the globe.
Château de Fayrac
The lush riverside setting of the Château de Fayrac makes it one of the jewels of the Dordogne region of southwestern France. During the Hundred Years War, the château was an English outpost, a convenient lookout onto the French-held Beynac across the river. Its imposing towers and drawbridges are impressive from the outside, as the castle rarely opens to the public.
Château de Chambord
The UNESCO-listed Château de Chambord is another Loire Valley gem. King François I commissioned the palace in the 16th century and its construction transformed what had been a marshland into a thing of beauty. This sprawling palace littered with chimneys was designed around a double helix staircase inspired by the work of Leonardo da Vinci.
Château de Brissac
Originally erected by the counts of Anjou in the 11th Century and rebuilt in the 15th Century, this castle is the tallest in the Loire Valley today. The opulent décor the amazes visitor as much as the magnificent grounds on which it stands.
Château de Gaillard
Normandy’s ruined Château de Gaillard overlooks the village of Les Andelys by the Seine River from a hilltop position. It was built on the orders of Richard the Lionheart at the very end of the 12th Century, but had fallen into a ruinous state by the 16th Century. Although the castle was partially demolished on the orders of King Henry IV, what is left is worth exploring for the views alone.
Château de Chantilly
Just 30 miles north of Paris, is Château de Chantilly. The estate is comprised of 2 palaces; the Petit Château, home to Anne de Montmorency in the 16th Century, and the Grand Château, rebuilt in the late 19th Century after falling to the aristocratic backlash of the French Revolution decades earlier. More recently, Roger Moore filmed his last Bond movie here.
Château des ducs de Bretagne
This large castle dominates the Breton city of Nantes. Once the residence of the Dukes of Brittany during the 13th to 16th Centuries, the château subsequently became a royal palace. Today, it’s home to the Nantes History Museum and is especially beautiful lit up at night.
Château des Baux-de-Provence
Though the Château des Baux-de-Provence today stands in ruins, it offers 1 of the most stunning views in the South of France. Overlooking the village of Les Baux-de-Provence, full-size replicas of siege engines including the biggest trebuchet or French catapult in Europe can be seen inside this 10th-Century castle.
Château de Versailles
As the most famous château in France, the Palace of Versailles was the residence of the country’s monarchs from the time of Louis XIV until Louis XVI was ousted in Y 1789. Located just outside Paris, the famous palace receives more visitors than the Eiffel Tower and almost as many as the Louvre with nearly 8-M visitors annually. It features the magnificent Hall of Mirrors, the restored Royal Apartments, and the fountains and sculpted topiaries of its wonderful gardens and grounds.
Enjoy your travels famous,