45,000 you know what this figure represents? Well, know that this is the number of chateaux present in France. France is one of the countries best known for its sumptuous castles. From the fortified castle to the renaissance castle, France will dazzle your eyes with its exceptional heritage. Also note that in France castles are commendable for any event. If you are looking for a reception location for your wedding, think about it. Welcome to this article which will tell you about the history of France and in particular its castles.
England with its gardens, Spain with its monasteries and Italy with its chapels, France with its castles. It has all come out of castles from medieval fortresses, renaissance castles, 18th century palaces, 19th century mansions … These castles have known love, war, nobility. On the banks of the Loire is a majority of castles but many other regions are enriched by its castles such as Périgord, Provence, Île de France or Brittany. There are very few old villages without castles. We have therefore made a small selection of castles for you to discover our French heritage
1. The Palace of Versailles, in the Yvelines
It is obvious that the classification of the most beautiful castles in France begins with the sumptuous Palace of Versailles. It is located in Ile-de-France, in the Yvelines department, in the south-west of Paris. It was the official residence of the greatest kings of France such as Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI. This magnificent castle and its French gardens, which extend over 815 hectares, have been classified as World Heritage Sites for 30 years. Currently, this castle houses the Museum of the History of France. With its 2,300 rooms and its famous gallery of mirrors, this castle will not leave you unmoved.
2. The Château de Chantilly, in the Oise
The Château de Chantilly is located in the town of Chantilly in the Oise department. It is located in a 7,800 hectare forest estate. It was built in 1528 under the orders of Anne de Montmorency. The estate houses the Condé museum, the Horse museum as well as French gardens designed by André Le Nôtre and an English garden. This castle was unfortunately damaged during the French Revolution but it was restored by Henri of Orleans, Duke of Aumale. It is this duke who made up the collection of works of art installed in the castle museum. This collection contains over 800 masterpieces. This site is a place steeped in history so do not hesitate to go there during your visit to France.
3. The castle of Fontainebleau, in Seine-et-Marne
The Renaissance-style Château de Fontainebleau is located in the commune of Fontainebleau in the Seine-et-Marne department. It was the home of the Kings of France from the coronation of Louis VII in 1137 until the fall of the second empire in 1870. It is a formidable castle-museum which traces the entire history of art and l architecture and the life of Napoleon I and his family. The chateau includes a French garden and two English gardens.
4. Castelnaud castle, in Dordogne
Castelnaud Castle is located in the commune of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, in the Dordogne department. It is a splendid medieval fortress which overlooks La Roque Gageac, Beynac and Marqueyssac, and which offers visitors a breathtaking panorama of the Dordogne valley. It was built in the 12th century on the cliff which gives it this important appearance. It is a listed historic monument, this fort is entirely dedicated to the great era of the Middle Ages, it houses a museum of the war of the Middle Ages as well as the weapons of that time. The models, the furniture, the war machines, as well as the numerous restorations of the fort, make it a war museum more real than life. The castle receives more than 200,000 visitors per year.
5. The castle of Chambord, in the Loir-et-Cher
The Château de Chambord is located in the town of Chambord, in the Loir-et-Cher department. It is one of the most prestigious and emblematic castles of the Loire. This castle, which has been a UNESCO heritage site since 1981, continues to make visitors dream. This castle was built under the orders of François Ier. It consists of a garden, a hunting park, 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces, and 13 main staircases. It is also a wilderness reserve that is home to many animals on its 800 hectares. This building will immerse you in the heart of the Renaissance.
6. The castle of Chenonceau, in Indre-et-Loire
The castle is located in the commune of Chenonceau in the department of Indre et Loire, in the Center region. It is one of the famous castles of the Loire. The building was built in the 16th century and it welcomed Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, personality who marked the history of this castle. The Château de Chenonceau is classified as a historic monument. In this castle you can discover during the visit paintings, tapestries, unique works of art that relate the significant events in the history of the building. The “Domes” gallery will retrace the history of all the “Ladies” of Chenonceau. Chenonceau is an exceptional site, it is the most visited in France after Versailles.
7. The castle of Ussé, in Indre-et-Loire
The castle of Ussé is also one of the castles of the Loire, it is located in the town of Rigny-Ussé in the department of Indre-et-Loire in the Center region. It has been classified as a historic monument since 1931. This originally private estate is open to the public, so you can visit the place that inspired Charles Perrault, the author of Sleeping Beauty. This castle was built between the 15th and 17th centuries. It belongs to the 7th Duke of Blacas as well as all the works of art found there and which form the collection of all the successive owners of the castle. This impressive building houses rich furnishings and sumptuous tapestries. The garden was designed by André Le Nôtre. It invites visitors to stroll in a totally bucolic setting.
8. The castle of the Dukes of Brittany, in Loire-Atlantique
The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany is an estate located in the commune of Nantes and houses a museum entirely devoted to the history of the city of Nantes. This castle is the subject of a classification as historic monuments. This castle was the residence of Anne of Brittany and it was reopened in 2007 after numerous renovations. It is the 13th most visited French monument with more than a million visitors each year. This building immerses the visitor in a totally magical universe in the heart of the city center with a Gothic-Renaissance style that will revive the history of Nantes as well as Brittany. The courtyard, the rooms, the ramparts, the moat garden will make the visit an unforgettable moment to share with the family.
9. The castle of Saumur, in Maine-et-Loire
The castle is located in the town of Saumur, in the department of Maine-et-loire. The castle has been classified as a historic monument and a World Heritage Site since 2000. It overlooks the ancient city and remains an emblematic myth. This castle is of medieval and Renaissance style. It was the residence of the Duke of Anjou in the 14th century. In work for a few years, it will regain its splendor of the time.
10. The castle of Amboise, in the Indre-et-Loire
Amboise Castle is one of the Loire castles. It is located in the town of Amboise in Indre-et-Loire. Overlooking the Loire Valley, it offers visitors an exceptional panorama. This iconic Gothic-style castle is the subject of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For 4 centuries, it was owned by the Amboise family before being attached to the crown in 1434. It therefore served as a residence for many Kings of France during the Renaissance period. Leonardo da Vinci even stayed there. He resided in the majestic medieval fortress. This place is steeped in history and will not leave visitors unmoved. For finishes, it has Gothic and Renaissance furniture as well as many prestigious and unique collections. It is therefore a must-see classified site.
Do these castles inspire you? Note that CTH Events Paris offers a package that allows you to rent the castle of your dreams for an event: wedding, birthday, and marriage proposal … Here are some examples of events carried out in French castles and especially around Paris: