Loire Valley Chateaux, a must do during holidays in France
In a class of its own, Loire Valley is dotted with elegant stone giants: the Loire chateaux. The landscape here is dominated by their majestic silhouettes: concentrated over an area of less than 100km, Touraine is home to some of the grandest Loire Valley castles.
Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, Chinon, Clos Lucé (last home of Leonardo da Vinci), Langeais, Loches, Villandry (and its famous gardens), Ussé (which inspire Charles Perrault for his fairy tale 'Sleeping beauty')… these castles are inseparable from the history of France and its kings; these names evoke the stories of Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci, the troubled Middle Ages and the lavish Renaissance period.
The various characters of Loire Chateaux, France.
Along with these famous monuments, there are nearly fifty Loire chateaux that are currently open to the public. While they all share two common traits, beautiful gardens and the "tuffeau" (tufa stone), a soft limestone from the banks of the Loire, each castle has its own individual character. No two attractions are alike, each castle is a unique experience due to the variety of architectural styles and the personality of their former and current owners.
Park of miniatures Loire chateaux, in Amboise, France.
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