Ussé, Sleeping Beauty chateau

Once upon a time, there was a magical chateau overlooking the Indre and the Loire rivers… It was so wonderful that it inspired Charles Perrault to write his fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty”.

Charles Perrault, Le Nôtre, Vauban, Mansart, Chateaubriand…

Ussé, Sleeping Beauty chateau

Ussé, Sleeping Beauty chateau

The very popular fairy tale « Sleeping Beauty » comes alive as you discover the rooms of the chateau. Princess Aurora, the wicked fairy, the charming prince… all along the visit, children and adults alike are taken by this fantasy world.

Besides Charles Perrault, other great figures have contributed to the history of this place: Gelduin 1st to begin with, a Viking chieftain straight from Denmark. Nicknamed the Devil of Saumur, where he settled, this jarl (Viking dignitary) led several devastating raids up the Loire. At Ussé, he built the first wooden fortress. His son Gelduin II launched the centuries-long construction of a stone edifice.

Let’s continue with Mister Le Nôtre. This gardener became renowned for his work in the gardens of Versailles. He showed off his skills in Touraine at the chateau of Ussé. And in order to admire the design of this magnificent garden and its orange trees, Vauban imagined created the terraces with its genius for fortifications.

Later, the renowned French writer Chateaubriand brought Lebanon cedars from the Holy Land, to plant in the park. Inside the chateau the well-known French architect Mansart, created the majestic staircase.

Ussé, the castle of the Sleeping Beauty

Ussé, the castle of the Sleeping Beauty

Ussé, the castle of the Sleeping Beauty

Ussé, the castle of the Sleeping Beauty

All these contributions made this place unique and magical like the King’s room which was once occupied by Louis the 14th and later by Haïlé Sélassié, the emperor of Ethiopia.

Located in the heart of the Loire Valley, classified as a Unesco world heritage site, the chateau of Ussé is also the only private great Loire castle to have been lived in by the same family for more than two centuries.

The Sleeping Beauty chateau through the ages

As for most of the Loire Valley monuments, the building of the chateau covered several different periods of time. Its heterogeneous architecture in tuffeau stone testifies to the evolution of the fortress castle towards a pleasure residence, through the modes of the XVIth and XIXth century. Dungeons, orangery and gardens are testimony to this. New buildings were added through the centuries, a testament to the evolution of architecture:

  • the crenelated towers dated from the Middle Ages;
  • the French Renaissance facade;
  • the classical styled pavilion (end of 18th century).

Inside, the Sleeping Beauty castle has kept much of its 18th century furniture, which successive generations have enriched. Ussé has a fine collection of tapestries, oriental weapons and Chinese porcelain. Each year, a new exhibition of period costumes punctuates the main rooms of the castle.

For plenty of reasons (rich and varied architecture, famous historical figures, a worldwide known fairy-tale, beautiful pieces of furniture…) you will enjoy an unforgettable experience at the chateau of Ussé.

Practical information

Adress: Château d’Ussé, 37 420 Rigny-Ussé. 15 km far from Chinon.

Phone : + 33 (0)2 47 95 54 05

Website : 

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