France is well known for its celebrated castles, or chateaux, if you’re a French speaker. Most of the castles were constructed during the Middle Ages or the Renaissance, however it is true that there are castles which represent all eras and styles.
Most of the most magnificent castles in France are to be found in the stunning regions of the Loire, Alsace and Occitania, which all have a profound and deep heritage. Francis I of France was one of the main promoters of the Gallic Renaissance as well as one of the major protagonists in the building of the castle-palaces France is known for.
Here is a list of some of the most famous French castles.
The gorgeous hilltop town of Carcassonne is far more than just a castle. The magnificently preserved medieval town is a historical treasure. One of the main towns in the Languedoc region of France, Carcassonne played a significant role in the Albigensian Crusade in the early 13th century.
Its tolerant attitude vis a vis religious diversity, and its role as a refuge for Cathar heretics, made sure that the town was attacked by a crusader army on the command of the pope.
The location of the town stayed strategically important as it is located in the frontier region between France and Spain. Neglected owing to the long-lasting peace between France and Spain, the town was restored to its previous glory in the 19th-century by Viollet-le-Duc.
Château De Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is – without a doubt – the most iconic castle of France. Situated 20 km southwest of Paris, it’s the residence of the last king of France, Louis XVI, prior to the fall of the monarchy in 1789. Founded in a 1,070-hectare park with glorious French gardens, the palace itself covers an area of 67,000 sq. m. It boasts 700 rooms, 1,250 fireplaces and 67 staircases – it’s almost as extravagant and over the top as you will ever see one building. From the Hall of Mirrors to the King’s Apartment, you’ll find some of the finest French arts and crafts on.
Château De Chantilly
Chateau Chantilly’s patchy past makes it a top contender to be one of those haunted castles in France. Chateau de Chantilly is made up of two buildings which are attached together: the Petit Chateau as well as the Grand Château.
The Grand Chateau was destroyed in the 1870s and authorities carried out vast restoration works in order to restore this part of the chateau to its former glory. Seeing it now is as exciting as hitting the jackpot at Indian online casinos.
Château De Chambord
If you’re going to embark on a tour of France’s finest castles, you may as well go big and visit the biggest one in the Loire Valley, the Château de Chambord. Situated just a number of hours outside of Paris, the Renaissance-era castle was constructed by King François I in the first years of the 1500s as a personal hunting lodge. The castle’s interior is an incredible work of art, and that makes sense when you think about the fact that it’s rumoured that the castle was designed (or at least inspired) by Leonardo da Vinci.