Are you searching for castles in France that really feel like a real-life fairytale? Look no additional! From opulent Renaissance-era palaces to mysterious ruins of the Center-Ages, formal gardens to fortified towers, castles in France make magical vacation spot highlights. It’s possible you’ll even simply really feel as when you have stepped again in time when touring these French castles, lots of which look virtually precisely like they did a whole lot of years in the past. For the lovers of historical past on the market, that alone will likely be a dream-come-true!
However not solely are the castles in France filled with wealthy, fascinating historical past, they’re additionally merely a number of the most gorgeous fairytale areas yow will discover. If the assorted mansard roofs, cupolas, pink sandstone, turrets, towers, and terraces of those totally different French castles weren’t memorable and magical sufficient, it’s possible you’ll discover equal delight within the beautiful interiors, a few of which even maintain hidden treasures. In Château de Chantilly, yow will discover medieval manuscripts within the huge library, whereas the esteemed, skylight-lit central staircase of Château de Chambord is a panoramic characteristic that should not be missed. In terms of castles in France, it’s as when you have walked right into a real-life fairytale.
Château de Chambord
One merely can not consider castles in France with out picturing the fantastical and memorable structure of Château de Chambord. It’s virtually the epitome of the right citadel in France. The lasting splendor of Renaissance-era Chambord is a credit score to François I, who ordered its building not as a everlasting residence, however as a show of magnificence and architectural accomplishment to showcase his energy. Leonardo da Vinci himself is alleged to have had an affect in Chambord’s design.
In all probability essentially the most memorable characteristic at Chambord is its skylight-lit central staircase. This celebrated spiral, double helix staircase might very properly be the spotlight of your go to to Chambord. Located within the middle of the square-shaped maintain, the double helix staircase twists and turns round a hollowed core, one above the opposite. Concurrently each mind-blowing and entertaining, one of many famed options of the dual staircase is that if you use one set of the staircase on the similar time somebody makes use of the opposite, you’ll be able to see one another, however won’t ever meet. This can be a significantly enjoyable phenomenon to expertise along with your journey buddies!
With over 60 rooms open to the general public and a group of 4500 objects of artwork, the inside of Château de Chambord shouldn’t be one you wish to miss, though the placing exterior is sufficient to maintain you busy for the whole lot of your go to to this epic citadel in France.
Château de Chantilly
It’s like a journey again in time when visiting Château de Chantilly, a 19th-century treasure. Constructed by Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale, son of King Louis-Philippe, of the various castles in France, that is undoubtedly one with a wealthy cultural heritage. Not solely was the Duke of Aumale thought-about to be the best collector of his time, utilizing Chantilly to show his huge assortment of masterpieces, however in 1886, he left all the Château to the Institut de France. The structure of the artwork galleries—the second largest in France after the Louvre—has been left unchanged because the 19th century, which provides you the very distinctive expertise of attending to view the artwork galleries as they have been within the days of the Duke of Aumale.
Not solely are the notorious artwork galleries a must-see, however the beautiful and breathtaking rooms of Chantilly are additionally a murals in and of themselves. Situated on the bottom flooring of the petit château, you’ll be able to view the personal suites of the Duke of Aumale and his spouse, that are filled with historical past within the type of the wealthy, gaudy designs and private memorabilia. The Duke’s bed room alone posses a historic cylinder desk, gifted to the Duke of Aumale by his father, King Louis-Phillipe, in 1847. This room has remained unchanged since 1897, making it really feel like a portal to the previous upon visiting. Château de Chantilly turns into one of the crucial fairytale experiences you’ll be able to have whereas visiting the castles in France if you notice that you’re strolling within the footsteps of princes.
Château de Pierrefonds
In case you are searching for hidden gems amongst the castles in France, you’ll be thrilled to study in regards to the magnificent, but little-known Cháteau de Pierrefonds. Although it dates again to the 15th century, Château de Pierrefonds was restored and adjusted within the 19th century to make it right into a regal residence for Napolean III. Imperious, gorgeous, and looking out as if it popped proper out of a medieval-themed blockbuster, this specific french citadel is stuffed with memorable options, equivalent to its defensive system, walkways, draw bridge, and two reconstructions of siege engines. The rooms inside carry a wealthy, medieval really feel and are fascinating to discover if you uncover particulars like monsters constructed into fireplaces. You additionally don’t wish to miss a visit all the way down to the mysterious underground crypt!
To high off the enjoyable of this specific french citadel, Pierrefonds occurs to be the filming location for the hit BBC collection Merlin. Followers of the present will likely be ecstatic to discover the rooms and surroundings used all through the collection, and even get to view some props, equivalent to The Cup of Life, and little movies enjoying within the King Arthur exhibition.
So far as fairytale castles in France are involved, Château de Pierrefonds is about as near the real-life model as you may get.
Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg
Located excessive above the Alsace plain, Kœnigsbourg stands out amongst the castles in France as a mighty mountain fortress. Data present its building starting in 1147, when it was known as Castrum Estuphin, solely to have its identify modified to Kœnigsbourg ten years later, which suggests “royal citadel.” At an altitude of greater than 700 meters, this specific french citadel made for a strategic lookout of all of the routes within the area. Nevertheless, throughout the Thirty Years Conflict, Kœnigsbourg was besieged and burned to the bottom in 1633. Left in ruins, it was labeled as a historic monument over 200 years later, and never till the close by city of Sélestat bought the ruins in 1865 did reconstruction start.
Not solely does Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg have an interesting historical past, however this citadel in France is a visually-stunning fortification. It’s an interactive expertise with all kinds of excursions, occasions, and actions, lots of that are geared towards households with kids, making this citadel in France a terrific trip vacation spot for the household! Past having fun with the citadel itself, you gained’t be capable of get sufficient of the sweeping view it supplies of the Alsace plains, the Black Forest, the Vosges mountains, and, on clear, sunny days, even the Alps.
Château de Chenonceau
One have a look at Chenonceau is sufficient to perceive why it’s the second most visited of the castles in France after Versailles. This Renaissance magnificence is constructed on arches that span the River Cher, making it an extremely distinctive and altogether magical palace. The structure of turrets, towers, arched home windows and elaborate masonry on the surface, and the lavish rooms stuffed with artwork on the within mix to make Chenonceau a fairytale expertise.
Not solely is the Château itself completely gorgeous, however the huge, manicured grounds may have you mesmerized for hours! The quite a few gardens of the property embrace a “floating” parterre, a large round basin, woods, a flower backyard, a floral workshop, and even a maze with a gazebo within the middle, which affords a view of the entire labyrinth, when you handle to achieve it. Your solely drawback will likely be making an attempt to determine which backyard to decide on to your picnic!
Between the bridge-like arches throughout the River Cher that help the palace, and the various lush, distinctive gardens, Château de Chenonceau is one you undoubtedly don’t wish to miss in your tour of castles in France.
Excursions de Merle
Whereas most of the castles in France are completely well-kept, you undoubtedly wish to go to a mystical spoil or two whereas in your tour. Nothing says “fairytale” fairly like mossy, craggy turrets peeking between the evergreens of a misty mountainside, and the crumbling stone of Excursions de Merle is an ideal choice. Relationship between the 1200s – 1500s, the fortified towers of Excursions de Merle have been concerned in lots of historic conflicts all through the center ages, such because the 100 Years Conflict, throughout which period they have been occupied by the English. The damaged staircases, empty home windows, and overgrown rooms appear to positively radiate with historical past, making you marvel what secrets and techniques and tales the stones must inform if they might speak, in regards to the lives they watched, the battles they confronted, the centuries misplaced to time.
Past its magical, ethereal, and even slightly-spooky look, Excursions de Merle is located in a very pretty valley on the western facet of the Massif Central, which makes it a wonderful, rural citadel in France to go to. The very ruins appear to be a part of the 10-hectare park through which they’re positioned, overgrown with greenery and woodland. To high it off, in the event you go to Excursions de Merle within the summertime, there are even medieval-themed leisure and actions to take pleasure in!
Château de Langeais
By far, one of the crucial spectacular, entertaining, and interactive of the castles in France is Château de Langeais. Not solely is the structure like one thing out of a dreamy, medieval fairytale, however this french citadel comes with added enjoyable, equivalent to a royal wedding ceremony portrayed by extremely sensible wax figures, reconstituted costumes introduced again to life, medieval-styled gardens, a treehouse, and a working drawbridge—one of many final to be manually-activated! There are each guided and unguided excursions choices, however regardless of which one you decide, you gained’t miss out on all of the enjoyable and knowledge that this citadel in France has to supply.
The Château as seen right now was constructed in 1465 below Louis XI, however fascinatingly, it was the second fortification constructed on this land. On the finish of the 10th century, the Depend of Anjou, Foulques Nerra, based a fortress after a few years of combating over Langeais. Langeais suffered an extended and turbulent historical past over time, together with being occupied by armed bands throughout the 100 Years Conflict. Lastly, in 1422, Langeais was bought by Charles VII, who ordered the fortress to be destroyed, aside from the maintain. Immediately, the ruins of that maintain are a number of the oldest in stone to nonetheless be standing. Not solely will you be capable of take pleasure in the fantastic thing about the Château, however the ruins of the previous maintain can be considered on the in depth grounds.
All collectively, Château de Langeais is likely one of the castles in France that makes for an epic expertise.
Château de Bonaguil
Don’t let its semi-ruined state flip you off, Château de Bonaguil is a wonderful, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping citadel in France. One of many final of the feudal castles (earlier than the introduction of artillery demanded a much less flamboyant type), Château de Bonaguil holds most of the quintessential components of what you may think a traditional citadel to be like, whereas on the similar time possessing just a few extra “trendy” additions, equivalent to gun ports. Château de Bonaguil has largely stored the identical look and has remained in a lot the identical state because the early 1600s, probably as a result of nobody was ever loopy sufficient to attempt to siege it. Not solely is that this french citadel located on a rock, but it surely was additionally fortified with state-of-the-art protection methods. Seven drawbridges, a casemate, gunboats, numerous homicide holes, and a tower of loopholes are a few of Bonaguil’s unbelievable defenses.
Château de Bonaguil additionally has a large barbican and 6 towers—one among which is alleged to be essentially the most stunning in France—that are gorgeous to see, and is stuffed with wealthy halls and spiral staircases. The view from the highest of the maintain is one you undoubtedly don’t wish to miss! Be sure you convey good sneakers and plan for a little bit of a hike as a part of your expedition if you go to this citadel in France, because the stroll as much as the highest isn’t a stroll within the park.
An ideal mixture of mysterious ruins and fairytale towers, this can be a citadel in France worthy of remembrance!
Constructed within the mid-1600s, this baroque citadel in France is visually gorgeous in some ways. The Versailles designers Charles le Brun and André le Nôtre have been introduced collectively for the primary time for this design challenge. The grounds are in depth, le Nôtre, the gardener of the king, created a masterpiece of a French Formal Backyard at Vaux-le-Vicomte. The grounds are so giant that at one level 18,000 laborers have been wanted to take care of them! You undoubtedly wish to contemplate renting a golf cart if you wish to see all of it, particularly when you have youngsters. And talking of children, of the castles in France, Château Vaux-le-Vicomte is a baby’s dream-come-true as they’ll hire interval costumes to put on for the tour. Make it an unforgettable household day by taking the guided tour, the place your youngsters not solely get to decorate the half however will uncover what the life of a kid within the 17th century was like.
Not solely are the excursions of this citadel in France and grounds sufficient to maintain you occupied for the day, however Château Vaux-le-Vicomte additionally affords occasions all year long to make the expertise much more enjoyable, equivalent to an Easter egg hunt within the gardens, a water present, Vaux-le-Vicomte on the motion pictures, and better of all, candlelit evenings, throughout which the château and gardens are lit by 2,000 candles!
Château de Cheverny
Château de Cheverny stands out amongst different castles in France for a number of causes, one among which is that château has been in the identical household for the final six centuries! The rooms are regally embellished in 17th and 18th-century interiors, and plenty of are nonetheless arrange as if households from a whole lot of years in the past nonetheless lived in them. The tables are elegantly laid, the nursery is stuffed with previous dolls and rocking horses, there are devices and sheets of music on the prepared within the music room, all trying as if frozen in time.
One other fascinating characteristic that makes Château de Cheverny distinctive is that it was the mannequin chosen by Hergé for Marlinspike Corridor, as followers of Tintin will instantly notice. Lovers of the books will likely be thrilled to discover a small Tintin exhibition at this citadel in France.
Past the richly-decorated, memorable rooms and exquisite grounds, you can too go to the canine kennel. 100 looking canine are exercised right here each single day! There’s additionally a chic little cafe to take pleasure in. However to make your tour of Cheverny much more enjoyable, be certain to take a look at the vacationer prepare trip via the grounds, the boat journey throughout the sizable pond, or the thriller recreation.
Whether or not you’re a lover of France, structure, historical past, fairytales, gardens, or a mix thereof, the castles in France have all of it! There’s one thing to see for each curiosity and all ages. Castles in France are the right backdrop for a fairytale romance along with your important different, unforgettable experiences to your youngsters, bonding adventures with your mates, or an unbelievable trip vacation spot for simply you. You actually can’t go unsuitable deciding the place to go and what to see. Simply ensure you’ve obtained your digital camera or telephone battery charged up, as you gained’t be capable of cease taking footage at every new, breathtaking sight!
So which citadel do you wish to go to first? We’d love to listen to about it within the feedback!