The Chateau of the Loire provide a great introduction to French History. They are full of stories of Romance and Intrigue.
There are many Chateaux in the Loire Valley which are within easy reach of La Richardière. In each Gite we provide maps and information for our guests and are always ready to answer questions and give directions. For more information about the Loire Valley Chateaux CLICK HERE.
The Chateau at Amboise is best seen from the Bridge over the River Loire and can be approached from Tours to the West and from La Richardière to the South.
The Chateau was in existence, as a building, for many years before it was officially founded as a Chateau, in 1431, by the then King of France – King Charles VII who began the tradition of French Kings residing and holding court at Amboise.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, the court of France continued to be based in Amboise, although some Kings preferred the Châteaux of Loches and Chinon to the fortified Château of Amboise. Charles VIII developed the Chateau by ordering the construction of new buildings and a chapel. He introduced innovative methods of heating the Chateau and employed French masons, Flemish sculptors, and Italian artisans: carpenters, gardeners and architects. His young cousin, François, the future François 1st (Premiére) was educated at Amboise and chose to live there when he became King. He gave a pension and a retirement home to Leonardo da Vinci, just down the road at Clos Luce (1516-1519).
A thoroughly recommended visit. There is so much French history connected with this Chateau that it is probably worth a 2 day visit to include Clos Luce. For more information about Chateau d’Amboise, click HERE.
Built as a simple bridge in the 14th century, Chenonceau has a rich history. In 1412 it was burnt down as a punishment. After it was rebuilt it changed hands many times and each owner added their own extension or renovation.
When Henry II became King in the mid-16th cent. he showered his mistress, Dianede Poitiers with gifts including Chenonceau. After King Henry II died in 1559, his widow Catherine de’ Medici, forced Diane to exchange it for the Château Chaumont (see below). Queen Catherine then made Chenonceau her own favourite residence, adding a new series of gardens.
In more recent times the Chateau was used as a military hospital and was bombed by the Germans in June 1940. It was also used as a means escaping from the Nazi occupied zone on one side of the River Cher to the “free” zone on the opposite bank.
Chateau Chaumont was founded in the 10th century. It passed to the Norman knight Gelduin. His great-granddaughter was Denise de Fougère. Chaumont became the dowry to her husband Sulpice d’Amboise and so the castle passed into the hands of Amboise family for five centuries. Pierre d’Amboise rebelled against Louis XI, and as a result the king ordered the castle’s destruction. Later in the 15th century Château de Chaumont was rebuilt by Charles I d’Amboise.
Chaumont was first protected as an historic monument in 1840 In 1938 the Château was given to the state and is now open to the public.
The Chateau at Chambord is not the closest to La Richardière, but it has proved popular with our guests who are prepared for an early start.
Chambord is recently reopened after an extensive garden makeover. Designated a world heritage site in 1981 Chambord has much to offer the whole family. The inside of the Chateau is well-presented and the Double-Helix staircase in the centre, designed by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1516, is a wonder to behold.
Outside there is a large park land which can be walked or visited by electric buggies which can be hired on site. The newly regenerated gardens are best seen on foot. Originally conceived by Louis XIV they have been reproduced to replicate the original 18th century gardens.
There are many interactive activities for children including competitions of riddles connected with nature and the history of the castle. Visitors can also access interactive guides which are available for download to iPAD or Tablet.
For more information about Chateau Chambord, click HERE.
Chateau de Villandry
The Chateau at Villandry is famous for its magnificent geometrical gardens. The lands, where an ancient fortress once stood, were acquired by Jean Le Breton, in the 16th century, who constructed a new Chateau.During the French Revolution the property was confiscated by the state and in the early 19th century, Emperor Napoleon acquired it for his brother, Jérôme Bonaparte.
In 1906, the property was purchased by Joachim Carvallo who created the beautiful gardens we know today. Le Chateau de Villandry, with it’s huge historical heritage, much of which has English connections, is a World Heritage Site and is, from many aspects, well-worth a visit.
CLICK HERE: to sign-up for our regular newsletter by becoming part of the La Richardière MAILING LIST:
Visit our Website to find out more about Gites de La Richardiere.