Chinon - dominated by its imposing ramparts and medieval chateau, Chinon is located at the foot of the castle. The "strong-hold city" was surrounded by high walls in the 16th century.
Rich residences, dating from the 14th to the 16th century have recently been rehabilitated. One part of the town and the castle recall Richard the Lion Heart and also Joan of Arc who dismounted there in the year 1429, received by Charles VII passing some of the most important hours in France's history.
The Plantagenet kings of England had elected this castle as their favourite residence. Henry the II, Richard the Lion Heart, Jean sans Terre, all lived there from 1154 to 1204. From the top of the castle, a magnificent view over the old city and the Vienne valley. Chinon's wine has become one of the most celebrated of the Loire Valley wines.
La Deviniere - 6 kms west from Chinon. It is the heart of the "Rabelais country". It is the birthplace of Françcois Rabelais. A small farm formed by several 15 century houses. This country seat of the Rabelais family holds an interesting museum devoted to Rabelais life and novels (early editions). In the courtyard, an old wine grower's house and a troglodyte dwelling and a pigeon house. Surroundings, consisting of a chateau, a village church and houses is the setting of the "pichrocoline wars" of Rabelais' heroes, as described in his novels.
Azay le Rideau - 21 kms north-east from Chinon. Built on an island on the Indre river in the middle of a glorious park - the ideal setting for an architectural jewel - the chateau was constructed between 1518 and 1523 by the wealthy treasurer of France, King François the 1st, as a worthy expression of this dazzling social ascension.
The Chateau has been passed down to us largely unchanged. Its design is a perfect alliance of the traditional and elements borrowed from Italian architecture. The graceful chateau is a combination of luxury, charm and disciplined design.
It houses a collection of 16th and 17th century French and Flemish tapestries. Night-time promenade show from mid May to mid September.
Chateau de Sache (close to Azay le Rideau). Built during the Renaissance, it was modernised during the 19th century to welcome Balzac- a very famous writer and novelist - as a guest. The region greatly inspired him. Today the chateau is almost exactly as he left it.
Richelieu - 15 kms south from Chinon. A unique example of early 17th architecture. The city of Richelieu was named after the will of Cardinal Richelieu (Louis XIII Prime Minister). This settlement with perpendicular streets was built to be a "cite idéale". Its geometric layout and classic constructions are the evidence of the society of the Ancien Régime.
Along the "grande rue" are 28 identical houses with their carriage-gateways opening on courtyards - The city was planned as a vast square surrounded by high walls and a moat with 3 high gates, a convent and a collete, and is an example of classical architecture at its best. The Cardinal de Richlieu's magnificent chateau has been destroyed at the Revolution. Only the Orangery, the Cellar and the Dome are still standing in the Park.
A tourist train links Richelieu to Chinon.
Rigny Usse - 26 kms from Chinon. The majestic white castle of Sleeping Beauty stands over the Indre valley. It inspired Charles Perrault to write his famous stories (and then Walt Disney). It remains a symbol of the medieval fairytale castle inhabited by brave lords, beautiful ladies and poets.
Mainly built in the 15th and 16th century, the formal gardens were designed by Le Notre, the famous architect of the gardens of Versailles, richly ornate with beautiful flowers and orange trees some of which date back to before 1789.
Inside, the interior decoration is from the 18th century, the Royal apartments in which the walls and seats are still covered in the original sumptuous silk. It is an ancestral house, still inhabited to this day by its owners.
Villandry - 30 kms north-east from Chinon. Among the chateaux of the Loire, Villandry owes its fame to the splendid terraces of gardens which encase it like a jewelled casket.
The water garden, the ornamental garden, the ornamental kitchen decorative garden are the points of interest. Villandry is renowned also for the harmony of its architecture and is the last of the great Rennaissance chateaux built on the banks of the Loire.
The inside rooms were refitted in the 18th century. From the top of the medieval tower, there is a splendid view point on the gardens and on the Loire valley.
Abbey of Fontevraud - 15 kms west from Chinon. This most important and beautiful ensemb
Chinon (indre-et-loire) - Several Supermarkets In Chinon Surounding
Chinon (indre-et-loire) - Every Week On Thursday Morning
Chinon (indre-et-loire) - Very Helpfull And Welcoming