An aristocratic weekend outing: top 5 French castles

The 10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

France has a very rich history, and numerous castles and palaces convey the ancient spirit of the time in the best way possible. After all, all of these structures have seen the lives of kings, knights and courtiers. Of course, of many of these unique creations are now only ruins, but, thankfully, have survived, and those that have not lost their majesty, pomp and rich decoration. They continue to attract tourists. For all connoisseurs TravelAsk presents rating of the most attractive and most charming palaces and castles of France.

Chateau d’If on the island of the same name in the archipelago of Friuli

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

The beautiful Aze-les-Rideaux in the Endre and Loire

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

Chateau Amboise, located in the town of the same name

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

Vaux-le-Vicomte, a castle near Melun

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

Chateau de Cheverny in the Loire et Cher department

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

Chateau de Chenonceau in the Department of Endre and Loire

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

Conciergerie Chateau de Paris

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

The extraordinary Château of Chambord in the Loire et Cher

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

The famous Versailles and its incredible palace and park ensemble.

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

The most beautiful chateau is Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, which belongs to the department of Manche.

10 most beautiful castles in France

10 most beautiful castles in France

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An aristocratic weekend outing: top 5 French castles

10 best castles in France

France is home to some of the most beautiful castles in Europe, so it’s hard to even choose which of this beauty is worth a visit. Here are 10 of the most famous and popular castles in France that are definitely worth seeing! Of course, and beyond this ten, there are many castles that will make a lasting impression:

  • The 10 most beautiful castles in France
  • 10 best medieval castles in France
  • The 10 best ruins of castles in France

The 10 best castles in France:

10. Chateau de Foix

10 best castles in France

The super fortified castle of Foix is an important tourist attraction in the region, the center of the Cathars. It was built in the Middle Ages and has been known since 987. In 1034 the castle became the capital of the county of Foix and played an important role in medieval military history. Towers were gradually added to further protect the castle. The castle’s two square towers, built before the 11th century, served as a political and civil prison for four centuries, until 1862. The newest tower is the round one, which was added in the 15th century. Since 1840 the castle has been classified as a historical monument.

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9. Chateau de Tarascon

Tarascon_chateau

Located on the banks of the Rhône River, the Château de Tarascon is in remarkably good condition. It is one of the best medieval castles in France and in Europe. It was built in the 15th century by the Dukes of Anjou and is a very architecturally compact building, surrounded on all sides by the river.

8. Chateau de Vincennes

Château de Vincennes

The splendid Chateau de Vincennes is a massive castle, owned by French kings, built in the 14th and rebuilt in the 17th century, located in the town of Vincennes, east of Paris (now a suburb of the French capital). Like many other famous castles, it began as a hunting lodge built for Louis VII in 1150 in the Forest of Vincennes. Its remarkably spacious building consists of a fortress with four corner towers surrounded by a thick perimeter wall.

7. Mont Saint-Michel

Without a doubt, Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most impressive architectural ensembles in Europe. Built in the 8th century, Mont Saint-Michel Abbey is located on a rocky island on the north coast of France, in Normandy. The uniqueness of this place is that this island is only 600 meters from the continent, it can be easily reached at low tide, as numerous pilgrims have done. At the same time, it is also an ideal place for defense: at high tide, potential attackers would have to drown.

Mont Saint-Michel (the abbey and surrounding town) is one of France’s most recognizable landmarks and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The abbey is visited by about 3 million people annually.

6. Chateau d’Usse.

Chateau d'Usse Top 10 Castles in France

This beautiful chateau, Chateau d’Usse, is located on the edge of the Chinon forest overlooking the Indre Valley. It was first fortified in the 11th century by a Norman, a Signor of Ussé named Gueldin de Saumur, who surrounded the castle with a palisade. Because of its fabulous Flamboyant Gothic and Renaissance appearance, Chateau d’Usse is often called the Castle of Sleeping Beauty.

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5. Chateau d’Amboise.

Amboise, Loire Valley, France - The 10 best castles in France

This famous chateau is located in the middle of the Loire Valley, in the town of Amboise. It was built at the end of the ninth century on a spur above the Loire River. During the reigns of Kings Charles VIII and Francis I (late 15th century), this medieval castle of Amboise was replaced by a new royal residence. The Château began to fall into decay from the second half of the 16th century, most of the interiors were destroyed but some pieces have survived and the rooms have been restored, as has the ramparts, towers and walls surrounding the Château.

4. Chateau de Chantilly

Chateau de Chantilly - The 10 best castles in France

The historic Château de Chantilly is one of the most important aristocratic residences of old-order France. It is located in the town of Chantilly, in Picardy, north of Paris. This beautiful château consists of two adjacent buildings: the Petit Château, built around 1560 for Anne de Montmorency, and the Grand Château, which was destroyed during the French Revolution and rebuilt again in the 1870s. They are surrounded by a magnificent park, which was laid out by the great Lenôtre.

The château was originally built in 1528-1531 for the Connetable Anne de Montmorency by the architect Jean Bullan. In 1632, for aiding the rebellious Duke Gaston of Orleans, the Connetable’s grandson, Henri II de Montmorency, was put to death. The confiscated estate passed to his sister Charlotte and her husband, the Prince de Condé. Their descendants continued to bear the title of Duke of Montmorency and lived at Chantilly until the termination of the family in 1804.

Inside Château Chantilly is now the Conde Museum, which, in addition to the personal belongings of the Princes of Conde, exhibits their artistic treasures – hundreds of manuscripts and early printed books (including the unique Ars subtilior code of music and the Gutenberg Bible), a rare collection of porcelain and the Magnificent Chapel of the Duke of Berry, a famed 15th century illustrated manuscript. Along with numerous engravings and paintings by Botticelli, Clouet, Poussin and other old masters. Every two years, the castle park hosts a Nuits de Feu fireworks competition, attended by people from all over the world.

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3. chateau de Chenonceau

Touraine, Chateau de Chenonceau1

Château de Chenonceau is one of the most famous and impressive châteaux of the Loire Valley. It is a testament to the Enlightenment, with its original design, furnishings and decor, and its history as the residence of a prominent woman, Diane de Poitiers.

Chateau de Chenonceau was built in the 11th century on the Cher River. It passed from hand to hand until it was given to Diana de Poitiers, mistress of King Henry II.) She saved the château from destruction during the French Revolution at the hands of the Revolutionary Guards, convinced of its importance to travel and trade because it was the only bridge over the river for many kilometers.

2. Château de Chambord

Château de Chambord 10 best castles in France

Château de Chambord is one of the most splendid châteaux in France and the largest castle in the Loire Valley. Set in the largest enclosed wooded park in Europe, Château de Chambord is a gem of Renaissance architecture. It was built for King Francis I as a hunting estate and so that he could be close to his mistress. It is one of the most recognizable castles in the world for its distinct French Renaissance architecture, which is a mixture of traditional French medieval elements with a pure Renaissance structure.

1. Versailles

Versailles 10 best castles in France

The Palace of Versailles is located about 20 km southwest of Paris. When the castle was built in 1624 Versailles was still a small village. Now the area has become a wealthy suburb of Paris.

Versailles was built as a small hunting estate for King Louis XIII in 1624. Eight years later, the castle was expanded and became the heart of the new palace. Later, Sun King Louis XIV transformed Versailles into the best palace in the world by moving the royal court here. As a result, Versailles is known not only as a beautiful building, but became a symbol of the absolute monarchy of the Old Regime. Versailles was ahead of its time – it was used as a model for the construction of many other palaces in Europe.

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