rance is known as the most romantic country in Europe and its magical castles are certainly one of the reasons for the choice of this particular epithet. Here is the list of 6 castles you must visit, since coming to France without leaving some time for them is unforgivable.
1. Mont-Saint Michel
Mont-Saint Michel is a magnificent castle on the island with the same name located near the France’s northwestern coast. Since the 8th century it has been the seat of the monastery from which it draws the name. This castle, due to its secure position, was not conquered during the Hundred Years’ War. Nowadays, it is one of the popular tourist destinations and one of the most recognizable landmarks of the country. Its beauty and history attract thousands of tourists every year.
2. Château d’Ussé
This breathtaking castle is located at the edge of the Chinon forest in the vicinity of Indre valley. It is widely believed that this particular castle is the one which Charles Perrault had in mind when writing “The Sleeping Beauty”. If you know the fairytale, than you will easily imagine how magical and dreamy this place is. And not only was Charles Perrault inspired by its beauty, but also was Walt Disney when creating some of Disney’s Castles. Come here and experience the fairy tale for yourself.
3. Château de Chambord
The elegant Chateaux are dotted throughout the Loire Valley and one of the most recognizable ones is Chateau de Chambord. Its French Renaissance architecture gives the castle a romantic touch which will stay in your memory forever. However, if you want to have the ultimate Loire Valley experience, embark on an exciting barge travel. This valley is certainly one of the best places for cruising in France. Not only can you visit the awe-inspiring Chateau de Chambord, but you will also have the opportunity to visit all other castles in this region, such as: Château de Chenonceau, Château d’Amboise, etc.
4. Château de Versailles
Chateau de Versailles is maybe the most renowned castle in France. It is located near Paris, only 20 kilometers southwest, and it is annually visited by millions of tourists. Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris to Versailles and from that moment, Versailles was the seat of political power. The architecture of this colossal chateau is particularly attractive to tourists. It is estimated that 2 million dollars were spent to build it. If you decide to visit Versailles, you will have the opportunity to witness the beauty of the Hall of Mirrors, the central gallery of the palace, Apartment du Roi, imposing Gardens of Versailles, Musee Lambinet, etc.
5. Palais des Papes
The Palais des Papes is a historical palace located in southern France, in Avignon. It is considered to be one of the most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe, so it’s not needed to mention that you shouldn’t forget this place during your stay in France. One of the highlights of this palace is the Saint-Martial Chapel decorated with amazing paintings done by Matteo Giovanetti, which depict the main parts of Saint Martial’s life. If you are an art fan you will be delighted to hear that Palais des Papes hosts exhibitions on a regular basis. They even included two exhibitions of Picasso and an exhibition of Miquel Barcelo, as well as of many others.
6. Château de Pierrefonds
Chateau de Pierrefonds is a magnificent architectural creation, situated on the southeast edge of Forest of Compiègne. The picturesque environment will soothe all your senses, and its defensive military architecture will offer you the authentic feel of medieval times. This castle was often used as a location for filming, including the famous movie “The Man in the Iron Mask“. And it also served as Camelot for the BBC series Merlin, which testifies about its beauty.
France is an unbelievable place and whichever castle you chose to visit there, one thing is sure, you will certainly fall in love with it at first sight.