The Loire Valley Castles, a Photo Essay

Posted on 19. Dec, 2011 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, France, Photo Posts

Visiting and taking photos of the Loire Valley Castles was kind of a big thing for me - not only did I cross off yet another item off of my bucket list, but also because there are things you just have to have photos of. And few things are quite as iconic as these French Renaissance castles! I was blessed with a beautiful, warm autumn weekend when I visited and the magical atmosphere left me wonderful souvenirs, and amazing shots. Here’s a handful of my personal favorites!

Azay-le-Rideau

Azay-le-Rideau Castle

Azay-le-Rideau castle is also known as the “enchanted mirror”, because of its constant reflection in the river that surrounds it. Albeit a bit smaller than other castles of the Loire Valley, it is nonetheless very interesting - did you know it’s one of the first castles to boast dog-legged staircases, as opposed to spiral staircases in the towers?

And yes, I’m a crazy cat lady first.

King of Azay-le-Rideau

Before visiting Amboise castle, I had no idea Leonardo Da Vinci was buried there. I read through some pamphlets and realized he had a big implication in the architecture and design of a few castles of the Loire Valley.

Amboise Castle

Saint-Hubert Chapel at Amboise Castle

Chenonceau Castle is often nicknamed “The Ladies’ Castle”, because its history was largely influenced by many Renaissance ladies, like Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, favorites of King Henri II. Feminine touches are present throughout the castle, giving it an undeniably romantic feel.

Chenonceau Castle at sunset

Room of Gabrielle d'Estrées at Chenonceau Castle

A set of photos of Loire Valley castles wouldn’t be complete without a few detailed shots. It’s actually what I loved most during my trip: discovering all the quirky details, from the furniture to the windows to the doors and accessories. I found that Chambord, Chenonceau and Amboise were particularly ornate, making them that much more interesting.

It's all in the details.

And speaking of details, what better way to indulge than visiting the most famous gardens of the region, the gardens of Villandry Castle? While October isn’t the best month to visit, it was fun to have the gardens almost to myself.

Villandry Gardens

And of course, the conclusion to my trip: the majestic, out-of-this-world, Chambord Castle. I loved it so much, in fact, I wrote a special post about it!

photos of loire valley castles, chambord castle

Chambord Castle

Have you visited this region of France? Do you also have many photos of the Loire Valley Castles? Feel free to share them!

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21 Responses to “The Loire Valley Castles, a Photo Essay”

  1. Jeff Titelius

    19. Dec, 2011

    Wonderful visual tour thru the Loire…I had the most wonderful time there when I was in Paris a few years ago…it was truly one of the highlights of my entire EuroVacation!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      08. Feb, 2014

      Thank you Jeff! So easy to make a daytrip there from Paris.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Alexandre

    19. Dec, 2011

    Great post, as always :)

    Reply to this comment
  3. Laura

    19. Dec, 2011

    I’m a crazy cat lady too :) I love these castles. Just yesterday I inaugurated the coasters I bought from Loire Valley :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      08. Feb, 2014

      Crazy cat lovers rejoice! :) Such fabulous castles.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Abby

    20. Dec, 2011

    Love the romance and how over-the-top everything is! You are tireless!!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      08. Feb, 2014

      Yes, indeed everything is over the top. Can you imagine how lavish it was back then?

      Reply to this comment
  5. I knew nothing about this area. Very interesting.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Laura

    28. Dec, 2011

    Of course I liked the CAT best.

    Reply to this comment
  7. I love castles. I swear one of these days I’m going to live in one…. ;)

    Reply to this comment
  8. I’m not a big fan of France even though a significant portion of my family originated from there, but those gardens looks awesome. I’ll share this post my daughter, as she’s a burgeoning Francophile and is already planning a trip there when she graduates high school.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      08. Feb, 2014

      Definitely a great place to get accostumed to France and its long history!

      Reply to this comment
  9. Frederik Van Lierde

    03. Feb, 2012

    Discovering the Loire area and enjoying their local wine, a perfect conmbination for a successfull holiday.

    In some castles in France you can find really nice Bed and Breakfast. I prefer to dta in those kind of ‘Hotels’ then in normal hotels

    Beautiful castles!

    Reply to this comment
  10. Travelwriticus

    18. Mar, 2012

    I love esp the interior photos. Thanks for the post!

    Reply to this comment

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