In France, every castle is a château, however not every château is a castle. This French word can be used to describe many of the thousands of palaces and castles stately homes scattered around the country. Many of the most-loved castles in France are located in the green Loire Valley, but there are great epitomes of fairytale castles and medieval fortresses in every part of the country. Right from the romantic ruins of Château de Loches to the lately restored Cité de Carcassonne, a visit to France is incomplete without exploring the castles in the country. If you are planning a trip to France and have an interest in castles, then don’t miss to visit some of the most beautiful castles of this beautiful country.
Cite de Carcassonne
The Cité de Carcassonne is more of a fortified town rather than a castle. In fact it is known to be one of the oldest and most striking fortifications of the country. Due to its strategic position on the historical routes across southern France, this location has been occupied for over 5,000 years. Various sections of the walls of the citadel dates back to the heyday of the Roman Empire, on the other hand, Visigoths occupied the structure during the 5th century. This castle’s successive rulers went on to improve the fortress until the 17th century when it began to fall into decay. A 19th-century renovation project of the Cité turned Carcassonne into a famous tourist destination.
Palais des Papes
Situated in Avignon in Southern France region, Palais des Papes (also known as the Palace of the Popes) is considered as one of the most significant medieval structures in Europe. Construction of a convent started on the site in the year 1252 and in the year 1309, it became the seat of the Papacy, when Rome revolted against the election on Pope Clement V. This place remained the center of Western Christianity throughout the 14th century. This fortress is the biggest Gothic architecture in Europe as well as one of the top ten tourist attractions of France attracting around 650,000 visitors per year.
Chateau de Loches
Constructed around 500 meters (1,600 feet) from the banks of the River Indre in the Loire Valley, it is as popular for its mammoth square-shaped central keep as it is for its relations to French and English royalty. Built in the 11th century, the castle was held by Henry II and Richard the Lionheart in the 12th century. Later, the castle became a beloved residence of Charles VII of France. The older sections of the château now lie in ruins but the 16th-century royal lodgings have been fully restored.
Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg
The château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is situated at a strategic location on a high hill that overlooks the Alsatian plain in the Vosges Mountains in France. This castle was used by succeeding powers from the Middle Ages till the Thirty Years’ War, when it was burned and looted by Swedish troops after a 52-day blockade. After this incident, it was left unused for a few hundred years and became thick by forest. However, in 1899 it was given to the German emperor Wilhelm II and re-constructed as it was on the eve of the Thirty Years’ War. At present, it is one of the most famous castles in France that attracts more than 500,000 visitors every year.
Situated 80 km north-east of Paris, Pierrefonds is an imposing castle that sits around the curve in the road beside the Compiègne Forest. Earlier built in the 12th century, the castle was completely destroyed in the 17th century and restored again by the architect Viollet-le-Duc. With this extraordinary reconstruction, the castle resulted into an extravagant architectural collection, making it a medieval and a modern 19th century castle.
Loches (Loire Valley)
Built during the commencement of the 11th century, the castle of Loches is located on a hill above the town. It is well-known for its 36 meter high square keep created by Fulk III, Count of Anjou between 987 and 1040. The castle used to be the residence of the King Charles VII. He gifted this to his mistress – Agnès Sorel.
Fougères Castle of Brittany is one among the most magnificent castles in France. The ground of the castle covers two hectares and surrounded with three amazing walls flanked by 13 towers. The castle has been constructed over a naturally protected site distant from the surrounding swamp.
Guédelon is not a historic castle but more of an open book. It is located in the heart of Burgundy. The construction of this castle started in 1997 with the long-term goal to erect a well-equipped castle via techniques and materials from the middle ages. It looks like a 13th century medieval castle.
Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles is the main attraction of various significant events held in the world’s history. Originally serving as a hunting lodge, every aspect of this palace was designed to praise the magnificence of the king. There is a Hall of Mirrors in the very heart of the palace, which attracts a number of travelers.
Château de Montbrun
Château de Montbrun is a beautiful castle that was built during the 12th and 15th centuries and restored again in the late 19th century. Located within a deep valley, the castle was erected to protect the borders of the Duchy of Aquitaine. The castle has the moat, massive walls and a square keep covered with machicolations.
Some of the other famous castles of France are Chateau de Vincennes, Chateau Gaillard, Chateau d’Angers, Chateau de Fougeres and Chateau de Vitre. To book your trip or any other related query, you can call or whatsapp at 9990330330, 9990980980.