Originally a 14th century fortress, later a pleasure palace, it is located where the Vienne River flows into the Loire River. An audio-visual display takes the visitor through 18 of its rooms.
Founded in the 12 th century and covering an area of 14 hectares, this Abbey is considered one of the vastest examples of monastic architecture in Europe . The recumbent figures of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Richard the Lionheart rest here. It is also a Cultural Centre that holds regular Sacred Music concerts, exhibitions, and symposium.
The ‘Cadre Noir’ Equestrian team
The National Riding School is also housed here. The Cadre Noir is an elite corps of both civilian and military horse trainers and riding teachers. There are over 40 teachers and nearly 500 horses. Guided visits are available and there are special Gala evenings.
The Royal Fortress in Chinon
Stretching for over 500m on the cliff tops along the Vienne River and dominating the town centre, this is one of France ‘s most imposing fortresses. ‘Les Nocturnes Insolites’ evening visits ( 8.30pm – 10.30pm ) take place in the last week of July.
A visit through this castle, rebuilt in the 15 th century on the ruins of the original 10 th century stronghold, gives an idea of daily life in the Middle Ages. There is an exceptional collection of 16 th century furniture, tapestries and objets d’art.
A medieval fortress built on a rocky spur, it was transformed into a pleasure palace during the Renaissance. See sumptuous pieces of furniture in the drawing rooms and bedrooms, visit the Oratory and the Collegiate Church and admire the stunning views from the ramparts and the garden.
On a small island on the Indre River, this Renaissance castle was built during the reign of King François 1 st in the early 16 th century. The famous French writer, Balzac, wrote of this castle that it was a ‘facetted diamond set like a jewel in the Indre’. The interior is fully furnished.