Loire Valley - Gabare

The Loire Valley is also known as the Royal Valley because of the many chateaux the kings of the French Renaissance and their vassals built along the river

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Aerial photo of the Chateau de Chinon

Chateau de Chinon, restored ruins of the fortress built by Henry II of England where Joan of Arc came to serve King Charles VII during the Hundred years War

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Cycling along the Loire River

The best cycling routes along the Loire River, a series of trails that follow the river from its spring in Auvergne downwards to its mouth in the Atlantic

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Chateau de Villandry and gardens

The Renaissance Chateau and gardens of Villandry in the Loire Valley, fully restored by Joachim Carvallo, and today registered as UNESCO’s World Heritage

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Royal City of Loches - Logis Royal

Royal City of Loches, a masterpiece of medieval Military architecture with one of the oldest and best preserved stone dungeons in Europe, where Agnes Sorel lived

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Traveling to the Loire Valley from the UK

Traveling to the Loire Valley from the UK by air, sea and land is easy as the region is served by 3 airports, ferry links and railway and road networks

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Aerial view of Richelieu

Richelieu off the Loire Valley, the ideal city of Cardinal de Richelieu, a walled city built in the 1630s on a grid plan and surrounded by ornamental moats

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Giant boots in the gardens of the Chateau du Rivau

The fairytale Chateau du Rivau, one of the first castle built in the Loire Valley was restored to its past glory and boasts fourteen fun thematic gardens

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Loire Valley architectural styles - French Renaissance

A brief overview of the evolution of the Loire Valley architectural styles, which produced so many exceptional castles and religious buildings

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St Benoit sur Loire Church Romanesque porch

St Benoit sur Loire Church is all that is left of the Abbaye de Fleury built on the site of a pagan sacred ground which was the geographical centre of Gaul

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Chateau de Cheverny

The Chateau de Cheverny, a masterpiece of Classical architecture used as model by Hergé for Captain Haddock’s Chateau de Moulinsart in his Tintin books

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Chateau de Chenonceau - Tour Marques and castle

Chateau de Chenonceau, a masterpiece of French Renaissance architecture known as Wonder of the Loire Valley and Ladies’ Château as owned by women only

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Chateau de Chambord

The Renaissance Chateau de Chambord built in the Loire Valley for François I boasts 440 rooms and a double helix staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci

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Usse Castle - Cedar of Lebanon to the left of the castle

Usse Castle in the Loire Valley, the source of inspiration for the writer Charles Perrault when he sought a setting for his fairytale Sleeping Beauty

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Amboise Castle, the first Renaissance chateau built in the Loire Valley includes the Chapelle St-Hubert where Leonardo da Vinci is believed to be buried

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