Pays de la Loire Section
Chateau de Saumur - Dukes of Anjou Castle
Chateau de Saumur, the castle of the Dukes of Anjou
The Chateau de Saumur stands at the edge of an abrupt cliff and boasts prime views of the city and the fertile Loire Valley.
King Charles the Bold built the original fortress and a monastery in the 9th century in order to shelter the relics of St. Florent.
Both buildings were destroyed during the 9th century Norman invasions.
Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou (987-1040) seized the newly rebuilt fortress.
Louis IX rebuilt the Chateau de Saumur in 1230 and bequeathed it to his younger brother Charles.
Charles d'Anjou founded the second dynasty of Anjou.
Chateau de Saumur, the château of King René
Louis I of Anjou improved the castle.
He indeed built the 4 octagonal towers, which were capped with pepper-pot roofs in the late 14th century.
He lavishly decorated and refurnished the castle, in order to rival the mansions of his brother Charles V.
The many turrets, towers, machicolations and moats turn it into an elegant fortified palace.
The star-shaped ramparts of the Chateau de Saumur were built in 1590, when Saumur became an important Protestant stronghold.
The Protestant Academy building was converted into a prison in 1804, then a garrison and finally in an ammunition depot.
The Chateau de Saumur became the official residence of Governors of Saumur.
Chateau de Saumur today
The city of Saumur purchased the castle in 1906.
It restored it and refurbished it with splendid Gobelins and Arras tapestries.
It also founded two museums.
The private apartments of the Dukes of Anjou are now home to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs,
The Decorative Arts Museum exhibits an important collection of porcelain and earthenware ranging from the Middle-Ages to the Renaissance.
Finally, the Musée du Cheval - Horse Museum traces the history of riding and harness.
Department of Maine-et-Loire
Coordinates: Lat 47.257018 - Long -0.072404