Top 10 most famous castles in France

France has gone through different phases in its history. Many centuries ago, many castles were built and served as palaces for kings. Many of these are still standing today, and are well worth a visit. For this reason, we would like to present a top 10 of the most famous castles in France.

1. Chambord, one of the most important châteaux

At the top of the list of the most famous castles in France are those in the Loire region. And among them, one of the most important is the Château de Chambord. It is considered by many to be the dream of King François I. 

Many prominent Renaissance artists were involved in its construction; for example, one of the most popular was Leonardo Da Vinci himself, who is said to have designed the double helix staircase. If you look inside the castle, you can take a tour through the chambers of King Louis XIV. You also have the Royal Chapel and its beautiful gardens.

2. The castle of Chenonceau

Another monumental pearl that has a palace style, is the castle of Chenonceau. It is very popular because it has several arches above the river Cher. It is even known as the ladies’ castle, and the reason for this is because many women such as Diana of Poitiers, Catherine de Medici and Louise of Lorraine were part of the royalty inside this castle.

Inside the castle, we can highlight the large ballroom. Different parties used to be held there, which began in the late afternoon and lasted all night long. Many of them even ended at dawn.

3. Angers, one of the most famous châteaux in France

Also located in the Loire region, the castle of Angers is an imposing medieval castle with many treasures, such as the chapel of St. John the Baptist or the tapestry of the apocalypse, which is one of the main masterpieces of French tapestry.

This castle is one of those worth visiting because it has beautiful panoramic views that are not easily forgotten, from the battlements to the towers. From this top point you can see the local cathedral.

4. The castle of the Dukes of Brittany

If we go to the city of Nantes, we can find one of the castles that leave us with a series of historical gems, such as the fortress of the Dukes of Brittany. It is a castle that tells stories about France’s past.

If you go inside, you will find an exhibition from the Nantes History Museum. In its collection, we can find different moments that left their mark on the country, one of them being the expansion of Napoleon and his empire, or the Second World War.

5. Azay-le-Rideau and its uniqueness

This castle is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful in France, as well as one of the most elegant. It even competes very well with the castles of Rivau and Villandry. Each of these castles is decorated with ornaments of the highest quality. All of them show us the different epochs to which the people who lived there were accustomed.

6. Vincennes: A castle in Paris.

It is a royal building located in the French capital. The castle of Vincennes is located next to the 12th arrondissement and has been called one of the largest medieval castles that can be found in Europe. The whole complex is complemented by the keep and the Sainte-Chapelle vicennienne.

7. Pierrefonds

Known as the jewel of Haute France, this is a castle where Napoleon Bonaparte and many of his descendants lived on multiple occasions. This fortification remains situated in a very strategic location, which facilitates the control of areas of the territory. It has also been used for filming several movies such as The Man in the Iron Mask and Joan of Arc.

8. The castle of Carcassonne

This is one of the best preserved medieval cities. It has also become the setting for many legends related to the Cathars. 

This castle has an important place next to the walls that surround the entire city, thus recreating a scene very similar to the tales that took place during the Middle Ages.

The castle of Carcassonne has towers and many battlements, where it is possible to enjoy a good time in the company of friends. You can even enjoy beautiful views of the river Aude.

9. Salses

Within Occitania there is not only the castle of Carcassonne, but also the castle of the town of Salses-le-Château. This place has the same name as the castle in the town, which has been a means by which Spain and France have struggled for centuries. Also noteworthy is the fact that, over the years, this fortress has been reinforced with the help of many military engineers, such as the improvements made to it by the great Vauban.

10. Haut-Koenigsbourg

Finally, we find the castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg, which is located between Colmar and Strasbourg. As it is located in a border area between France and Germany, it has witnessed many clashes between the two nations.

In its surroundings, we can find a totally unique environment, where you can also visit the Regional Natural Park of the Northern Vosges. So, there is no doubt that you will have many reasons to go and see this and all the other famous castles in France that we have mentioned above, as this is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Posted in Europe, France.