I've been to several Châteaux in France on a couple of Riviera Travel holidays. In July 2009 to the Loire Valley, where most of them are located. Also in June 2017 in Burgundy (but not as many there - only visited the one). I could also see some from the coaches I was on, and on the Loire Valley holiday was a couple of photo stops for some of the Châteaux!

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Châteaux in France

Châteaux in France

I've been to several Châteaux in France on a couple of Riviera Travel holidays. In July 2009 to the Loire Valley, where most of them are located. Also in June 2017 in Burgundy (but not as many there - only visited the one). I could also see some from the coaches I was on, and on the Loire Valley holiday was a couple of photo stops for some of the Châteaux!

Loire Valley

First up with the Chatateax visited in the Loire Valley during July 2009, with Riviera Travel. On this holiday they took us to two Châteaux for a visit. As well as a couple of photo stops. Others I saw from the coach.

Château de Villandry

This château is a grand country house located in Villandry, in the département of Indre-et-Loire, France. We came for a morning visit, arriving after 9am, and leaving by 11:30am. This château was built around the original 14th century keep where King Philip II of France once met Richard I of England to discuss peace. Jean Le Breton, France's Controller-General for War under King Francis I acquired it in the early 16th century and a new château was constructed. It remained in the Le Breton family for two centuries. In the early 19th century Emperor Napoleon acquired it for his brother Jérôme Bonaparte.  It was designated a Monument historique in 1934. Like the other châteaux of the Loire Valley, it is a World Heritage Site. There was some nice French gardens here!

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Château de Chenonceau

An afternoon visit to this château, arriving just before 1:30pm and leaving by 3:30pm. At the time, part of the building has scaffolding on it. Nice gardens to visit and plenty of history here. It spans the River Cher, near the small village of Chenonceaux in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. This château was built between 1514 to 1522. Diane de Poitiers, who was the mistress of Henry II of France lived from 1547 to about 1555. It also became the residence of Catherine de' Medici in the 1560s. Mary Queen of Scots may have had a brief spell living here during 1559-60 as the wife of Francis II of France. You can visit the inside of the building as well as explore the gardens! One of the most famous châteaux of the Loire valley.

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Château d'Anet

We had a coach stop here so that our group could take some photos of this château. Bit hard to see behind the walls, but the some of the buildings close to the wall were visible. I'd say that we were here for around 5 to 10 minutes? It is a château near Dreux, in the Eure-et-Loir department in northern France, built by Philibert de l'Orme from 1547 to 1552 for Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of Henry II of France. There is statues here of Diane de Poitiers as Diana, goddess of the hunt, by Jean Goujon.

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Château d'Ussé

Another photo stop. This time from the other side of the river near the bridge. Another 10 minute coach stop. It resembles or was the inspiration for the castle from Sleeping Beauty (the Disney version). It is a castle in the Indre-et-Loire département, in France. Close to the Chinon forest. Was mostly built in the 15th century. You can see how well it resembles the famous Disney castles!

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Château du Clos Lucé

The visit to the final home of Leonardo da Vinci (from 1515 to his death in 1519). A visit inside of the house as well as the grounds where there was many full size models of Leonardo's inventions! It is a a large château in the city of Amboise, France. It is 500 metres from the royal Château d'Amboise. Charles VIII of France aquired it in 1490. Francis I later used it in the early 1500s. The museum also includes a copy of the Mona Lisa, painted in 1654 by Ambroise Dubois. I saw that painting, but didn't take a photo of it!

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Château d'Amboise

The walk down from Clos-Luce into Amboise and you can see this château on the right on the hill above. We only visited the City and not this château itself.  It is a château in Amboise, located in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. King Charles VIII died at the château in 1498 after hitting his head on a door lintel. Many French King's liked this place including Francis I (the sponsor of Leonardo da Vinci). Mary Stuart lived here as a child when promised to Francis II.

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Château de Chinon

I saw this chateau near the end of a walk around the town of Chinon. We did not go up there, but was nice to see! It is a castle located on the bank of the Vienne river in Chinon, France. Henry II of England, a member of the House of Anjou took it in 1156 and he later died here in 1189. It was his favourite residence. It was founded by Theobald I, Count of Blois. In the 11th century. There was a major restoration project here between 2003 and 2010.

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Next up we head to Fontainebleau near Paris. On the Loire Valley holiday of July 2009, this was the day before we went back to Paris and caught the Eurostar back to the UK. A big Palace where many of the French King's and Emperors lived!

Château de Fontainebleau

Also known as the Palace of Fontainebleau or Château de Fontainebleau it is 34 miles south east of the centre of Paris. Located in the commune of Fontainebleau, is one of the largest French royal châteaux. It started as a medieval castle and subsequent palace served as a residence for the French monarchs from Louis VII to Napoleon III. Francis I and Napoleon I had the most influence over the palace. It was here in 1814 where Napoleon abdicated as French Emperor, and inside I saw the table and chair that he signed the instrument of abdication. Of course he later returned for the 100 days in 1815! The castle dates back as early as 1137. And there has been many additions over the centuries. The château was used as a prison for Pope Pius VII from 1812 to 1814. It is now a national museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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The Holiday to the historic Burgundy region of France with Riviera Travel was during June 2017, including 3 days in Lyon. After we left Lyon, we headed to the next hotel in Beaune. But before we got there, we went to the Château in Cormatin.Many of the other châteaux I saw in the region was from the coach on different days.

Château de Cormatin

Our visit to this château lasted around 2 hours. We had an exclusive guided tour organised by our tour operator.  Cormatin is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France. This was my first château visit in around 8 years! It is built on an island of the Grosne river. It resembles a moated manor house (similar to Baddesley Clinton in England). This building dates to the early 17th century. Although Henry du Blé has built a fortress here in 1280, on the road to Cluny Abbey (we also visited that on this trip). This used to be a complete quadrangle with a inner courtyard but two of the wings was demolished. The West Wing was lowered after a fire in 1812 and the South Wing collapsed in 1815 during its conversion into a textile factory. Jacques du Blé built this château from approx 1620 to 1626.

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I spotted many chateaux from the coach during this particular holiday. Some are now part of vineyards.

Château de Sercy

I saw this chateau from the coach after we left Cormatin and headed to our next hotel in Beaune. This could have been a coach stop, but am sure that we didn't get off the coach here. It dates between the 12th to 15th centuries. Sercy is in the Saône-et-Loire region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. It was along the Route du Château, seen from near the River Grosne. It has been declared a historical monument in France since 1974. The castle is private property but is open to the public.

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Château de Châteauneuf

I saw this château from the coach window on the journey back to our hotel in Beaune from the Autoroute du Soleil - A6 (having earlier visited Fontenay Abbey,  Semur-en-Auxois and Flavigny-sur-Ozerain). This château is also known as the Château de Châteauneuf-en-Auxois, and dates to the 15th century. About 43km from Dijon. It dominates the valley of Canal de Bourgogne. The earliest construction dates back to about 1132 by Jean de Chaudenay for his son Jehan, who took possession of it in 1175 and became Jean I de Châteauneuf. Philippe le Bon, duke of Burgundy in 1457 offered it to his advisor Philippe Pot, also of the Order of the Golden Fleece. It is now a protected historical monument in France.

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Château de Brochon

I saw this one from the Route des Grands Crus as the coach took us back from a day out in the city of Dijon back to our hotel in Beaune. This whole region is scattered with vineyards, and vines as fas as the eye could see! Very scenic to travel through! This chateau dates to the 19th century and is a Neo-Renaissance castle in Brochon, Côte-d'Or, in Burgundy-Franche-Comté. In the 14th century, Philip the Bold , first Duke of Valois of Burgundy donated the land to the Order of the Carthusians. It's had many other owners over the centuries and is now a vineyard producing wine, from 1962 by Lycée Stéphen-Liégeard.

dndimg alt="Château de Brochon" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Château de Brochon Route des Grands Crus (June 2017).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.