A thousand years of history make for an exceptional heritage
Any journey in France is dotted with castles, like so many reminders of its eventful past. Since they first appeared in the 10th century, over 10 000 castles have now been built in our country, from warrior fortresses to royal palaces through manor houses and aristocratic residences. The buildings described by the word “château” in French can take many architectural forms, as the term is above all a reflection of the owner’s social rank. The most beautiful gems of this exceptional heritage are open to visitors. Others, no less charming, host receptions and events, are run as hotels, or are simply home to men and women who love old buildings. Whether they are fairy-tale, grand or romantic in style, the castles still enchant visitors to this day.
From famous masterpieces to little-known gems
With such a wide choice, tourists often don’t know where to begin. The France-Voyage.com guide helps to clarify things, by providing information on castles of particular interest, for their architectural features, history or the figures who lived there. Famous for its Mirror Gallery and 715 hectares of parks and gardens, the extravagant residence of the Sun King in Versailles is the most popular castle, with over 6 million visitors every year. Further south, every trip around the Loire Valley should include a visit to Chambord, the biggest of the Loire castles with its 440 rooms, 800 sculpted capitals and 282 fireplaces. Those who want to travel back in time will appreciate the castle forts of Auvergne and Périgord, as well as the impressive hillside fortresses of the Cathars in Languedoc. Yet the France-Voyage.com guide also features less famous but equally interesting castles, such as Bazoches, the beautiful house at the heart of Morvan where Vauban designed over 300 fortified structures; Joinville, which forms an elegant Renaissance ensemble with its magnificent garden; Virieu, a remarkable medieval fortress overlooking the Bourbre Valley, and many more…
Dream of travelling in space and time
Even though it isn’t always easy to visit them in real life, you can still enjoy the castles by looking at their photos and reading about their history. It’s easy to find inspiration and take a virtual tour using the guide’s panoramas of the castles of France. France-Voyage.com is an essential tool for all lovers of French heritage.
France-Voyage.com is a guide specialising in tourism in France, since 2003. Available in 6 languages, the France-Voyage.com website is visited by over 18 million holidaymakers every year, looking for practical and cultural information or help with planning their next trip.