Top Historic Sights in Chinon, France

Explore the historic highlights of Chinon

Château de Chinon

Château de Chinon was founded by Theobald I, Count of Blois. In the 11th century the castle became the property of the counts of Anjou. In 1156 Henry II of England, a member of the House of Anjou, took the castle from his brother Geoffrey after he had rebelled for a second time. Henry favoured the Château de Chinon as a residence: most of the standing structure can be attributed to his reign and he died there in 1189. ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Chinon, France

Church of St. Etienne

There has been a church dedicated to St. Etienne (Saint Stephen) in Chinon since the 11th century but the current church was constructed between 1460 and 1490. It comprises a nave of five bays, two side chapels, a choir of two bays and a polygonal apse. The flamboyant gothic influence is in evidence from the moment you step through the elaborate portal. The stained glass windows are by the master glass-maker Julien-Leopo ...
Founded: 1460-1490 | Location: Chinon, France

Collegiate Church of St. Mexme

The collegiate church of Saint-Mexme was the main religious building in Chinon up to the Revolution. It was originally built in the 5th century on the site of a monastery founded by Saint Mexme, a disciple of Saint Martin. The building was entirely rebuilt, enlarged and embellished between the 10th and 15th centuries, and became a major pilgrimage site. The building was deconsecrated following the Revolution and was left ...
Founded: 10th-15th century | Location: Chinon, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kerameikos

Kerameikos was the potters" quarter of the city, from which the English word 'ceramic' is derived, and was also the site of an important cemetery and numerous funerary sculptures erected along the road out of the city towards Eleusis.

The earliest tombs at the Kerameikos date from the Early Bronze Age (2700-2000 BC), and the cemetery appears to have continuously expanded from the sub-Mycenaean period (1100-1000 BC). In the Geometric (1000-700 BC) and Archaic periods (700-480 BC) the number of tombs increased; they were arranged inside tumuli or marked by funerary monuments. The cemetery was used incessantly from the Hellenistic period until the Early Christian period (338 BC until approximately the sixth century AD).

The most important Athenian vases come from the tombs of the Kerameikos. Among them is the famous “Dipylon Oinochoe”, which bears the earliest inscription written in the Greek alphabet (second half of the eighth century BC). The site"s small museum houses the finds from the Kerameikos excavations.