Château d'Azay-le-Rideau

Azay-le-Rideau, France

Château de Azay-le-Rideau was built from 1515 to 1527 and it is one of the earliest French Renaissance châteaux. Built on an island in the Indre River, its foundations rise straight out of the water.

Gilles Berthelot, Treasurer-General of the Finances of France under King Francis I and mayor of Tours, began reconstructing Azay-le-Rideau's earlier medieval castle, that was part of his wife's inheritance. However, it was his wife, Philippe Lesbahy, who directed the course of the works, including its central internal staircase that is Azay's greatest most remarkable feature.

When Berthelot was suspected of collusion in embezzlement he was forced to flee from incomplete Azay-le-Rideau in 1528; he never saw the château again. Instead, the king confiscated the property and gave it as a reward to one of his high-ranking soldiers.

Over the centuries, it changed hands several times until the early part of the twentieth century, when it was purchased by the French government and restored. The interior was completely refurbished with a collection of Renaissance pieces.

Today, the château is open to public visits, and is operated by the Centre des monuments nationaux. Azay-le-Rideau is surrounded by a distinctly 19th-century park like English landscape garden with many specimen trees, especially exotic conifers: Atlas cedar, and bald cypress and sequoias from the New World.

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Details

Founded: 1515-1527
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sue Alemann (2 years ago)
In the middle of a river, surrounded by water, set in a park, with wonderful furniture and animations. It has as much to offer as other more popular castles in the area, with smaller crowds. icturesque and worth a visit.
Nigel Bray (3 years ago)
The Château was completely full of visitors today, extremely claustrophobic. Had to escape to the garden for a quiet walk in the garden.
覃羿彬 (3 years ago)
This is a dreamy castle, one of the best off-the-beaten track destinations in the Loire Valley in my opinion. The castle’s rooms are beautifully arranged with jaw-dropping items (will be great fun for kids and adults who could appreciate mechanics and art), the castle and it’s garden is of tranquility in general, quite a hidden gem.
Micke Lay (3 years ago)
Magnificent castle surrounded by water. You need an hour to go around and a bit more to enjoy all the selfies spots. Tasty home made Ice scream shop inside the garden just in front of the castle. Free for students and reasonable other prices. The only drawback is the castle is a little far away.
Dan Cleveland (3 years ago)
Beautifully cared for. Every room is impeccable. Newly restored roof system is impressive. Walking paths on the grounds allow for spectacular photo ops. Restaurant is reasonably priced and food quite good in addition to having views of the chateau from the outdoor sitting areas.
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