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

Rita Amorim (9 months ago)
The castle and the gardens are beautiful! This staff though is a bit rude, there's no place to store the luggage and you are not allowed to get inside with it... That was a problem for us and it would be useful that there was a luggage storage like there is in other castels in Val de Loire.
Asha Neuville (9 months ago)
Beautiful castle and some great exhibits inside too. A huge improvement on when I last visited in the 80s and the rooms were empty. The gardens are beautiful too.
Hell-O- (9 months ago)
An absolute must see in the region. Beautiful genuine Renaissance castle set in a beautiful 19th century garden with a cool water reflexion effect. Indoors are fully accessible from the attic to the kitchen where are displayed various pieces of old furniture and admirable paintings.
Roman Kovalchuk (12 months ago)
First time when I saw this place and the chateau I was under strong impression duringall day I could not imagine so bright harmony between nature and artificial creation. Second time I Just sat and enjoyed of view for about two hours. It is amazing place.
Nadine H. (12 months ago)
France has so much to offer! This castle is a beautiful gem, you can visit the insides and the gardens as well. The village around is also delightful. A must-see!
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