The Cistercian Abbaye de Noirlac, founded in 1136, is a fine example of medieval monastic architecture. The chapter house, where the monks’ daily assemblies were held, and the cellier, where the lay brothers were in charge of the food, wine and grain stores, were built in plain but elegant style. The cloisters, with their graceful arches and decorated capitals, date from the 13th and 14th centuries, which was a less severe period.

  • Eyewitness Travel Guide: Loire Valley. 2007


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Founded: 1136
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Yannick Issoudun (11 months ago)
Remarque... Personnel à l'écoute, sympathique, très professionnel... Lieu très bien aménagé, cadre magnifiquement mis en valeur... Bravo
ducky duck (11 months ago)
Magnifique lieu certes déserté par les moines mais dont les vibrations de ce lieu dont magiques. De plus ce weekend, celui du 10/nov/2018 un marché monastique se tient. Tous les produits de qualité présentés viennent de toute la France des divers monastères et couvents.
Vincent Huard (12 months ago)
Magnifique site dans un lieu caché du centre de la France. Je vous conseille la visite guidée qui permet de parfaitement comprendre l'histoire du site. La visite est adaptée aux enfants qui en plus peuvent grâce à un petit livre résoudre une énigme. Le personnel d'accueil est vraiment très sympathique et la guide très intéressante. Cette visite peut être faite en famille sans aucun soucis.
Jem LM (13 months ago)
Site magnifique, malheureusement un peu caché quand on ne connait pas. Personnel aux petits soins, visite guidée instructive. On y apprécie le calme et la sérénité des lieux. L'architecture est magnifique. Les jardins splendides et parfaitement entretenus. Le petit moment de bonheur : passer quelques minutes au calme sous des tilleuls plusieurs fois centenaires. De la détente instructive.
Nigel Welch (15 months ago)
Totally restored but without any historic or authentic furnishings to show what life would have been like
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Château de Chaumont

The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.

Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.

Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.

In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.

The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.