Château de Loches

Loches, France

The Château de Loches was constructed in the 9th century. Built some 500 metres above the Indre River, the huge castle, famous mostly for its massive square keep, dominates the town of Loches. Designed and occupied by Henry II of England and his son, Richard the Lionheart during the 12th century, the castle withstood the assaults by the French king Philip II in their wars for control of France until it was finally captured by Philip in 1204.

Construction work immediately upgraded Loches into a huge military fortress. The castle would become a favorite residence of Charles VII of France who gave it to his mistress, Agnès Sorel, as her residence. It would be converted for use as a State prison by his son, King Louis XI who had lived there as a child but preferred the royal castle at Amboise.

During the American Revolution, France financed and fought with the Americans against England and King Louis XVI used the castle of Loches as a prison for captured Englishmen. At the time of the French Revolution, the château was ransacked and severely damaged. Some major restoration began in 1806 but today there are parts visible as ruins only. Owned by the Commune of Loches, the castle and the adjacent ancient Church of Saint-Ours are open to the public.

Château de Loches has been recognised as a monument historique since 1861 and is listed by the French Ministry of Culture.

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Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ayotroyee Jana (6 months ago)
Medieval city that encompasses amazing history!
Kevin Parsons (6 months ago)
Nice chateaux and keep with reasonable entrance costs and nice views.. views actually best from the chateaux if you don’t want to climb the many stairs in the keep
g. alves (8 months ago)
Very interesting monument. Full of history, they propose activities to the children. The souvenir shop is an eye-catching. Inside of the chateau there is nothing much on, tough they did a good work trying to do some work inside. There is another museum inside of the property to visit with a beautiful garden.
Suzy Q (11 months ago)
Extremely well organised and conserved old castle historically related to Jeanne d'Arc Movies projected on the wall in authentic environment Souvenir shop Excellent restaurant with a huge terrasse- nearby - reservation needed
Joost Wijnings (2 years ago)
Beautiful building, great views on the city and surroundings. The combination of donjon and castle is very nice!
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Beckov Castle

The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.