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


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Stuart Foxall (16 months ago)
We only visited the older part, not the chateau. Brilliant way to spend a couple of hours and kept two adults and two children (9 & 13) very interested.
Carolyn Dexter (16 months ago)
I was really disappointed with my visit. Having visited lots of other chateaux in the region I was expecting something similar. Unfortunately not. Entrance fee 13E got you in and also to the dungeons. My main issue was not being able to read about most of the things on view. You may say, it's in France so expect explanations in French!? However when we came out we were told about an app we could gave downloaded before entering that would have explained everything. Surely the lady taking our money (who had a badge on saying she spoke English) could have mentioned it? Even if she had pointed to some written document that we could have read before going in. Anyway, it was very sparsely furnished and only a few rooms you could go in. The dungeons were really just ruins but you got a feel on just how big and deep these must have been all those years ago. So, yes I was disappointed. There are many more chateaux to visit for the same price that are far more attractive and interesting.
Wim de Jonge (16 months ago)
This castle is absolutely worth a visit. Grab a tablet at the entrance to get some extra information on the rooms and locations. It wil give a nice twist to your visit, including a treasure hunt for childeren. Great view over Loches from the tower. Mind your step though! Some of the old staircases are very narrow. Fair price which also includes acces to the kings lodges up ahead.
Mark Whitelock (16 months ago)
Very well presented, great tour using the ipads available. The keep isn’t for those afraid of heights!
Andrew Raines (18 months ago)
A visit to the donjon is a must, excellent little museum rich with history, and a great place to escape the heat in the cool cellars.
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