Château de Chinon

Chinon, France

Château de Chinon was founded by Theobald I, Count of Blois. In the 11th century the castle became the property of the counts of Anjou. In 1156 Henry II of England, a member of the House of Anjou, took the castle from his brother Geoffrey after he had rebelled for a second time. Henry favoured the Château de Chinon as a residence: most of the standing structure can be attributed to his reign and he died there in 1189.

Early in the 13th century, King Philip II of France harassed the English lands in France and in 1205 he captured Chinon after a siege that lasted several months, after which the castle remained under French control. When King Philip IV accused the Knights Templar of heresy during the first decade of the 14th century, several leading members of the order were imprisoned there.

Used by Charles VII in the 15th century, the Château de Chinon became a prison in the second half of the 16th century, but then fell out of use and was left to decay. It has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1840. The castle, which contains a museum, is now owned and managed by the Indre-et-Loire General Council and is a major tourist attraction. In the early 21st century it was restored at a cost of 14.5 million euros.

The castle is divided, along its length, into three enclosures, each separated by a deep dry moat. There are some similarities with Château Gaillard, built by Richard the Lionheart in the closing years of the 12th century, which also consists of three three enclosures and sits on a promontory above a nearby town.

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Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michele Schaffer (2 years ago)
Really cool experience. Nice combination of indoor and outdoor zones. Also there was a treasure hunt game for the kids to keep them entertained and interested.
Jodi Suguitan (3 years ago)
One my favorite castles I’ve visited in Europe. The grounds and views alone are gorgeous. It is so nice to be able to wander the grounds and inside the castle without being led by a guide. They do not have long hours(at least in Nov.), so check before visiting because u can easily spend over an hour and half here. We were there for the golden hour, very beautiful! Also, dogs are allowed on the grounds just not inside the buildings.
travelswithadiplomat (3 years ago)
Fabulous historical morning trip on a beautiful part of the Loire. It is spectacularly French, the town sprawling below labyrithine with its Rues and span of eating places. The Chateau has a fascinating history that will captivate all ages culminating in a view that is breathtaking.
覃羿彬 (3 years ago)
Not much to see for the interior or exhibition inside the castle, but the castle itself is quite wonderful for an afternoon walk or sunbathing beneath the beautiful greens trees of its garden. You could have a panoramic view of the Loire from the castle’s tower and ramparts. Tips for those who don’t wanna walk all the way to the hilltop castle: there’s a free lift near the tourism office in old town (down hill) that could take you directly to the top in no time.
Osty 300 (3 years ago)
You may as well visit the fortress if you are in the area, however I wouldn't go out of the way to explore. It is priced at 9€ Pp and offered a demonstration of a Roman sling. The grounds are pleasant and are well maintained. There is a lift that will take you up to the entrance which is a great idea. It will offer you a great view of Chinon and ideal for a photo or two. We explored every part of the castle and it took about an hour.
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Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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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.