Château de Meung-sur-Loire

Meung-sur-Loire, France

The Château de Meung-sur-Loire, located next to the collegial church, was the country residence of the Bishops of Orléans. It was built and destroyed several times. The oldest still existing parts date from the 13th century and were built by Manassès de Seignelay (bishop from 1207 to 1221). Still standing are the main rectangular plan building, flanked by three towers, a fourth having been destroyed.

During the Hundred Years' War, the building was transformed into a fortress; it was taken from the English by Joan of Arc on 14 June 1429. At the end of the 15th century and start of the 16th century, building to the north incorporated a tower with drawbridge. The castle was abandoned from the Wars of Religion until the start of the 18th century, when Bishop Fleuriau d'Armenonville undertook the transformation of the structure into a comfortable residence.The rear façade was rebuilt in the Classical style by d'Armenonville. Beneath the castle are dungeons, a chapel and various medieval torture instruments, including one used for water torture.

In the middle of the 18th century, a wing was added to the southeast with a staircase serving the upper floors of the wing. In 1784, the chapel was built in the Neoclassical style, with sculpture by Delaistre. The two pavilions in the grounds are contemporary with this chapel.

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Details

Founded: ca. 1200
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Daniel Sala (8 months ago)
Very nice Loire valley castle - definitely worth the trip. The visit features some very nice rooms with vintage furniture. All the explanation are very instructive and well thought. We learned a lot about the life at that time during the visit. When we went there (summertime), there was also some activities for children in the castle park : vintage games, archery, trying on an armor. Count around 2-3hours for the complete tour.
Micke Lay (8 months ago)
Very good surprise! I thought the price was a bit too expensive but it worthes it. You ll need a couple of hours to go around all the rooms, from the cellar to the underground, from the smoke room to the chapel, don't miss any of them. A lot of effort is made in all rooms to make them look like you are in the past. They make us really into it.
Alexis Petit (10 months ago)
A 2 to 3hrs visit. Nice castle, very interesting tour. Comments and descriptions are in French. Highly recommended.
Ben Drury (10 months ago)
10 min drive from Messas, small enough to feel like a tour of an ancient home, rather than being a touristy castle full of empty spaces, staircases and wall hangings. The nearby patisseries and cafes have a good selection of snacks and drinks. This castle is quite small, entry was 9€ each. There is an outdoor area where you can try archery, wear an armoured helmet and gauntlet, as well as have a personal explanation of how each armour piece and weapon was used in battle. There is an option to create your own silver coin, using a circular chisel punch with a hammer, and a tool to imprint a logo, it didn't cost much and looked like a fun souvenir.
Jan Luse (10 months ago)
This was one of my favorite castles to visit. They had many room displays of what you might find during a regular day of castle life through various time periods of the castle. They had excellent information guides to help you get the feel of what you were seeing. I enjoyed the dungeon area as well. Well worth the money!
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The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

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In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

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