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 (3 years 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 (3 years 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 (3 years ago)
A 2 to 3hrs visit. Nice castle, very interesting tour. Comments and descriptions are in French. Highly recommended.
Ben Drury (3 years 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 (3 years 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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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.