Top 5 French castles to visit

Which castles to visit in France? Here are the top 5 to prepare your visit!

The French castles are part of the architectural and historical heritage of the country. Every year they attract many curious people who come to visit them all over France.

Here are the top 5 castles of France to visit, alone, with family or friends!

The castle of Chantilly

The castle of Chantilly is one of the castles of France that you must see at least once in your life. It is located in Oise, in the department of Hauts-de-France, 1 hour away from Paris.

Built in 1359, the castle was originally a medieval fortress before it belonged to the Montmorency family, who carried out major renovation work. Over the centuries, the castle has evolved.

During its history, the castle has passed through many owners such as Louis II of Bourbon or the Duke of Aumale. They all contributed to make this place an impressive domain.

Today, the castle of Chantilly is considered as one of the most beautiful castles in France. It is home to the Condé Museum, which houses the Duc d’Aumale’s 19th century collection of paintings and other treasures.

It also has a park of over 115 hectares as well as a forest, annexes and stables.

Le palais de Versailles

The Palace of Versailles

It is certainly the most famous French castle. It is one of the most visited cultural sites in France. The castle of Versailles is famous all over the world for its 2300 rooms, its Hall of Mirrors and its immense park of more than 6 hectares. It pleases for its large volumes, its architecture and its splendor.

Built in 1634, it is a former hunting lodge of Louis XIII that his son Louis XIV enlarged and renovated to accommodate his court. For many years, the Palace of Versailles was the official residence of the kings of France.

Located in the Yvelines, not far from Paris, it attracts many tourists every year to admire the beauty of the place.

Castle of the Dukes of Brittany

Located in Nantes in Loire-Atlantique, it is one of the most visited castles in France with more than one million tourists per year. 

Built in the 15th century by François II, the last Duke of Brittany, this castle was to be a military fortress. The castle of the Dukes of Brittany was then embellished by his daughter Anne of Brittany, twice queen of France, who lived there for many years.

Afterwards, this castle became the Breton residence of the kings of France.

It was recently restored and closed for a few years before being opened to the public again. Inside the castle, there is the Nantes history museum.

Amboise Castle

The castle of Amboise is located in the department of Indre-et-Loire. It is part of the castles of the Loire. It is known to have been the palace of kings Charles VIII and François I during the Renaissance. Its architecture and decoration are a testimony of the 15th and 16th century.

This French castle attracts many tourists every year. They come to visit the multiple rooms that compose it, but also the gardens. Some also come to visit the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci, installed in the Saint-Hubert chapel, within the castle. The Italian artist lived the last years of his life with King Francis I, where he drew his artistic inspiration.

Not far from the castle of Amboise, is the Clos Lucé. It is a small nearby castle where Leonardo da Vinci lived. It is possible to visit it.

Le château de Chambord

Castle of Chambord

It is one of the most famous castles in France. The castle of Chambord, built in the 16th century at the request of King Francis I, makes its visitors dream. Located in the department of Loir-et-Cher, this residence is the largest of the castles of the Loire. Its domain extends on almost 5500 hectares! It is also the only castle to be intact since its creation.

Designed by Leonardo da Vinci, it is considered today as a masterpiece of the Renaissance. The National Estate of Chambord has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.

Here are 5 castles in France that you must visit. So, which castle would you like to discover in France?

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